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TeleLink Mental Health Program

Who we are

In this section you can find our staff biographies.

Dr. Chetana Kulkarni, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Antonio Pignatiello, MD, FRCPC
David Willis, PBMD, MBA
Dr. Jennifer Felsher, PhD, C.Psych
Dr. Peter Braunberger, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Katherine Boydell, MHSc, PhD

Dr. Chetana Kulkarni, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Chetana Kulkarni is a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. She completed medical school at McMaster University and residency training at the University of Toronto, including training in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. She subsequently completed a fellowship in Public Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. After completion of her fellowship, she worked for several years at McMaster Children’s Hospital in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Kulkarni’s clinical interests include transcultural psychiatry and marginalized populations. Currently Kulkarni provides clinical care to infants, children, youth and families through the SickKids Telepsychiatry/TeleLink Mental Health Program, The George Hull Centre for Children & Families and Inner City Health Associates (St. Michael’s Hospital). 

She is also the Education Lead for the Telepsychiatry/TeleLink Mental Health Program. In this role she is involved in producing educational opportunities for learners at various levels, including undergraduate, postgraduate, fellowship, and professional development. She is also the Director of Continuing Professional Development for the Division of Child & Youth Mental Health at the University of Toronto and is currently a Scholar through the Education Scholars Program at the University of Toronto.

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Dr. Antonio Pignatiello, MD, FRCPC

Associate Psychiatrist-in-Chief, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids); Medical Director, Telepsychiatry/TeleLink Mental Health Program, SickKids; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.

Dr. Antonio Pignatiello graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School in 1987 and then completed his psychiatry training in 1992, also in Toronto. Through his Fellowship in Adolescent Forensics, he began his involvement with the team of The Arson Prevention Project for Children (TAPP-C), at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Clarke Institute of Psychiatry).

Pignatiello is a general child and adolescent psychiatrist providing consultation and direct clinical service in private practice and various hospital- and community-based children’s mental health services. Since October 2004, he has been the Medical Director of the Telepsychiatry/TeleLink Mental Health Program at SickKids, where he also provides clinical and educational services. He is the Associate Psychiatrist-in-Chief at SickKids and an Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Pignatiello has won undergraduate and postgraduate teaching awards in psychiatry from SickKids, and community awards for his work through telepsychiatry. 

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David Willis, PBMD, MBA

headshot of program manager, David Willis

David Willis is the Clinical Manager for the TeleLink Mental Health program, the Telemedicine program and the TeleMental Health program. He brings to this role 16 years of front line and management experience within the mental health field. His career in children’s mental health started with The Hincks Dellcrest Centre where he managed a team of child and adolescent mental health experts within a rural treatment centre setting located north of Toronto. He joined The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in 2005 as the Intake Coordinator for the Telepsychiatry program. 

Willis' role is now Clinical Manager for all video-based health care within SickKids. This role provides leadership to individual teams within their respective programs in addition to the development and implementation of new programs, service agreements and external partnerships with the goal of connecting expertise to those most in need of care. In particular, he provides operational management for the six distinct clinical programs under the TeleLink Mental Health program that provide psychiatric assessments, education and capacity building within the children’s mental health sector in Ontario, Canada and internationally. Willis has a post baccalaureate diploma in management and a master’s degree in business administration/health care. 

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Dr. Jennifer Felsher, PhD, C.Psych

Dr. Jennifer Felsher is the Coordinator of the Telepsychology Program in the Ontario TeleLink Mental Health Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). As the Coordinator of the TeleLink Mental Health Program, Felsher conducts comprehensive psychological assessments to complex high need youth for a large children’s mental health agency in northern Ontario. Additionally, this role includes clinical supervision and training of psychometry staff, consultation to clinical staff regarding treatment plans and best practice approaches, and educational seminars.

Felsher is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with specialization in children, adolescents, and families. Dr. Felsher obtained her master of arts and doctorate degree at the School/Applied Child Psychology program at McGill University in 2006. Prior to becoming the Coordinator of the Telepsychology Program, Dr. Felsher spent the past five years working as a Staff Psychologist, conducting assessments and providing evidence based treatment at Syl Apps Youth Centre, a specialized forensic mental health facility for high risk youth and youth in conflict with the law. She was also the consultant psychologist to the Intensive Supervision and Support Program, a court diversion program for youth in conflict with the law. Felsher completed her internship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in the Mood and Anxiety, Adolescent Service, Psychometry and Gender Identity Clinics. Felsher has also worked in a variety of settings such as Thistletown Regional Centre, Kinark Child and Family Services Community Mental Health Program, private practice, the Jewish General Hospital and in the Montreal school board. Her research interests include vulnerability and protective factors related to high risk behaviors and program evaluation of Telepsychology services.

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Dr. Peter Braunberger MD, FRCPC

Dr. Braunberger

Dr. Braunberger is a child and adolescent psychiatrist based in Thunder Bay where, in addition to a general child and adolescent psychiatry practice, he has taken on the role of Liaison with Aboriginal and Remote Communities with the SickKids TeleLink Mental Health Program. Braunberger consults with four First Nations child mental health/child protection services in five Treaty regions representing Ojibwe, Oji-Cree and Cree peoples. He has developed a "mixed model" child and adolescent psychiatry service incorporating telepsychiatry, shared care, team work, ongoing care, consultation and indirect care options. Braunberger is also an assistant professor with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Northern Ontario represents a vast geography where communication and transportation are impacted not only by distance, but a rugged topography and harsh winter conditions. It is important to recognize the unique strengths and variables of First Nations and remote communities in northern Ontario when developing child mental health services. As Liaison, Braunberger is keen to be part of and contribute to discussions about improving access and quality of child and adolescent psychiatry in northern Ontario and First Nations communities.

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Dr. Katherine Boydell, MHSc, PhD

Dr. Boydell’s program of research is theoretically based, collaborative and involves qualitative inquiry into the children’s mental health system. It focuses on the pathways to mental health care, particularly in rural/remote communities, first episode psychosis, paediatric telepsychiatry and knowledge translation in children’s mental health. Recent research focuses on the use of the arts, including documentary film, dance and visual arts, to create and translate research findings to a wide range of audiences. She is head of the research section of the TeleLink program which focuses on studying the impact of providing mental health services via videoconferencing.

She is particularly interested in exploring the methodological, theoretical and ethical challenges experienced by individuals engaged in arts-based health research and has just received a number of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) operating grants for this study. Boydell has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is co-editor of a book published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press - Hearing Voices: Qualitative Inquiry in Early Psychosis.

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