Roche Canada helps OBI support community organizations through GEEK

Roche Canada, a leader in delivering personalized healthcare through a combined strength in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, has generously given 30 iPads to the Ontario Brain Institute in order to support community groups across Ontario through the Growing Expertise in Evaluation and Knowledge Translation (GEEK) Program.

To start, six iPads will be donated to Kids Can Fly, an organization that supports early childhood development as well as mental health in post-partum women, who expanded delivery of their programs to an online format during the pandemic. Said one new mother: “I can’t say enough good things about the program. It helped me get through some of the toughest times in my life. I hope you are able to continue to help many more women through the study.”

According to Dr. Alonso Montoya, Roche Canada’s Strategic Healthcare Director, the province’s brain-related outreach organizations are the primary target for the initiative. “Our hope is that Roche’s contribution will allow OBI to provide additional support to help community organizations adapt to the virtual administration of their programs,” he said. “Ultimately, what we envision is that this will translate to the community organizations helping more people in the community that are impacted by brain disorders.”

OBI’s GEEK program was created in 2019 to invest in community-led initiatives and elevate the important role the community plays supporting people with brain disorders in parallel with the healthcare system. By embedding evaluation and real-world evidence into community-based programs, GEEK helps increase the quality and quantity of evidence-based care available to people living with brain disorders.

Dr. Tom Mikkelsen, OBI President and Scientific Director, said: “GEEK supports the sustainability, scale and spread of these programs, to improve the quality and quantity of evidence-based care in the community.”

“During the pandemic, many Ontario-based of these organizations had to pivot their programs to a virtual environment,” Dr. Mikkelsen continued. “As a result, they incurred additional expenses when purchasing devices such as work laptops and tablets, which are necessary to proficiently continue their work. We are grateful to Roche Canada for this thoughtful contribution which will allow for our ‘GEEKs’ to continue to roll out brain-health mission-critical services across the province.”

Learn more about OBI’s GEEK program at