About EENet

Who we are

EENet is a knowledge exchange network that helps create and share evidence to build a better mental health and substance use system in Ontario. 

Located in the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the network includes researchers, clinicians, service providers, system planners, policymakers, persons with lived experience, and families.

The network is supported by a team of knowledge brokers and communications specialists, located in regional offices across the province, including in Hamilton, London, Kingston, Ottawa, Penetanguishene, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Toronto.  Read about what our knowledge brokers do and read about what knowledge exchange within an implementation science framework team.

An Ontario-wide survey named EENet the seventh most useful source of evidence about mental health and substance use and the eighth most used source of evidence.

Read about our history.

Wait, what do we mean by “evidence”?

We recognize that many forms of knowledge, taken together, make up evidence. These forms include research, professional expertise, the lived experience of people and families, and cultural and traditional knowledge. We also recognize that the use of evidence must take into account the local context. EENet responds to the evidence needs of Ontario’s mental health and substance use system by creating rapid reviews, evidence briefs, infographics, and other resources to help inform decisions. 

What we do

image of an infographic about what knowledge brokers doEvidence Exchange Network (EENet) is a province-wide knowledge exchange network. We connect mental health and addictions system stakeholders with each other and with relevant, actionable evidence to inform decision-making.

EENet does this through a variety of mechanisms, including Communities of Interest that co-create and share evidence, and EENetConnect, an online forum that engages over 8,200 stakeholders. In addition, EENet provides knowledge exchange support to large-scale initiatives like Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives.

We also support networks such as the Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario Network.

EENet organizes its work under four Strategic Directions:

1. EENet brings people together to create, share, and adopt evidence

We provide expertise to a number of system-level initiatives that align with key provincial priorities, including Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives, Improving Substance Use Treatment in Ontario, the Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario Network, and Ontario’s Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee. Our knowledge brokers have supported these initiatives in a variety of ways by: 

  • helping their stakeholders collaborate;
  • gathering the evidence they need; 
  • translating evidence into usable forms like infographics, videos, and websites;
  • sharing the work of these initiatives through interactive webinars and blogs; and
  • helping them plan and host knowledge exchange events.

We also support nine communities of interest (CoIs) that receive customized knowledge exchange support and expertise from EENet’s knowledge brokers. Our CoIs bring people together to develop and share new knowledge that will help improve understanding and action around a common problem in the area of mental health and substance use—especially as it relates to systems and services. Areas of focus include transition-aged-youth, family caregivers, racialized populations, and housing and justice, among others.

2. EENet drives the creation of relevant and actionable evidence that responds to priorities

EENet doesn’t simply connect people so that they can share knowledge; it also enables the co-creation of knowledge. For example, EENet knowledge brokers have helped people from different sectors co-create evidence-informed interventions. The network also convenes the Persons with Lived Experience and Family Members Advisory Panel, which connects different initiatives to an important component of evidence: the knowledge of people with lived experience and family members. EENet is currently leading Sharing Together, a province-wide series of dialogues with a goal of co-creating a mental health, substance use, and addictions evidence priority agenda for Ontario. 

3. EENet makes evidence easy to access so that it can be used

EENet makes evidence more accessible in different ways—through research summaries, evidence briefs, rapid reviews, infographics, videos, and much more. We produce rapid reviews that respond to the evidence needs of decision-makers, and we promote the use of evidence through this website, where stakeholders can go for easy-to-read resources. Our online community, www.eenetconnect.ca, allows stakeholders to connect with each other and share what they know. 

We also host interactive webinars, many in collaboration with researchers, service providers, and organizations that have useful knowledge to impart. Some of these webinars have been collaborations with the International Innovations in Mental Health Series, the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. We focus on diverse content areas, including mental health promotion, substance misuse prevention, and issues related to opioid misuse.

4. EENet shares our collective expertise to improve our understanding of knowledge exchange

An important focus of our work is to spread and scale up what we learn so that we can help build the capacity of decision-makers to use evidence about mental health and substance use problems. We host knowledge exchange events, which share what we’ve learned about how to improve the way children, youth, and families access and transition between health and other human services. Some of EENet’s work also takes the form of workshops, such as the ones we’ve led at the Waypoint Research Institute’s Knowledge Translation Conference, which drew accolades from attendees. EENet remains committed to improving our understanding of knowledge exchange and sharing what we learn.

Read our Strategic Plan here

History

Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) began in 2004 as the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Knowledge Exchange Network (OMHAKEN). The network was first envisioned by Dr. Paula Goering and Dale Butterill; they sought to establish a sustainable structure to help different people work together and share knowledge in Ontario’s mental health and substance use system. Goering, Butterill, and other early champions, however, didn’t want to invent yet another network from scratch. They decided to take a “network of networks” approach: by linking to other networks and organizations, they could build on and enhance already-existing relationships. 

Located originally in the Health Systems Research and Consulting Unit at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), OMHAKEN began by supporting knowledge exchange for the Systems Enhancement Evaluation Initiative (SEEI). A large, multisite, and provincial effort, SEEI set out to evaluate the effects of investments in the province’s community mental health system. When SEEI ended in 2009, the network took on another initiative, Creating Together: Co-Creating a Mental Health and Addictions Research Agenda for Ontario, which resulted in a research priorities agenda for the province.

In the spring of 2011, under the leadership of Heather Bullock, the always-hard-to-pronounce OMHAKEN changed its name to EENet, and relocated to CAMH’s Provincial System Support Program (PSSP). PSSP works to move evidence to action to improve systems in Ontario—and the program’s provincial scope and systems focus made it a perfect fit for EENet. Knowledge brokers located in PSSP’s regional offices joined the EENet team and expanded the network’s reach. 

As part of this new phase, EENet supported ten projects working to improve substance use treatment in the province.  At the same time, EENet’s regionally-based knowledge brokers brought their expertise to Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives (SISC), another initiative with a big challenge—in this case, improving the way young people access, and transition between, services and systems. Our knowledge brokers helped bring evidence to key decision points during the SISC initiative, and have shared this important work with the larger system through various channels, including EENet Connect, an online community with thousands of members. EENet’s expertise has helped other large-scale efforts—from the Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario Network to the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee. Learn more about the different initiatives EENet supports

EENet is committed to enhancing its network. Recently, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre and Opioid Resource Hub joined EENet, providing new nodes of expertise. A new round of Communities of Interest has also been launched, bringing together diverse stakeholders to tackle specific issues. And through rapid reviews, infographics, and more, our knowledge brokers continue to respond to the evidence of needs of decision-makers, and connect stakeholders across the province and beyond.

Our people

BRANKA AGIC, Director of Knowledge Exchange
Branka is Director of Knowledge Exchange in the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at CAMH. Branka holds a PhD in Health and Behavioral Sciences and a Masters of Health Science (MHSc) in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto, along with a Medical Doctorate from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She also is an Assistant Professor and the Associate Field Director of the Master of Science in Community Health (MScHS) in Addiction and Mental Health Program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Branka has extensive experience leading innovative research and knowledge exchange initiatives, as well as in adult education, health equity, and mental health promotion.
Branka [dot] Agic [at] camh [dot] ca

NANDINI SAXENA, Manager of Knowledge Exchange
Nandini is Manager, Knowledge Exchange in the PSSP at CAMH. She has worked in the fields of international development, citizen engagement in the development of public policy, and KE for 15 years, leading and supporting a variety of large-scale projects. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master’s in Social Work at U of T. Nandini has lived in a variety of places, including Toronto, Victoria BC (where she studied photography for one year), Ottawa, New Delhi, and small town England – but she calls Toronto “home.” She loves exploring the greener parts of the city by bike, and actively pursues yoga.
nandini [dot] saxena [at] camh [dot] ca

ANDRA RAGUSILA, Knowledge Broker
Andra is a knowledge broker with the Opioid Resource Hub within PSSP’s Knowledge Exchange team. Andra has a strong commitment to improving the lives of people living with mental health challenges or addictions and reducing the stigma they face every day. She holds a Masters in Health Systems Research from the University of Toronto.  In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, travelling, drawing and painting. 
Andra [dot] Ragusila [at] camh [dot] ca

