Press Release: Homewood Research Institute (HRI) Welcomes New Executive Director

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GUELPH, ON, August 26, 2020 – A charitable research institute working to save lives by improving mental health treatment in Canada will welcome a new Executive Director on September 1, 2020.

Homewood Research Institute (HRI) works with some of the country’s top-ranked mental health and addiction scientists, building research networks and conducting studies to transform mental health and addiction clinical services. In a few short years, HRI has grown from a start-up to a nationally recognized research institute. Incoming Executive Director Dr. John Weekes will lead the charity through its next phase of growth.

Dr. Weekes comes to HRI from the Waypoint Research Institute at the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Penetanguishine, where he has served as Director since 2018. He holds adjunct academic appointments in clinical psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster University, as well as in forensic psychology and addictions at Carleton University. Prior to his leadership role at Waypoint, Dr. Weekes spent nearly 30 years working with the Correctional Service of Canada in various clinical, research, and leadership roles. In 2018, he was awarded the Maud Booth Correctional Service Award by the Volunteers of America for his contributions to humanitarian corrections and criminal justice.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Weekes is joining the HRI team,” says Director and Chair of the HRI Board Dr. Ron Schlegel.

“Dr. Weekes is an expert in treatment outcome research. With specialties in evidence-based interventions and expertise in shaping federal legislation and mental health and addictions policy in Canada, we can’t think of a better candidate to guide HRI as the organization broadens its reach across the national landscape.”

Dr. Weekes is an associate scientist with the Forensic Psychology Research Centre at Carleton University, the Centre for Behavioural Sciences and Justice Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment at the University of Regina. He serves on advisory committees at the University of Saskatchewan and McMaster University, and he provides expert advice on drug policy and strategy to numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations.

“I’m excited and honoured to be joining the amazing team of scientists and trainees at Homewood Research Institute,” says Dr. Weekes.

“HRI is uniquely situated in the Canadian research landscape. Through its partnerships with leading universities, research agencies and institutions, HRI will continue to make major advancements in our understanding of contemporary mental health and addictions challenges to improve the lives of Canadians. This includes improving treatment outcomes, but also exploring innovative and pragmatic solutions to capacity limitations and barriers to the availability of evidence-based care and support.”

HRI has thrived under the leadership of Dr. Roy Cameron since 2012. An expert in impact-oriented science and Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, Dr. Cameron evolved HRI from a two-person team to a national institute that has attracted thought leaders from across the country. Driven by a spirit of cooperation and collaboration, HRI now partners with leading scientists, universities, clinicians and patients to improve and evaluate treatment outcomes in four priority areas: addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), concurrent disorders, and return to work.

For more information about HRI, visit


For more information, please contact:

Becky Rothwell
Communications Coordinator
Homewood Research Institute