alex p




First Name



Honours BSc

Research Interests

Research Focus

Psychiatry, Mental health, Addictions



Specialist Program in Health and Disease, University of Toronto, Class of 2015


Project Title

Determining the Needs of Epilepsy Patients and Healthcare Providers in Ketogenic Dietary Therapy.

Project Description

Following recent technological advancements, the Canadian healthcare system has been supporting the shift towards decentralized, community and home based delivery of healthcare. This shift is mainly motivated by increasing demands and pressures on the existing system that is thought by many to be unsustainable. Optimization of Ketogenic diet delivery outside of the hospital setting would be a move in the right direction by ultimately making the dietary therapy more affordable, accessible and more efficient.
For the first phase of our project, we will be conducting patient interviews in order to identify the needs and challenges they are facing while on the Ketogenic diet. We will be recruiting patients from McMaster Children’s Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. We will be working with the President of Matthew’s Friends Canada, Jennifer Fabe, and a neurologist at Toronto Western Hospital, Eduard Bercovici, to recruit patients and apply for REB approval.
Simultaneously, we will be helping Matthews Friends Canada to design and deliver a nationwide survey that will be used to identify the challenges healthcare professionals are facing when administering the ketogenic diet within clinical practice in Canada. This survey aims to identify common challenges and boundaries faced by ketogenic diet centers across the nation.
A survey of patient and provider needs has never been done before in this clinical population. This lack of knowledge represents a gap in information on the quality of patient care.

Once we have gathered all of the information from the literature, the national survey, and our interviews, we will research and identify appropriate design thinking tools that we can use to ideate multiple solutions. From there, we will narrow down our list of solutions based on feasibility and input from stakeholders. Finally, a feasibility report, implementation report and prototype (time and resource permitting) will be generated for the selected solution. We anticipate that the solutions suggested may range from a policy change to a business plan for more affordable and convenient food delivery as outlined below.

Team Members

Alexandra Panicucci
Samar Mouaaz

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