In celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8) and the inaugural Canadian Women Physicians Day (March 11), we honour excellence within the Grandview Kids women-led Medical Services team. This month, Grandview Kids welcomes its fourth female developmental paediatrician to its ranks, offering improved access to clinical expertise and support for the community it proudly serves.
Dr. Nicole Fischer joins Grandview Kids on March 23, under the leadership of Medical Director and developmental paediatrician, Dr. Carolyn Hunt. The team also comprises developmental paediatricians Dr. Shannon Knights and Dr. Abby Siapno.
I am proud to lead this team of women professionals, who make a difference every day with their expertise and caring. Developmental paediatrics is a specialization that requires intense education and a sincere passion for helping kids, who often reach us at a critical point in their lives. We are humbled to use our knowledge to provide families with answers, support and care to enable their children to live life to the full potential.Dr. Carolyn Hunt, Medical Director and Developmental Paediatrician
This all-female, powerhouse group of doctors provides specialized care for children and youth with a wide range of developmental needs/disorders/disabilities. These needs range from cognitive or learning, global developmental, autism, motor issues, as well as genetic, language, hearing, visual and behavioral disorders. Developmental paediatricians provide consultation and work closely with others in a child’s or youth’s “circle of care,” integrating information from families, other specialists and health discipline team members. They advocate for optimizing child and youth abilities within the family, school or daycare, culture and community.
Meet the Grandview Kids Developmental Paediatricians
Dr. Carolyn Hunt, Medical Director and Developmental Paediatrician
Dr. Hunt earned a Medical Doctorate at McMaster University, later completing a Residency at the University of Western Ontario and paediatric fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children. She worked as a developmental paediatrician at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital before joining Grandview Kids in 2005, subsequently taking over as the Centre’s Medical Director in 2008. In this role, she supervises the Medical Services team, who deliver over 5,000 visits (of Grandview Kids’ total 100,000 visits) to children/youth with disabilities per year. Dr. Hunt’s research has been published in several medical journals, and she chairs Grandview Kids’ Research Committee. She is an active member of the Physicians of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Advocacy (PONDA) group. Dr. Hunt also acts as an Associate Professor within the University of Toronto’s Paediatrics Department, previously teaching at Ontario Tech University.
Dr. Shannon Knights, Developmental Paediatrician
Dr. Knights completed her undergraduate degree in Life Sciences, as well as Medical Doctorate at Queen’s University. Her postgraduate medical training was completed at the University of Toronto, including paediatric residency at The Hospital for Sick Children and a fellowship in Developmental Paediatrics at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Knights successfully completed her Royal College subspecialty examination in Developmental Paediatrics in 2015, working at Grandview Kids since then. She sits on Grandview Kids’ Research Committee, and is a co-investigator in the provincial CP-NET Research Program. Dr. Knights holds a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor position at the University of Toronto. Since 2019, Dr. Knights has been the Head of the Community Section of Developmental Paediatrics, and is actively involved in teaching medical trainees in the field of Child Development.
Dr. Abby Siapno, Developmental Paediatrician
Dr. Siapno is a Developmental Paediatrician. She trained as a physical therapist and paediatrician in the Philippines before moving to Canada. Dr. Siapno attended McMaster for a paediatric residency, completed her Canadian examinations, and went on to do a fellowship in Developmental Paediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She has passed the prestigious Royal College Examinations in Developmental Paediatrics. Dr. Siapno leads Grandview Kids’ Ajax West team, providing resources to families and looking for innovative solutions to communicating with families. Outside of work, she actively volunteers for the Speaking of Dog rescue as a foster parent for dogs looking for their fur-ever home.
Dr. Nicole Fischer, Developmental Paediatrician
Dr. Fischer possesses a Medical Doctorate, Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, and Undergraduate in Biomedical Sciences. She is currently finishing her fellowship at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and previously completed her residency in paediatrics at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Dr. Fischer’s work has been featured in medical journals and conferences. She’s received multiple awards and honours, including the 2019 Canadian Paediatric Society Developmental Paediatrics Resident Research Grant. Dr. Fischer’s commitment to paediatric care is also evidenced in her vast volunteer experience, including multiple student teaching and mentorship roles throughout her residency and fellowship. She’s also done placements in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and rural Uganda.
About Canadian Women Physicians Day
March 11, 2021 is the first-ever Canadian Women Physicians Day, started by Canadian Women in Medicine, which aims to connect and support women physicians in a way that allows them to thrive in all aspects of their lives: professional and personal. Currently, more than 40% of Canadian physicians are women. The celebration coincides with the date of licensure of Dr. Jennie Trout, the first woman licensed to practice medicine in Canada. Dr. Trout advocated tirelessly for medical education for women.
Check out more Grandview Kids articles:
- Transitioning into the new school year
- Using Sign Language for Children
- Family Scavenger Hunt!
- 7 strategies for managing transitions
- Creating a successful social narrative