York to the Power of 50: Alva Foundation funds psychology clinic

A Canadian foundation has made a $100,000 commitment to the York University Foundation toward the construction of the new Psychology Research & Training Clinic (PRTC), housed in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, at York University. 

The Alva Foundation, based in Toronto, will support the equipping of the PRTC facility, which will give York’s graduate psychology students an in-house practical training ground to accompany the department’s accredited Clinical and Clinical Development graduate programs. Funds will aid in acquiring specialized psychological diagnostic/testing equipment and state-of-the-art observation and analysis systems for the clinic, which is slated to open in fall 2008.

Above: Clinical Area faculty members (left to right): Dave Reid, Walter Heinrichs, Joel Goldberg, David Rennie, Jane Irvine, Myriam Mongrain, Alberta Pos, Les Greenberg, Norm Park, Joel Katz, John Eastwood, Jill Rich, Jennifer Mills, Shayna Rosenbaum, Harvey Brooker. Absent: Lynne Angus, Krista Trobst, Henny Westra

Initiated through a bequest by the late Laura Rice, a professor in York’s Psychology Department, the PRTC will be a centre for clinically-relevant research, offering a variety of theoretical and practical approaches to psychological assessment, treatment and training. Additionally, part of the clinic will provide a groundbreaking service for children with autism and their families that builds on York University’s leadership in the field of autism research.

Right: Laura Rice (left) with her former student, psychology Professor Leslie Greenberg

“The Alva Foundation is dedicated to supporting research and pilot programs that address significant risk factors in early childhood development,” says Graham Hallward, vice-president and Chair of the Donations Committee, Alva Foundation. “We are excited by the potential of this important facility at York University and the impact it will have toward treatment options and therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. We expect that the results of the research and training conducted through the PRTC will be disseminated to practitioners throughout the psychology profession.”

The PRTC will put into practice York University’s commitment to community development and renewal, and will address some of the fundamental service gaps that swell mental health wait lists in York Region and the Greater Toronto Area. Through the new clinic, York’s Faculty of Health will provide urgently needed mental health research opportunities and clinical training for graduate students, along with a range of affordable and accessible assessment, referral and treatment services for children and adults living in the GTA. 

Located on the first floor of the Behavioural Sciences Building on York’s Keele campus, the 8,000-square-foot PRTC will contain upwards of 15 individual offices, assessment rooms and team meeting rooms for faculty members, students and clients.

"We are grateful to The Alva Foundation for their generous investment," says Harvey Skinner, dean of York’s Faculty of Health. "At a time when the issue of access to mental health care is exceedingly topical, support for the PRTC gives us tremendous opportunities for the education and training of psychologists at York, and to address the current shortage of practitioners in the field."

The Alva Foundation’s donation supports York to the Power of 50, the largest fundraising campaign in York’s history.

Submitted to YFile by Earleen Dover, communications officer, York University Foundation.