ANGELA YIP, Knowledge Broker
Located in Toronto, Angela is a knowledge broker with a background in neuroscience. She has worked for a number of years in health systems and services research, and is currently focused on transferring evidence into practice and policy. As a devout snowboarder, Angela is one of the only team members who welcomes the winter. When there isn’t snow on the ground, you’ll find her golfing, dreaming about eclectic cuisine and travelling to find it! 
angela [dot] yip [at] camh [dot] ca

BARBARA WARD, Steering Committee member
Barbara is a leading expert in children’s mental health with over 25 years’ experience in the field. She’s currently the Mental Health Lead with the Waterloo Region District School Board. She has previously provided clinical leadership to intensive services, including the school, residential, clinical, respite, and per diem programs. As a Child and Family Therapist, Barbara led families and treatment teams in creating and operationalizing effective treatment interventions that attended to the client’s wellness, resilience and trauma healing. She recently completed her PhD in Psychology with the Taos Institute and Vrije University Brussels, Belgium. She has a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University as well as an Honours Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from University of Waterloo, and is a member of The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has specialized training in Heart-Centred Hypnotherapy (Wellness Institute, Seattle), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF CBT) and is an experienced trainer in safeTALK (suicide prevention).  
barbara_ward [at] wrdsb [dot] on [dot] ca

BETTY-LOU KRISTY, Steering Committee member
Betty-Lou is the Peer Support Substance Use Systems Lead and Consumer Survivor Lead for the Mississauga Halton Region Enhancing and Sustaining Peer Support Initiative led by Support & Housing-Halton/TEACH.  A bereaved mother in recovery for 18 years from addictions, trauma, and mental health issues, Betty-Lou lost her twenty-five-year-old concurrent disordered son to an accidental Oxycontin & psychiatric drug overdose. Since then, Betty-Lou has become a lived experience and family advocate, speaker, and educator focused at the systems level. She was awarded the 2012/13 Ministry of Health & Long Term Care ACE Award in Partner Relations for her work on the Expert Advisory Narcotics. She was also awarded the 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Transforming Lives award.
betty_pdb [at] msn [dot] com

DAVID PHILLIPS, Knowledge Broker
David is a Knowledge Exchange Lead with the GTA Regional Team. After completing his BA in psychology at the University of Guelph and specializing in behavioural science, he received a Master of Social Work from the University of Windsor. He honed his clinical skills as a behaviour therapist in the forensic sector and also works as a college professor. He is passionate about understanding mental health inequity through an intersectional lens and is always curious about how to make abstract concepts measurable. David appreciates running an occasional half-marathon, getting lost in his thoughts, and sitting on porches with dogs.
David [dot] Phillips [at] camh [dot] ca

DEANNA HUGGETT, Knowledge Broker
Deanna is a KE Lead in our London office. She is a physiotherapist by background and practiced as a clinician for a number of years before managing a team of rehabilitation professionals. Wanting a systems-level view, Deanna worked as part of a policy team at Health Canada that focused on neurological health, seniors and aging, and community-based care. After relocating from Ottawa to London, Deanna provided KE and strategy support to a national coalition of non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life of people affected by brain conditions. Deanna enjoys merging her broad background with her professional passions for systems integration and collaboration. When not chasing after her two energetic boys with her husband, Deanna loves to head out for a run and plans to return to competing in ironman triathlons (in a few years)!
deanna [dot] huggett [at] camh [dot] ca

EMMA FIRSTEN-KAUFMAN, Knowledge Broker
Emma has a Master’s of Public Health and a Certificate in Project Management from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from McGill University. With a background in health promotion and global health, she has contributed to various research projects, knowledge exchange portfolios, and programs in Toronto and internationally. Emma is dedicated to improving health equity and access to health services and resources for women, youth, and diverse under-served or marginalized populations. She spends her spare time practicing Spanish, doodling, and dancing.
emma [dot] firsten-kaufman [at] camh [dot] ca

