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About Sickkids
About SickKids

June 5, 2012

SickKids partners in new institute for child and youth success

It takes a village to raise a child. And well-informed villages need knowledge about how best to improve children’s well-being and life outcomes.

In December 2011, Ryerson University and SickKids came together to create IMPAKT – The Ontario Institute for Child and Youth Success. IMPAKT will bring together educators, learners, decision-makers and care providers to create a network for exchanging information.

“IMPAKT will take what we know about children’s health and well-being and link it with what we actually do,” says Dr. Joanna Anneke Rummens, IMPAKT Project Lead and Health Systems Research Scientist, Community Health Systems Resource Group – The Learning Institute.

Rummens points out that the most profound impact on child and youth success comes from directing the latest research findings to front-line professionals  involved with children, such as a new social worker or an early childhood educator in the classroom. “IMPAKT will cover everything from eating disorders to bullying to mental health to family dynamics.”

SickKids members will work with professors in Ryerson’s Faculty of Community Services to share research findings and practice-based knowledge with students studying to become frontline social workers, early childhood educators, midwives, nurses, dietitians, and child and youth caregivers.

“We have a wealth of research on the various factors that affect youth life outcomes, and there are many organizations with expertise in different areas of child well-being,” says Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO. “IMPAKT will enable us to come together to share this knowledge and implement it into policy and practice, helping to achieve optimal life outcomes for children in Ontario and beyond.”

As well as linking Ryerson and SickKids, IMPAKT aligns with SickKids’ strategic objective of enhancing child health systems by addressing key child health issues, building strategic partnerships and capacity.

Recent events include a two-day symposium co-organized with Women’s College Hospital held Feb.21 and 22 at Ryerson University, focusing on health status and access to care for medically uninsured children, youth and pregnant women/newborns.

“I also have been mentoring two faculty members and practicing midwives within the Midwifrey Programme, Faculty of Community Services, at Ryerson in research methodology, academic writing, as well as knowledge transfer and implementation,” says Rummens.  “Creating these linkages between people in the field will result in better care for children.” Both educators have received research funding, she adds. Such models of collaboration facilitates effective knowledge uptake of research findings into education and learning as well as into health care policy and practice.   

Rummens’ priority is to build IMPAKT’s network to engage interested researchers, educators and care providers across both institutions in strategic research, learning and knowledge transfer regarding the health and wellbeing of Ontario’s diverse children and youth.

IMPAKT will look to partner and collaborate with other professional schools and child-focused organizations in the future.