In 2007 the non-profit U.S.-based organization Resource for Advancing Children’s Health (REACH) Institute was founded by Peter S. Jensen, M.D, and the The Primary Pediatric Psychopharmacology (PPP) Program was developed and launched. The name of the training program was later changed to “PPP: Patient-Centered Mental Health in Paediatric Primary Care”.

In 2009, three Calgary-based physicians, Dr. Abdul Rahman, Dr. Sam Chang and Dr. Geraldine Farrelly attended the training. Impressed with the quality of the training and given the evidence of need for this training in Canada, and in Alberta specifically, given the huge population growth (by 2030 the number of children and youth in the Calgary Zone is expected to grow by 41%, or more than 139,000 children) the three trained Calgary-based physicians worked to bring the REACH Institute’s PPP Training Program to Calgary and Area and the CanREACH initiative was born.

The CanREACH initiative received funding from an anonymous donor through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation for 5-years (2014-2015). This was part of a mental health literacy initiative whereby CanREACH was trialled along with two other programs including MORE and SMILES and embedded in to the Alberta Health Services portfolio dedicated to Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Psychiatry Programs (CAMHPP). Through this generous donation, CanREACH became approved to independently offer The REACH Institute training program, and over 250 primary care providers were trained over 10 cohorts, therefore increasing much needed access to mental health services for children.

The Success of the 5-year pilot led to CanREACH receiving funding from the Health Innovation Implementation and Spread (HIIS) fund to adopt and measure a provincial strategy whereby CanREACH is delivered in both Calgary and Edmonton to impact service delivery across the province over two years (2019-2021).


The CanREACH initiative has proven itself as a leading practice / innovative excellence as a strategic program. Outcomes of the CanREACH initiative found improved patient care (quality and experience), physician ability (knowledge and practice) and health system performance (efficacy and appropriate service utilization). The proven impacts have been published and celebrated globally.

Medical Journals



CanREACH received a “Program Award in Continuing Professional Development” from The College of Family Physicians Canada (CFPC)


CanREACH Facilitator Dr. Eden McCaffrey received a “Difference Maker” award from Canada’s Center for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH)


CanREACH was awarded for “Excellence in Systems Transformation” by Alberta Health Services, Department of Psychiatry.

CanReach TEAM

CanREACH is led by Course Master (Dr. Sam Chang) and Course Facilitator (Dr. Eden McCaffrey) and is comprised of physician faculty who have backgrounds in one of Family Medicine, Paediatrics, or Psychiatry. 

Clinical Program Facilitator: Dr. Eden McCaffrey
Administrative Assistant: Elizabeth Belyea

Physician Faculty:

  • Dr. Sam Chang
  • Dr. Abdul Rahman
  • Dr. Geraldine Farrelly
  • Dr. Roxanne Swiegers
  • Dr. Tina Nicholson
  • Dr. Blair Ritchie
  • Dr. Roxanne Goldade
  • Dr. Deb Putnam

Contact Us

  • CanREACH - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Alberta Health Services 640 Northmount Dr NW, Calgary T2K 3J5
  • Phone: (403) 955-1104
  • Fax: (403) 245-8379
  • Email: