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Dr. Jan Willem Gorter



Jan Willem Gorter, MD, PhD, has training in rehabilitation medicine (physiatry) and is the inaugural Chair and Head of Pediatric Rehabilitation at the University Medical Center Utrecht, location Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, and Princess Maxima Center (pediatric oncology) in Utrecht, The Netherlands.  He also holds a position as Professor of Pediatrics (Part-Time) at McMaster University in Canada. Jan Willem completed his postdoctoral training at CanChild in 2002, has been appointed a Scientist at CanChild in 2008, and served as CanChild Director (2013-2021). He draws on his clinical experiences to conduct studies and to develop healthcare interventions that will have a direct impact on patients, their families and those working in the healthcare system. Therefore, he is a strong advocate of patient and family engagement in research. To make sure youth with disabilities are on a healthy trajectory, he and his team of clinicians and researchers focus on Physical Health, Family Empowerment, and Cognition (autonomy and adaptive functioning) in children and youth with disabilities. Jan Willem’s goals are to further integrate research and clinical care through a lifecourse health development approach, to ensure optimal outcomes for children with disabilities as they grow up.

Dr. Jan Willem Gorter is currently accepting student trainees (Master's, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow).

Listen in as Jan Willem discusses the findings of the MyStory Project at CP-NET's Science and Family Day. 

Areas of Focus

disability, f-words, transition, lifecourse, family engagement in research


Developmental trajectories of youth with disabilities, ages 12 to 25 years

This project was initiated and funded by the Ministry for Child and Youth Services (MCYS) in Ontario. The results of our synthesis have been used for the ministry’s development of a Youth Policy Framework, named stepping stones.

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Knowledge Translation Strategic Planning for CanChild 2013 - 2018

The CanChild team decided to strategic plan for their knowledge translation activities using a framework proposed by Holmes

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Transition to Adulthood with Cyber guide Evaluation (TRACE)

Consistent with best practice guidelines for transition developed in Ontario, the study seeks ways to improve health service delivery to youth in transition and, in so doing, to address this important contemporary health challenge.

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Developmental Trajectories of Youth with Disabilities (age 12-25 years of age): A Knowledge Synthesis

This report is the outcome of a knowledge synthesis project on developmental trajectories of youth with disabilities, ages 12 - 25 years.

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Aquatic Exercise Programs for Children and Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy

Aquatic exercise programs can provide a fun and motivating form of physical activity.

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What helps adolescents with cerebral palsy to be physically active? Developing a program to support youth based on focus groups.

In this communication we want to share our study protocol as part of a program to support physical activity for youth with cerebral palsy (CP) using a focus group methodology.

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Letting go (at least a little bit)

Jan Willem Gorter discusses teens in transition in this video produced by the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. What do you do to encourage your child's independence?

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Meet Jessica (Video)

In this video, Jessica (a community advisor on cerebral palsy research and person with lived experience) and Jan Willem (a clinician researcher studying cerebral palsy) tell us about cerebral palsy, some of the misconceptions that surround it and what we can do to tackle them. Produced by the Ontario Brain Institute for Brain Awareness Week 2017.

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Growing up with CP: Mental health & well-being

CP-NET is excited to present “Growing up with CP: Mental Health & Well-being,” a webinar initiated and led by young adults for young adults. Highlighting both lived experience and recent research from the CP-NET MyStory project, this webinar will explore the intersection of mental health and CP, and discuss how we can better support young people in developing positive outcomes in mental health and well-being.

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