Speakers and Handouts - Vision 2030 for Seniors Services Symposium


Andrew Sixsmith1

Andrew Sixsmith, PhD, Scientific Director, AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence, Director, STAR Institute, Professor, Department of Gerontology

Andrew Sixsmith is the joint Scientific Director of AGE-WELL NCE, the Director of Simon Fraser University's (SFU) Science and Technology for Aging Research (STAR) Institute, and a professor in the Department of Gerontology at SFU. He is past President of the International Society of Gerontechnology and was previously Director of the Gerontology Research Centre and Deputy Director of the IRMACS Centre at SFU. His research interests include technology for independent living, theories and methods in aging and understanding the innovation process. His work has involved him in a leadership and advisory role in numerous major international research projects and initiatives with academic, government and industry partners. He received his doctorate from the University of London and was previously a lecturer at the University of Liverpool in the Institute of Human Ageing and Department of Primary Care.

Dr. Sixsmith’s presentation is entitled, “Responding to the Challenge of Aging - The Canadian AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence”

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have huge potential to enhance the health, well-being, and independence of seniors, and also open up opportunities for new services and businesses.ICTs can be used to meet the desire of most seniors to age in place and to provide solutions to increased demands on health and community services. Despite this “win-win” scenario, the actual impact of research has often been limited, with good ideas and technologies failing to be turned into new products and services. This presentation looks at how AGE-WELL (Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life NCE Inc.), a Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence (http:// www.agewell-nce.ca), is working towards taking the outcomes of great research from the laboratory into the real-world.

Dr. Andrew Sixsmith Presentation

Dr Heather Hanson

Dr. Heather Hanson, PhD

Dr. Heather Hanson is the Assistant Scientific Director of the Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services. She is a gerontological researcher with a strong interest in moving evidence into action. Heather supports the Scientific Office and researchers from across the province to advance new knowledge and its application to improve the health of older Albertans. 

Dr. Adrian Wagg

Dr. Adrian Wagg, MB FRCP (Lond) FRCP (Edin) FHEA. AHS Professor of Healthy Ageing, Scientific Director AHS Seniors' Strategic Clinical Network, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta

Dr. Wagg is a specialist in Geriatric and General Medicine with expertise in health services research. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta and Professor of Continence Sciences at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta. Dr. Wagg has significant front-line experience in healthcare administration and systems development, a strong knowledge of operational issues and an in-depth perspective of healthcare of older Albertans.
Dr. Wagg holds the Alberta Health Services Chair in Healthy Ageing. His research interests involve improving care for people with urinary incontinence, community engagement and the quality of care for older people in nursing homes. He is active in national and international clinical practice guideline development and is the Co-Chair of the International Consultation on Incontinence; prior to this he was General Secretary of the International Continence Society.
In his service to the community, Dr. Wagg is President of the Canadian Continence Foundation and participates in numerous other activities promoting health literacy and the healthy ageing of seniors.

Dr. Hanson and Dr. Wagg’s presentation is entitled, “What Matters Most for Seniors’ Health in Alberta”

Patients, caregivers, senior’s organizations and health care providers are often underrepresented at the research priority-setting table. In collaboration with the James Lind Alliance, UK, we brought older adults, caregivers, clinicians, and their representative organisations together on equal footing to identify and prioritize the most important topics on seniors’ health in Alberta that should be addressed by future research. Hundreds of people from across the province participated in surveys to identify and shortlist the issues that matter most for seniors’ health, and a group of workshop attendees prioritized the list through discussion and shared decision-making. This presentation will outline the process used, the prioritized Top 10 List and how stakeholders can assist in championing the uptake of research to address identified priorities.

Dr. Adrian Wagg and Dr. Heather Hanson Presentation

Dr Norah Keating

Dr. Norah Keating, Swansea University, UK, University of Alberta, Canada, North-West University, South Africa

Norah Keating is Professor of Rural Ageing, Swansea University; Co-Director of Research on Aging, Policies and Practice, University of Alberta; Extraordinary Professor, North-West University, South Africa; and Director of The International Association on Gerontology and Geriatrics’ (IAGG) Global Social Issues on Ageing. She works with researchers and policy makers to create networks and build capacity around global social issues at the interfaces with population ageing.