JAI MILLS, Steering Committee Member
Jai is the Mental Health and Addictions Co-Lead at the Central East LHIN. She is also an Integration Consultant and the Lead for the Aboriginal Strategy. She has worked in the mental health system since 1977 in both hospital- and community-based roles. Jai’s current role has allowed her to transfer her clinical and administrative skills to a systems level, and allowed her to work on a number of projects that have improved services to people with mental health and substance abuse issues. She is a strong supporter of a health care system that works from the client perspective, and believes that knowledge is key to that philosophy. Jai lives in Oshawa with her partner, their daughters, (youngest two of four), their four cats, a Labrador Retriever, and various squirrels. Regardless of the weather, Jai is an avid runner and enjoys her hobby of reading voraciously about Reformation History.
jai [dot] mills [at] lhins [dot] on [dot] ca

JASON GURIEL, EENet Supervisor
Jason is our communications and social media coordinator, located at the EENet Management and Resource Centre in Toronto. He brings to his role a background in KE, research communications, and English literature. As a graduate student, he helped develop a Research Snapshot format that has been adopted by several institutions. In his spare time, he worries about grammar and writes for various magazines.
jason [dot] guriel [at] camh [dot] ca

JESSICA ELGIE, Knowledge Broker
Jessica is the KE lead in Kingston. She has worked in a variety of sectors, such as public health, post-secondary institutions, non-profit, and hospitals, and has also worked as an independent consultant. Her work has had a strong focus on health promotion and she is experienced in training and education, research and evaluation, program and resource development, and project management. She recently completed her MA in Adult Education and Community Development from Athabasca University with a focus on interprofessional collaboration and peer-to-peer education. She spends her free time running after a very active toddler while trying to squeeze in things like cooking, traveling, and music festivals.
jessica [dot] elgie [at] camh [dot] ca

MICHAEL WEYMAN, Knowledge Broker
Michael is a KE Lead in our Hamilton Office. He is on secondment to us from the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario (PGIO) at CAMH, where he is an educator and addiction clinician. His work is guided by a strong value in evidence-based care and effective knowledge exchange practices. Before PGIO, Michael was a mental health clinician at CAMH and had an earlier career in information technology. He received a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from McMaster University and a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.
michael [dot] weyman [at] camh [dot] ca

PAULA ROBESON, Steering Committee Member
Paula is an experienced Knowledge Broker and Registered Nurse who earned her BN from Memorial University of Newfoundland and her MScN from the University of Ottawa. She is the Associate Director, Knowledge Mobilization with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, which has a legislated mandate to provide national leadership and evidence-informed analysis and advice to mobilize collaborative efforts to reduce alcohol- and other drug-related harms. Paula has over 20 years of experience in public health, health promotion, and population health. Paula pioneered the knowledge broker role in public health through her work with Health Evidence at McMaster University. As a Nurse Clinician, she coordinated a child development program for infants and children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol and other drugs and their families with an outreach clinic in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. As Director, Early Child Development, with the Canadian Institute of Child Health, Paula led health promotion and prevention initiatives to improve the health and resilience of Canada’s children and youth. 
PRobeson [at] ccsa [dot] ca

RAYMOND CHENG, Steering Committee Member
Raymond is a Policy Analyst and Knowledge Exchange Facilitator who joined the Ontario Peer Development Initiative (OPDI) after a year-long refresher at York University in 2005. His position is informed by his previous experience included being E.D. at an ethnoracial CSI, sitting for many years on the Board of CAMH and the Clarke Institute, an English literature degree at Glendon College, and persistent enthusiasm at attending face-to-face meetings after two decades of mental health reform (and counting). Raymond is married and is owned by his ten-year old stepson, and they like to go to Raptors games together as a family.
raymond [at] opdi [dot] org

REBECCA PHILLIPS KONIGS, Knowledge Broker
Rebecca has a B.A. in Psychology from Carleton University and an M.A. in Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria. Through working at the B.C. Ministry of Health and Alberta Health, she has a background in provincial health policy and stakeholder engagement. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys volunteering with youth, spending time with family, pondering the meaning of life, and exploring the world with her partner Rodrigo.

