News Release

Ottawa physician honoured with prestigious Council Award

May 29, 2014

Toronto – Dr. Helen Ward, a forensic psychiatrist, was presented with the Council Award today by the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO).

The Council Award recognizes physicians who have demonstrated excellence in eight physician roles. These roles include the physician as a scientist, a scholar and a health advocate, among others.

Dr. Ward is clinical director of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre’s 46-bed forensic psychiatry unit where she supervises 10 psychiatrists, in addition to carrying a caseload of 12 to 16 inpatients, as well as 250 outpatients.

She was instrumental in spearheading the creation of the Mental Health Court in Ottawa. The collaborative program - between the Crown, judges and defence lawyers – is designed to help offenders with serious mental illness such as manic depression, severe anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and dementia get easier and faster access to treatment, and at the same time, determine their capacity for criminal behaviour or to face trial.

Dr. Ward is a tireless advocate for the mentally ill. She has spoken at international conferences on the subject of mental health courts to promote this approach in other jurisdictions. She has also testified before the Canadian Senate on this topic, as well as the potential negative consequences of a DNA bank for offenders found not criminally responsible on criminal charges.

In presenting the award, Council member Dr. Andrew Falconer said, “Dr. Ward’s patients are fortunate to have her as their physician. With her compassion and commitment, she serves as a role model for us all.”

The CPSO Council congratulates Dr. Ward for her dedication to the profession and to her patients.

Media Inquiries
Contact Prithi Yelaja
P: 416-967-2600, extension 402
E: pyelaja@cpso.on.ca