She has worked for many years to create knowledge of discourses and experiences of family care; social exclusion and rural ageing. Her current research includes Health, Wealth, and Happiness: Families and a Good Old Age? (University of Alberta); Long Term Care in sub-Saharan Africa (Swansea University); and Sustainable Care: connecting people and systems (University of Sheffield).

She is a member of World Health Organization Scientific Working Group, Kobe Centre and is working with WHO Pan American Health Organization on a project to develop networks among social gerontologists in Latin America.

Dr. Keating’s presentation is entitled, “Supporting family carers. International discourses, Canadian evidence and a vision for public policy.”

Around the world, countries are celebrating, worrying about and sometimes ignoring population aging. Some have national aging strategies; others take a triage approach, dealing with urgent needs as they arise. Regardless of national approaches, changing demographics require programs and services for the increasing proportions of older people in all world regions.

In this presentation, Norah Keating discusses regional differences in approaches to population aging. She argues that these are grounded in assumptions and national discourses about responsibility for the wellbeing of older people and that these beliefs are both strongly held and often implicit. She uses as an example, beliefs about the place of families in the care of older persons and the public policy and NGO approaches that respond to them. Data from the recent Statistics Canada GSS on Caregiving provide evidence of the high proportion of Canadians who are carers to older family members and the public and family support that they receive.

Dr. Norah Keating Presentation

Dr Lili Liu

Dr. Lili Liu

Lili Liu is an occupational therapist and completed her undergraduate and graduate education at McGill University. She is past Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta until June 2019. Dr. Liu is currently Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo. She is a network investigator with the AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence and her research program focuses on user adoption of technologies that help older adults with everyday living in their homes and communities. Presently, her team is examining ways to address the risks of going missing among persons living with dementia. In this work, they collaborate with persons who have dementia, their care partners, health professionals, and first responders such as police services and search and rescue personnel.
She cofounded the International Consortium of Dementia and Wayfinding which currently has over 10 countries represented.

Dr. Liu’s presentation is entitled, “Roles of technology in helping seniors be independent.”

This presentation examines the ways that technologies, either low-tech or high-tech, can help older adults remain independent in their homes or homelike environments. While older adults with chronic conditions may require social and physical assistance to remain in their communities, they can retain a sense of independence if they can make choices about the types of assistance they receive. Technologies may assist in activities monitoring, fall detection, medication management, wayfinding, social interaction, and cognitive and mental health. But what do we know about the usefulness of these technologies? We will examine what older adults, their care partners, and health professionals should consider when choosing technologies to help seniors live well in their communities.

Dr. Lili Liu Presentation

Tim Gardner

Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow, The Health Foundation

Tim Gardner is a Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.
At the Health Foundation, Tim works primarily on NHS policy, performance and care quality, and was recently seconded to NHS England to contribute to the development of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Prior to joining the Health Foundation in 2014, Tim spent over ten years at the Department of Health and Social Care. He worked on a variety of policy areas, including NHS performance, regulation, integrated care, primary care, cancer, mental health and the public inquiry into the failures of care at Stafford Hospital.
Tim was Secretary to the NHS Management Board and worked in the Private Office of the Chief Medical Officer. He also spent three years at the Department for Education advising on policy for children and young people’s social care services.
Tim has an MSc in Health Policy from Imperial College London.

Tim Gardner’s presentation is entitled, “Long Range Reform of the British Health System: the National Health Services Long Term Plan.”

Long range reform of the British health system: the National Health Service’s Long Term Plan. As the NHS marked its 70th anniversary last year, policymakers began developing a new ten year plan for making a service created in 1948 fit for 2028. The result is an ambitious but pragmatic vision for an increasing focus on prevention, improving care in key service areas and narrowing unjust gaps between the best and worst off. This presentation aims to put the NHS Long Term Plan into context, describing the development of the plan and the measures it prescribes in response to the challenges faced by the health service. The session concludes with lessons learned that may be relevant to other health systems looking to the future.

