Advancing education for seniors care with $2M funding renewal

WATERLOO, Ont. (May 10, 2018) – Over $2M has been committed to advancing innovative education and training for seniors care in Canada, and Kitchener-Waterloo is at the hub of this work. The funding was announced today at Conestoga College to renew a five-year, multi-industry partnership.

This innovative collaboration, led by Dr. Veronique Boscart who is now entering her second term as CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges, brings together experts in research, education, health care and technology. In addition to Conestoga College, partners include the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), Schlegel Villages, Essity, PointClickCare and Health eTraining International. Matched funding was provided by the Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

With an aging population and increasing pressure on the health care system, the need for a highly skilled workforce has never been greater. “As our older adult population grows and the complexities of care increase, specialized training is a priority,” says Josie d’Avernas, Executive Director at RIA. “This unique partnership and funding commitment will enable us to explore new training solutions and better prepare current and future health care professionals.”
In addition to developing high quality education and professional development opportunities for the senior care sector, Dr. Boscart and her team will advance research on best practices and effective care models. Her Chair position, jointly held at Conestoga and RIA, will extend until 2022. A new faculty position at the college has also been added to further grow this initiative. Linda Sheiban, a registered nurse and researcher with a specialization in geriatrics, has been appointed the Schlegel Associate Research Chair for Seniors Care.

One of the unique elements of this partnership is the impressive industry investment. Schlegel Villages, owner and operator of 19 long-term care and retirement communities, is the primary industry partner contributing $500,000 over five years. In addition to financial support, Schlegel Villages will also provide opportunities for new education programs to be trialed and applied in practice.

“We are pleased to be a partner and see the great work of Dr. Boscart and her team continue,” says Paul Brown, COO at Schlegel Villages. “This investment in innovative education and training will benefit the residents and families we serve, but also those across the country.”

At today’s announcement, community partners, supporters and friends gathered to celebrate. The continuation and growth of this partnership and Dr. Boscart’s Chair position will put needed focus on education in seniors care. The impact will be felt by both health professionals and the older adults they support.

About the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging

The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and care of older adults. By integrating research, education and practice, RIA supports research and mobilizes research evidence so it can inform programs, be integrated into education and training, and influence practice and policy. The best of what is learned is then shared broadly to benefit older adults everywhere. For more information go to www.the-ria.ca.

Hilary Dunn
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
hilary.dunn@uwaterloo.ca
519-904-0660 ext. 4104