Woman in front of brick wallJessica Munro is only the second Nurse Practitioner to receive a prestigious one-year fellowship with the Medical Psychiatry Alliance. The Medical Psychiatry Alliance has a goal of supporting the 1.3 million people in Ontario that suffer from co-morbid physical and mental health illness.

“Since coming to Mount Sinai, I have had the opportunity to partner with our shared psychiatry department and our mental health team, to learn about and explore the dynamic nature of how minds and bodies relate, especially in the face of illness,” said Jessica who joined the Family Health Team in 2010.

Jessica is the lead of the award winning Healthy Living with Pain (HeLP) program, for patients with chronic pain. She partners with residents and staff physicians to help manage and support patients on chronic opioids for non-cancer pain.

Chronic pain has a huge impact on the lives of Canadians and is estimated to affect 25% of the population. “Over the past three years of leading the program, I have worked with patients who have done well in their treatment and quite a few who have lowered high doses of opioids while still managing their chronic pain adequately,” notes Jessica. “Others have struggled with the process and are still suffering. Through this Fellowship I would like to implement more patient-centered supports for those living with chronic pain.”

The Medical Psychiatry Alliance is the first alliance of its kind in Canada. It’s supported by CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Trillium Health Partners, and the University of Toronto, and they work with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and an extraordinarily generous donor who provided funding.