ROD OLFERT, Steering Committee Member
Rod has been a Senior Integration Specialist with the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) for just over 4 years, and manages the addictions and youth addictions and mental health files in the region. He also manages the Orthopedics file. Rod brings over 30 years of addictions and mental health experience to his work, having worked in the areas of knowledge exchange, training and education, and clinical practice. As a member of the LHIN’s integration team, he has a strong commitment to client centered, integrated, and systemic approaches to health service delivery and client care.
Rod [dot] Olfert [at] lhins [dot] on [dot] ca

 

ROSSANA CORIANDOLI, Communications Coordinator
Rossana is located at the EENet Management and Resource Centre in Toronto. She brings to her role more than 25 years of experience as a medical and health writer and editor. Her academic background is in journalism and English literature. She is passionate about patient empowerment in the healthcare context through public education. In her spare time, Rossana enjoys putting her feet up with a good book, watching movies, going to the theatre, cooking, and travelling.
rossana [dot] coriandoli [at] camh [dot] ca

RUPINDER CHERA, Knowledge Broker
Rupi is a knowledge broker in the Toronto office. She has worked on various projects involving diverse groups, including children and adolescents as well as Aboriginal populations. Rupi is interested in working towards health security for marginalized individuals, developing innovative solutions through a multi-sectoral approach that combines evidence-based research, social determinants of health, knowledge exchange, policy development, and youth engagement and sustainability. She has an Honours Bachelor of Science with a major in Human Biology and minors in Sociology and Botany from the University of Toronto, a Doctor of Medicine degree from SABA University School of Medicine, and a Master’s of Public Health from Western University. In her spare time, Rupi loves baking, watching movies, traveling, working out at the gym and spending time with family and friends.
rupinder [dot] chera [at] camh [dot] ca

SHANA CALIXTE, EENet Steering Committee Member
Shana is the Mental Health and Addictions Lead for the North East Local Health Integration Network. In this role, she implements short and long-term strategies to enhance mental health and addiction service and housing provision across the continuum of care for a diverse population. Her previous role was as the Executive Director of NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action, a consumer/survivor initiative located in Sudbury. 
Shana [dot] Calixte [at] LHINS [dot] on [dot] ca

SUSAN ECKERLE CURWOOD, Knowledge Broker
Susan Eckerle Curwood is a knowledge broker with the Opioid Resource Hub.  Susan’s background has focused on the social determinants of health, and she has worked on projects including the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s At Home / Chez Soi, Turning the Key, and Aspiring Workforce projects. Susan is passionate about social justice, health equity, and including the voice of people with lived experience in program and policy development and implementation.  She holds a PhD in Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Susan [dot] EckerleCurwood [at] camh [dot] ca

TAMAR MEYER, Supervisor
Tamar is a Supervisor within PSSP’s Knowledge Exchange team. In this role, she oversees projects such as the Opioid Resource Hub and the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre. Tamar is passionate about health promotion, harm reduction and mental health (including her own). She has a commitment to building strong, meaningful and impactful partnerships. Tamar holds a Master of Arts in Sociology (York University) and loves to hold her dog, Sasha. 
Tamar [dot] Meyer [at] camh [dot] ca

WALTER CAVALIERI, Steering Committee Member
After a long, restless, and successful career as a stage manager, acting teacher, and arts publicist in New York and Canada, Walter settled down to study and practice social work. Initially he worked with youth on Toronto’s downtown hustlers’ stroll, and later with inner-city adults, developing and delivering street-based harm reduction and peer training programs, researching the lives and practices of street-involved drug users, and honing his skills as a gadfly. He also worked part time for nine years as a personal therapist at Ryerson University’s counselling centre and for almost as many years as a Research Officer with the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine: HIV Social, Behavioural and Epidemiological Studies Unit. Walter is a co-founder of HIV Edmonton, the Canadian Harm Reduction Network, the Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force, and the Canadian Drug Policy Consortium.
walter [dot] cavalieri [at] rogers [dot] com

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