Dr. Gail McVey is the Director of the Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders at the University Health Network, an Associate Professor (Status Only) in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and holds the status of Fellow with the International Academy of Eating Disorders in recognition of outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of eating disorders.
Following a 17-year program of intervention research carried out in the prevention of eating disorders, Dr. McVey is leading the Eating Disorders Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention initiative (ED-PPEI), announced by the Ontario government as part of Roadmap to Wellness in October 2020. This new layer of service delivery will fill an important service gap in the continuum of eating disorder care and the existing provincial mental health system of care. At a local level, ED-PPEI will develop and deliver a framework of evidence-based interventions for the health promotion and prevention of eating disorders in Ontario’s youth. ED-PPEI will help youth build resilience against negative influences in our weight-obsessed world, and foster body-inclusive environments in which all youth can thrive.
In addition to outcome-based studies carried out in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education settings with an emphasis on partnership development, community engagement, and knowledge translation, Dr. McVey partnered with public health to co-design a professional development intervention geared at optimizing weight science literacy, weight bias awareness, and knowledge about best practices in prevention among health educators. Dr. McVey has published longitudinal studies and is the senior co-editor of Preventing Eating and Weight-Related Issues: Collaborative Research, Advocacy, and Policy Change.
In parallel to her research career, Dr. McVey has significant experience working within the Ontario health care system. A key accomplishment is the establishment of the Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders, a community-based clinical training program in evidence-based treatment and prevention of eating disorders. The training program led to the development of a provincial network of specialized eating disorder services, earning Dr. McVey formal recognition for her leadership by the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Ontario Premier’s Office. In 2017, Dr. McVey was awarded a Certificate of Special Recognition from the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for her outstanding contributions and important leadership in the field of child and adolescent mental health.