SUDBURY, ON – Last week, a record number of 180 physicians, nurses and allied healthcare professionals who work as part of interdisciplinary geriatric teams across Northern Ontario, came together at the 5th annual North East Geriatric Medicine Refresher Day.
The event was hosted by the North East Specialized Geriatric Centre (NESGC) in Sudbury and brought together six experts from across the province to share best practices in geriatric medicine with health care professionals serving older adults across the Northeast. Attendees were able to network and collaborate with regional partners regarding innovative healthcare delivery for older adults.
“This event provides a wonderful opportunity to network with other geriatric medicine providers and experts in the field,” says Dr. Katriina Hopper, Geriatrician at the Sault Area Hospital. “As a geriatrician working in a northern community, it is important to nurture and maintain these professional connections.”
Guest speakers included:
- Dr. David Conn, Vice-President of Education and Inaugural Director of the Centre for Education & Knowledge Exchange, Baycrest Health Sciences
- Dr. Cindy Grief, Geriatric Psychiatrist and Medical Director for Mental Health, Baycrest Health Sciences
- Dr. Katriina Hopper, Geriatrician, Sault Area Hospital
- Dr. Joanne Ho, Geriatrician and Clinical Pharmacology Consultant, Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital
- Dr. Lyne Giroux, Dermatologist, Sudbury Skin Clinique and Assistant Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM)
- Mr. Dale Hall, Advocate and caregiver to his father-in-law who was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2016
Those speakers provided insights on a number of topics related to the health of older adults including substance use disorders, grief, advanced care planning, geriatric clinical pharmacology and dermatology. Dale Hall’s presentation was especially moving for healthcare providers in attendance, as he described his role as an active care giver for his father-in-law and navigating the complexities of the healthcare system.
Dr. Felicia Janulewicz, a Care of the Elderly Physician, says the information shared at the conference will help patients across Northeastern Ontario. “I find it exciting that the education provided, especially the innovative approaches to substance abuse, polypharmacy and grief, will help those health professional who attended to better serve their elderly patients. The day concluded with a touching message on the caregiver experience which was a beautiful reminder of why we do this work, and why we continue to gather each year to share in our experience and knowledge.”
The North East Regional Geriatric Program is a program of Health Sciences North and consists of a multidisciplinary team of health care providers who deliver specialized care for older adults with complex health needs, as well as expert resources for health care professionals and caregivers throughout Northeastern Ontario. Stronger together, NESGC and our regional partners strive to provide the best care possible to older adults and their caregivers in Northeastern Ontario. Connect with NESGC: www.nesgc.ca / Twitter: @NE_SGC.