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Leadership change as the Centre of Excellence on PTSD moves into new phase of operations

The Board of Directors for the Centre of Excellence on PTSD (CoE – PTSD) today announced that Dr. Patrick Smith, the inaugural President and CEO brought in to build the new organization will be retiring January 1, 2022. The Board has also announced today that Deputy CEO Fardous Hosseiny has accepted the Board’s appointment as the Centre’s incoming President and CEO.

In announcing his retirement, Dr. Smith said he has always known his role was to build a foundation of solid business practices, establish and support meaningful stakeholder engagement, and recruit a strong team who could support a smoothly running operation into the future. “This was not a timeline specific purpose, but rather one of building the team, getting things firing on all cylinders, and stepping away to watch the organization take flight,” he said.

Reflecting on building a pan-Canadian presence for a new organization during a global pandemic, Dr. Smith says the successes achieved in the very short term of the Centre’s existence, are beyond his expectations. “We have established a Network of Networks model anchored by four reference groups reflective of diverse Veterans, Veteran Families, service providers, and researchers. We’ve also established an international reputation as a trusted research partner and have built strategic partnerships with Veteran and Family-serving organizations. We’ve built a team of experts including Veteran and Family advisors embedded into the fabric of how we work. This model of partnering with lived expertise guides us in helping to build access to safe, high-quality resources and supports that protect the dignity of Veterans and Veteran Families, and provide a foundation for hope, connection, and community.”

Scott McLean, Chair of the CoE’s Board, said while seeing a visionary leader such as Dr. Smith move on from the Centre is difficult, he is confident in the strong foundation that has been built. “I would like to congratulate Patrick on bringing us to where we are today, and wish him well in his retirement. I would also like to welcome Fardous Hosseiny as our incoming President and CEO. Having worked extensively with him at a leadership level, I am confident in the future of the Centre of Excellence and the strength of the leadership team as we move into this next stage of the organization.”

Fardous Hosseiny said he is deeply honoured to be entrusted with the opportunity to move ahead with the direction set with Veterans and their Family members over the past several months, and on the strength of the foundation that was built with Dr. Smith. Hosseiny added that he is pleased to work with MaryAnn Notarianni who will step into the role of Deputy CEO and Vice President, Knowledge Mobilization, and Joy Pavelich who will round out the Executive leadership team as Executive Vice-President of Strategy and Operations.

“Having collaborated with both MaryAnn and Joy closely over the past year and a half in working through our foundational build and engagement with our community, I am confident in our shared vision in support of the Veterans and Families who are looking to us for leadership to bring the work of the Centre to life.”

Fardous Hosseiny, President and CEO, Atlas

Announced by the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence in May of 2018, the mandate of the CoE – PTSD is to advance mental health, research, and support to improve treatment for Canada’s Military and RCMP Veterans and their Families across the country.