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Canadian Paediatric Society

Spotlight on community paediatricians: Dr. Karolyn Hardy

Posted on Jun 15 2016 by the Canadian Paediatric Society | Permalink

Topic(s): Spotlight

Spotlight is a new feature of the Paediatric Post. Each Spotlight piece will recognize a community paediatrician, sharing their unique story and the extraordinary contributions they’ve made to their communities. 

If you know a community paediatrician who should be featured, please contact

Dr. Karolyn Hardy grew up on the east coast and in Ontario, before settling in Peterborough, Ont. A general paediatrician, Dr. Hardy divides her time between her consult-based practice, the local hospital and specialty clinics such as complex care, neonatal abstinence clinic, and type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Dr. Hardy has introduced a local early literacy program, adapted from Nova Scotia’s Read to Me program.  After the community identified low literacy rates in the area, they looked for new ways to introduce and encourage reading among new families. With the Read with Me program, newborn babies’ families receive a bag with literacy materials for parents, and two board books for baby. Dr. Hardy says new parents love the initiative, which introduces the importance and value of reading to babies from birth.

Dr. Hardy was also involved in the development of a local neonatal abstinence syndrome clinic, which provides antenatal consultation for pregnant mothers who need narcotics or methadone.  The Peterborough and surrounding community recognized a need for the clinic while comparing community numbers reaching 14-16 babies per 1000 live births, to a provincial average of 4.3 per 1000. The clinic also establishes a consistent, supportive, in-hospital pathway for families and ensures ongoing post-discharge support for both mother and baby. While the clinic only opened in 2015, the community is already seeing decreases in admissions and time spent in the NICU, and an overall strong and comfortable relationship between patients, nurses and paediatricians.

In every area of her work, Dr. Hardy values the ability to experience each project in a unique way from others. She has the opportunity to come up with a new idea, sit down with supportive and encouraging colleagues to create a plan of action, and bring the project to life. Being involved in this process from start to finish allows Dr. Hardy to introduce new programming and witness the positive patient outcomes.

She has this advice for new paediatricians as they start their career: “When you want to create or develop something, don’t make success about the outcome. Make it about the experience, the process, and what you learned or gained along the way.”

Outside of her clinic, Dr. Hardy spends time outdoors with her husband, also a physician, their two young children and their dog.



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Last updated: Jul 19 2016