Dr. Evelyn Stewart has been awarded the 2021 Geoffrey L. Hammond Lectureship, in recognition of her leadership and significant contributions to the field of mental health. 

Dr. Evelyn StewartThe Hammond Lectureship is BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute’s highest honour. Named for Dr. Geoffrey Hammond, the Research Institute’s first scientific director, this award is given to a senior investigator who has made a significant impact on improving the health and well-being of children and families, served as a role model and mentor to junior researchers, trainees and students, over the last 10 years and provided leadership to the BC Children’s research community.

Dr. Evelyn Stewart is an outstanding leader and mentor who brings enthusiasm and unwavering commitment to clinical care, research and teaching in support of the mental health of children, adolescents and their families.

Since joining BC Children’s Hospital, Dr. Stewart has greatly improved the standard and delivery of care to children, youth and families who are struggling with obsessive compulsive and related disorders (OCRD) throughout B.C. 

Dr. Stewart joined BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute 10 years ago after being recruited from Harvard University. Since then, she has taken on numerous leadership positions, including Brain, Behaviour & Development theme lead and director of research for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at BC Children’s Hospital. In addition to these roles, she is the principal investigator in a Canadian Pediatric OCD Research Network planning group, and director of the UBC Pediatric OCD Program (UBC-POP). She was also previously on the Medical Advisory Board of the Tourette Syndrome Association of America and was co-director of the International OCD Foundation Genetics Collaborative.

In addition to being a child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Stewart is a clinical, genetic and neuroscience researcher. Her research focuses on biologic, phenotypic, familial and treatment aspects of childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She has authored over 115 peer-reviewed papers and 13 chapters on genetic, clinical and treatment aspects of OCRD. Her publications have appeared in highly respected journals, including the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, JAMA Psychiatry, Molecular Psychiatry and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Prior to coming to B.C., Dr. Stewart made significant contributions to clinical care and research as director of the OCD Institute at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Since joining BC Children’s, she has worked tirelessly to build the Provincial OCD Program (POP), integrating research, clinical care and training into a one-of-a-kind program in Canada. As she worked to establish POP, one of the first major hurdles she had to overcome was the lack of treatment providers in the province. To address this shortage, she established two specialized training programs offered by the International OCD Foundation for trainees, hospital staff and community care providers.

Trainees across many disciplines and at varying stages in their academic careers seek out Dr. Stewart as a supervisor and mentor for her extensive knowledge and enthusiastic approach to training. She has supervised three international fellows, five Canadian fellows, one doctoral candidate and many psychiatry, pediatric and psychology trainees during her time at BC Children’s. Currently, she is supervising three postdoctoral fellows, two research-track psychiatry residents, and three undergraduate students. In addition to her direct training and mentorship roles, Dr. Stewart also regularly lectures to medical students, medical residents, and graduate and post-graduate trainees. 

Dr. Stewart’s commitment to knowledge translation has gone far beyond her teaching and one-on-one and telehealth consultations with community clinicians across the province, extending into the community at large with regular OCD awareness events to engage and educate community members. She has also made numerous media appearances, striving to help end the stigma of mental illness and raise awareness about treatment options. 

During her time at BC Children’s, Dr. Stewart has proven herself to be a leader not only in title, but also in her roles as mentor, teacher, clinician, researcher and advocate.

Her approachable manner and openness to collaboration have set her apart and have strengthened her leadership in research within the mental health program and at the research institute. She has wholeheartedly dedicated her time to mentoring clinical and research trainees, as well as establishing and enhancing clinical research across the mental health programs at BC Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Stewart’s passion for her work is evident in everything she does. She embraces collaboration and has focused her efforts on building a collaborative research infrastructure that will bring researchers and trainees together from different disciplines across the Oak Street campus and enable cutting-edge research that will benefit children and families across B.C.

There is no doubt that Dr. Stewart’s leadership will continue to have a significant and meaningful impact on research and patient care in the years to come.