../Morning Post
Posted October 5 , 2010
Community Health

Local children to receive advanced medical care in Waterloo Region from newly recruited specialists

Waterloo - Exciting advancements in specialized medical care for children with special needs were announced at KidsAbility Centre for Child Development today, including plans that are currently underway to open a new site in Kitchener in Spring 2011.

Through the generous support of local donors, Dr. Karen Backway has joined the KidsAbility staff on a part-time, weekly basis while Developmental Paediatricians Dr. William J. Mahoney and Dr. Olaf Kraus de Camargo will provide outreach clinics at KidsAbility sites in Waterloo, Cambridge and eventually Kitchener. Attracting such highly-trained specialists to Waterloo Region is a major achievement for not only KidsAbility but for the Region as a whole. Families that have children with special needs, have in the past had to travel to various medical appointments in much larger cities that have teaching hospitals; facilities that typically attract Developmental Paediatricians.

“The addition of these specialized physician resources will be a huge benefit to our community in terms of supporting the development of care for children with complex medical needs and complementing the skills of our talented local paediatricians,” says Stephen Swatridge, CEO, KidsAbility Centre for Child Development.

These three new physicians will support the interdisciplinary teams at KidsAbility and enhance the medical expertise, skill and knowledge available locally.

"Having this level of expertise available and accessible to families in our community is wonderful news!” says Sue Simpson, Community Resource Coordinator, Waterloo Region Family Network. “Families have been asking and hoping for this for quite sometime. It speaks to a growing need in the area of complex special needs and we welcome these paediatric specialists with excitement and anticipation."

“Our deepest gratitude is extended to our donors whose continued support has helped to make the appointment of Dr. Backway to the KidsAbility staff a reality,” says Lisa Talbot, Executive Director KidsAbility Foundation.

In addition to the recent expansion of KidsAbility’s interdisciplinary team, the organization also announced an additional site to be co-located inside The Family Centre, operated by Family and Children’s Services of Waterloo Region. KidsAbility will lease a 5,200 square foot space on the corner of Hanson and Ardelt avenues, allowing the organization to provide physiotherapy, speech language therapy, occupational therapy and social work services to children with special needs. Having already benefitted from the advantages of co-location, as with its sites in Cambridge, Fergus and Guelph, The Family Centre will provide many added benefits to clients and therapists at the Kitchener site such as access to a double gym, the use of spacious corridors for wheelchair and gait training for physically challenged clients, elevators, play areas and ample parking.

This new site and new partnerships established with the newly appointment physicians will further allow KidsAbility to continue to serve the growing needs of children and their families in our community.

Dr. Karen Backway has specialty training in paediatrics with a particular interest in children with a variety of special needs. During her tenure at Belleville Children’s Centre, Dr. Backway completed additional training in the areas of autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorders. This summer, Dr. Backway relocated to her hometown of Kitchener.
Dr. Backway received her medical training at the University of Toronto where she also completed her PhD in pathology. Her paediatric residency included Memorial University in St John’s, the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary and the Manitoba Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg.

Dr. William J. Mahoney will provide outreach clinics at KidsAbility sites in
Waterloo Region every second month as part of the McMaster University Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Mahoney is Associate Professor of Paediatrics in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and Director of Paediatric Developmental Assessment and Treatment Services at Chedoke Child and Family Centre in Hamilton. Clinically, he works with children who have language, learning and attentional problems. He is involved in research on the integration of children
with disabilities into preschool programs.

Dr. Olaf Kraus de Camargo will provide outreach clinics at KidsAbility sites in Waterloo Region every month as part of the McMaster University Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Kraus de Camargo is Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at McMaster University. Dr. Kraus de Camargo’s research interests as a developmental paediatrician include central auditory processing disorders, speech development in bilingual children with disabilities, and the implementation of the International Classification of
Functioning, Disability and Health in Developmental Paediatrics.

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