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Up to the Challenge 

Meet the OHT - ÉSO's newest Mental Health and Substance Use Co-leads 

Image by Emily Underworld

From the beginning, mental health and substance use has been a focus of work undertaken by the OHT - ÉSO and its partners.  

Past projects will continue to be evaluated and adapted to meet the needs of clients while new priorities and initiatives are developed over the coming months. 

Leading the process to identify and implement these new strategies are two enthusiastic and informed members of the Ottawa healthcare community. 

Rob Boyd has been working in the fields of mental & substance use health and homelessness in the city for over 30 years.   

He was recently appointed the CEO of Ottawa Inner City Health and is currently increasing his knowledge and competency in other aspects of mental and substance use health while developing an understanding of service system needs.


“Our systems and services are facing significant challenges with both volume and acuity, “said Rob. “I’m excited to be part of the leadership group that is looking at how to improve access and outcomes for people living with mental & substance use health issues.” 

Rob brings a wealth of experience to the role. He’s initiated many innovative programs in response to the changing needs of people with mental and substance use health issues, including;   

  • Housing First for people who use drugs, 

  • Embedding private opioid agonist treatment within a community health centre, and 

  • Supervised consumption and drug checking services.  

In synergy with Rob is Shannon Turcotte, Acting Director of Mental Health at The Ottawa Hospital. 

Shannon joined the Mental Health Leadership Team at TOH in 2018, first as Clinical Manager of Eating Disorders Program, First Episode Psychosis Program (FEPP, On Track), and Telemedicine and Community Treatment Order Coordination. Most recently, Shannon has served as the Clinical Manager of Inpatient Mental Health and Psychiatry Emergency (PES) at the General Campus.   

Shannon began her career at the Ottawa Hospital in 2003 as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at the General. Ten years later, in 2013, Shannon took on the leadership role as Clinical Care Leader within the ED. Then, in 2015, with her passion for quality improvement, combined with the knowledge she gained from her experiences in the ED, Shannon took on the role of Corporate Manager, ED Performance.  

Shannon holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) Degree from Charles Sturt University.  She also holds a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification and a Lean Green Belt with Honours Certification.  

Shannon has an engaging, solution-focused, action-oriented leadership style.  Her energy sets a positive tone for patients and staff.  She is passionate about providing high-quality, safe, patient-centered care.  

Her background knowledge and skills bring great strength to TOH’s Mental Health Program’s Quality and Safety Committee and will be essential in her new role with the Ottawa Health Team - Équipe Santé Ottawa. 

Rob and Shannon will be working with the OHT - ÉSO and its Partners, ensuring mental health and substance use receive prime attention in the system-changing efforts now underway. 

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