The Orkin Lab

Our research program focuses on studying and optimizing care delivery and health outcomes for children with medical complexity (CMC) and their families.


Completed Studies


Dr. Julia Orkin, MD, M.Sc., FRCP(C)

Medical Director, Complex Care Program

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Dr. Julia Orkin is a staff paediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Division of Paediatric Medicine and holds an Associate-Scientist Track position at SickKids Research Institute. She is the Medical Director of the Complex Care program and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She is the Paediatric Clinical Lead for Ontario Health GTA Region and is the Chair of the Community Paediatric Committee at the Canadian Paediatric Society. Her research focuses on innovations in care delivery for children with medical complexity and their families.

See Julia’s SickKids staff profile

Research Staff



Patient & Family Partners


Relevant Publications

Children with Medical Complexity

Parpia C, Moore C, Beatty M, Miranda S, Adams S, Stinson J, Desai A, Bartlett L, Culbert E, Cohen E, Orkin J. Evaluation of a Secure Messaging System in the Care of Children With Medical Complexity: Mixed Methods Study. JMIR Form Res. 2023 Feb 23;7:e42881. doi: 10.2196/42881. PMID: 36821356; PMCID: PMC9999262.

Orkin J, Beaune L, Moore C, Weiser N, Arje D, Rapoport A, Netten K, Adams S, Cohen E, Amin R: Toward an Understanding of Advance Care Planning in Children with Medical Complexity. Pediatrics. 2020 Mar; 145(3). pii: e20192241. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-2241. PMID: 32054820

Orkin J, Chan CY, Fayed N, Lin L, Major N, Lim A, Peebles E, Moretty M, Soscia J, Sultan R, Willan A, Offringa M, Guttmann A, Bartlett L, Kanani R, Culbert E, Hardy-Brown K, Gordon M, Perlmutar M, Cohen E: Complex Care for Kids Ontario: Protocol for a Mixed-methods Randomized Controlled Trial of a Population-level Care Coordination Initiative for Children with Medical Complexity. BMJ Open. 2019 Aug 1; 9(8):e028121. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028121. PMID: 31375613.

Fayed N, Gardecki M and Cohen E; For the Complex Care for Kids Ontario evaluation team: Partnering with Families of Children with Medical Complexity to Evaluate Interventions. CMAJ. November 7, 2018. 190 (Suppl 1):S24-S25; doi: 10.1503/cmaj.180372. PMID: 30536803.

Caregivers of Children with Medical Complexity

Shouldice AC, Beatty M, Adams S, Dharmaraj B, Moore C, Stinson JN, Desai A, Bartlett L, Culbert E, Cohen E, Orkin J. Caregivers’ Experiences With a Web- and Mobile-Based Platform for Children With Medical Complexity and the Role of a Live Platform Coach: Thematic Analysis. JMIR Pediatr Parent. 2023 Jul 5;6:e43214. doi: 10.2196/43214. PMID: 37405834; PMCID: PMC10357368.
Esser K, Moore C, Hounsell KG, Davis A, Sunderji A, Shulman R, Maguire B, Cohen E, Orkin J. Housing Need Among Children With Medical Complexity: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study of Three Populations. Acad Pediatr. 2022 Aug;22(6):900-909. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.09.018. Epub 2021 Oct 2. PMID: 34607051.

R, Mehdian Y, Sheth N, Netten K, Vinette J, Edwards A, Polyviou J, Orkin J, Amin R. Screening for Caregiver Psychosocial Risk in Children with Medical Complexity: A Cross-Sectional Study. BMJ Pediatr Open. 2020 Jul 27;4(1):e000671. doi:10.1136/bmjpo-2020-000671. PMID: 32789196.

Rotberg B, Wittenberg J, Orkin J, Saunders NR, Cohen E: Caring about caregivers: the role of pediatricians in supporting the mental health of parents of children with high caregiving needs. Arch Dis Child. 2020 May 6. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2019-318729. PMID: 32376696.

Esser K, Barreira L, Miller D, Church P, Major N, Cohen E, Orkin J: Exploring Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for parents of preterm infants. Pediatr Child Health. 29 February 2020, pxaa003, doi: 10.1093/pch/pxaa003.

Transition of Youth with Medical Complexity

Cohen E, Gandhi S, Toulany A, Moore Hepburn C, Fu L, Orkin J, Levy D, Stephenson A, Guttmann A: Health care use during transfer to adult care among youth with chronic conditions. Pediatrics. 2016 Mar;137(3):e20152734. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-2734. PMID: 26933203.

See a full list of publications from the Orkin Lab


Thank you to our funding partners for their support!

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Health Technologies Fund
  • CHILD-BRIGHT Network
  • Norman Saunders Complex Care Initiative
  • Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR)

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