Dal researcher wins prestigious Manning Innovation Award
Charles Crosby - October 1, 2013
A Dalhousie researcher is part of a team whose innovative approach to family health has been recognized with the Earnest C. Manning Awards Foundation’s highest honour: the EnCana Principal Award.
Dr. Patrick McGrath, vice-president of research and innovation at the IWK Health Centre and Capital District Health Authority, as well as professor of Psychology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Dalhousie, received the award along with Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie.
The Manning Awards, which have been awarded since 1982, recognize and support Canadian innovators in developing and successfully marketing new concepts, processes and procedures. The foundation presents four awards annually, with the EnCana Principal Award as its most prestigious.
The award recognizes Dr. McGrath’s and Dr. Lingley-Pottie’s Strongest Families Institute. Based in Halifax, the institute provides evidence-based services to children and families seeking help for mental health and other issues impacting health and well-being. Its programming includes anxiety programs for young children, programs for parents with children with behavior difficulties, and modules that help children overcome bedwetting and stress management.
“The award is an incredible recognition of the need for new ways to help families with mental health problems,” says Dr. McGrath. “It is very gratifying for a business-oriented group to honor a not for profit-social-innovation.” He also adds that the award recognizes the degree to which innovation can directly families.
The research that informed the Strongest Families Institute was conducted through Dr. McGrath’s work as both professor and Canada Research Chair at Dalhousie and scientist with the IWK Health Centre. Dr. Lingley-Pottie worked on the project as part of her Dal interdisciplinary PhD, and now serves as president and COO of the institute. The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and conducted at the IWK’s Centre for Research in Family Health.
The two researchers will receive the award at a gala in Calgary on October 16, and will also receive a $100,000 prize. McGrath's share of the prize will go toward establishing a Dalhousie-IWK international award for best paper by a trainee on pediatric mental health systems and innovation.
“The purpose [of the new award] is to highlight and stimulate research in the area,” says Dr. McGrath. “I established an award in pediatric pain 15 years ago with another bit of prize money. So it is a habit.”
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