Melanie Willows

MD, CCFP, CSAM (Certificant), ABAM (Diplomate)

Clinical Director, Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders Program, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Program Director, Enhanced Skills Addiction Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa

Past President – Term: 2020-2022

Dr. Willows completed her family medicine residency at Queen’s University following completion of medical school at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Willows has received certification by examination from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (2004),has been a certificant with the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine since 2005, is diplomat of the American Board of Addiction Medicine (2014) and has a certificate of added competence in Addiction Medicine (2019).

Dr. Willows is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa in the Department of Family Medicine with a cross-appointment to the Department of Psychiatry. She is an active teacher at the University of Ottawa providing both didactic lectures to medical students and regular clinical supervision to medical students, psychiatry residents and family medicine residents. She is the first Program Director for the newly created Enhanced Skills Addiction Medicine Fellowship training program in the Department of Family medicine. Dr. Willows provides clinical and academic leadership in addictions and co-occurring disorders within her department, hospital, and community. She has been working at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre since 2001 and is the Clinical Director of the Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders Program. She is a clinical investigator with the Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR) with the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Willows provides assessment and treatment for the full spectrum of addictive disorders and concurrent mental health disorders. She also provides care to healthcare professions through the Ontario Medical Association Physician Health Program and the Ontario College of Nurses and is the primary care lead for Frontline Wellness Services at the Royal created in response to the COVID pandemic. Dr. Willows leads several initiatives to build capacity amongst primary care providers and other health professionals to identify, assess, and treat substance use and co-occurring disorders within their practice.

Dr. Willows is committed to collaborating with clinicians and researchers to develop new services that address gaps in concurrent disorders treatment, with a current focus on women and transitional aged youth. In 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Health Innovation Fund awarded the “Best Innovation in Mental Health Care Delivery” to Dr. Willows and her colleague for their Regional Opioid Intervention Service.

Dr. Willows has been a member of CSAM-SMCA since 2004 and serves as the co-chair of the Education and Standards Committee and is a member of the Conference Committee.

Dr. Willows has been a CSAM-SMCA Board Representative from 2012 to present.

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