There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

Our Purpose

To assist youth and their families with urgent mental health concerns that are contributing to acute safety risks or significant impairment in home or school settings.

Our Services

  • Child and adolescent psychiatric assessment to establish a diagnosis or a list of diagnostic possibilities
  • Recommendations for next steps concerning further assessment or treatment interventions
  • Assistance with immediate stabilization of urgent mental health concerns through a crisis,   planning, skills, teaching, parent/family support, conflict management, and linkages to appropriate community resources
  • Where indicated and acceptable to the patient and family, rational use of medications with follow-up as appropriate


Our Team

Child-adolescent Psychiatrist

John Heintzman was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He was a Sir James Dunn scholarship recipient upon graduating from the former Bawating High School (now Superior Heights). He completed his undergraduate studies in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. He then studied medicine at Queen’s University, where he developed an interest in Child Psychiatry.

Dr. Heintzman accepted a psychiatric residency position at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and completed adult training, followed by a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship position. He accepted his first position in 1998 as a Child Psychiatrist in Warren, Pennsylvania.

In October of 2002, Dr. Heintzman returned to Canada and began a career with Grand River Hospital as Medical Director of Child Psychiatry Services. Since 2004, he has served as the Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Program, and he also worked as the deputy chief of staff from 2017-2023.  Dr. Heintzman also worked for many years as a consulting psychiatrist for student health services at the University of Waterloo, served as the psychiatry chief at Cambridge Memorial Hospital, and was the physician lead for Waterloo Wellington Canadian Mental Health Association.

Dr. Heintzman is committed to building collaborative partnerships both within SAH and the community at large.

Registered Nurse

Alicia Naccarato graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Lake Superior State University in Michigan in 2010, after having first obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration in 1992. Alicia began her nursing career in 2010 working on a Medical/Surgical floor in Michigan. She then went on to enhance her skills working at Kinross Correctional Facility as well as a skilled nursing/long-term care facility. She joined SAH in November 2011, working in the Acute Psychiatric Unit (1C) until 2022. Alicia joined OPMHS as a temporary Outpatient RN in February 2022, then transferred to the full-time position in November 2022. She has since received her Certifications in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing and in the MoCA test. She has also provided nursing support to the Electroconvulsive Therapy Clinic, as well as the Medication Clinic.

Social Worker

Nicole Danton is a Registered Social Worker and has been employed with Sault Area Hospital since 2019. Nicole supports the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, as well as, Women’s & Children’s Health. 

Nicole studied Social Work locally at Algoma University and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in 2015. In 2016, Nicole was employed by Algoma Family Services as an Intensive Treatment Services Counsellor before attending Wilfrid Laurier University to study Social Work at the Master’s level. Returning to Sault Ste. Marie in 2019, Nicole continued supporting local children, youth and their families in regards to their mental health before transitioning to Sault Area Hospital. 

Collaboration with Other Providers

This clinic will have very limited hours. To provide the most effective care, youth and their families will be encouraged to continue to work closely with their primary care team (if available) and community mental health resources (as involved or suggested by our clinic team).

Connections to essential cultural, educational, religious, social, and other services are valued and strongly encouraged. Daily, a team member will collaborate (with consent) with care partners and work together to determine how best to support the patient. Patients and families are welcome to stay involved with the clinic team as long as required. Steps will be taken to transition youth to adult-based services as appropriate by their 18th birthday.