Tim Gardner Presentation

Connecting Edmonton Seniors PEGASIS Extension

Connecting Edmonton Seniors/PEGASIS Extension

Team members of the Connecting Edmonton Seniors/PEGASIS Extension include staff from the backbone organization, Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC), as well as representatives from a network of organizations working to prevent and reduce social isolation. Connecting Edmonton Seniors is an extension of the work of the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing the Social Isolation of Seniors (PEGASIS). From 2016-2019 the Pan-Edmonton Group implemented seven community-based projects as follows: Assisted Rides for Vulnerable Seniors; Community Connections through English as Another Language for Immigrant Seniors; Seniors Centre Without Walls; Community Support Program within subsidized housing; Specialized Outreach and Case Finding; A Marketing Campaign; and Backbone Support.

The team from Connecting Edmonton Seniors/PEGASIS Extension will be presenting, “Addressing social isolation: experience from an Edmonton collaborative.”

Social isolation calls for a combination of both systems-level change as well as grassroot responses to the unique circumstances of individual seniors. ‘The collaborating effect’ was seen and felt by the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors as they implemented several seniorserving projects from 2016-2019. Is the formula for ‘the collaborating effect’ mathematical, magical or something else altogether? Find out for yourself in this interactive session based on learnings from the experiences of seven community-based organizations who chose a collective impact model to make a real difference for vulnerable seniors.

Dr Haidong Liang

Dr. Haidong Liang, PhD

Through 12 years of professional and volunteer activities, Dr. Haidong Liang has been striving to make Edmonton, his second hometown, an age-friendly city not only for the current generation but for our future generations. Known as one of the very few immigrant Senior Centre Executive Directors in Alberta, Dr. Liang has brought 12 years of gerontology research expertise to the senior sector and have created a unique game changer WeSeniors.ca platform for the Westend Seniors Activity Centre to actively connect seniors to services provided by the public, private and non-profit sectors. He is an innovative researcher and practitioner who is dedicated to help seniors age in place.

Dr. Liang’s presentation is entitled, “Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing – three terms that non-profit organizations know but do not do: partnerships, sustainability and engagement.”

The purpose of this presentation is to utilize Westend Seniors Activity Centre’s successful projects (e.g., PEGASIS project), innovative practices (e.g., Community Connectors Program), and “an entrepreneur mindset” to demonstrate:
(1) What does the “TRUE” partnership look like for non-profit organizations?
(2) How to achieve sustainability through establishing win-win multi-sectoral partnerships (public, private, and non-profit sectors)?
(3) Why engagement is so crucial in building partnerships and sustainability?
And most importantly, the presenter will like to demonstrate why non-profit organization leaders should embrace an entrepreneur mindset to achieve “Knowing and Doing!”

Dr. Haidong Liang Presentation

Dr Carole Estabrooks

Dr. Carole Estabrooks, Carole A Estabrooks, CM, PhD, RN, FCAHS, FAAN, Professor, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Knowledge Translation, Faculty of Nursing , University of Alberta

Dr. Estabrooks is Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation. Member of the Order of Canada (CM) and Fellow in both the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (FCAHS) and the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). She is Scientific Director of the pan-Canadian Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC) research program at the University of Alberta. Dr Estabrooks' research program focuses on knowledge translation in the health sciences. She studies the influence of organizations on the use of knowledge and its effects on quality of care, quality of life and quality of end of life and quality of work life outcomes. The work is situated in the residential long-term care sector and focuses on quality improvement and the spread and scale-up of innovation. She has developed and continues to evaluate the Alberta Context Tool (ACT) currently in use in eleven countries and six languages.

Dr. Estabrooks’ presentation is entitled, “The Long Term Care population in 2030 and upstream implications.”

Canada’s long-term care (LTC) system faces unprecedented growth in the coming decades. Predictions of 63% more residents by 2036, and ballooning costs to taxpayers and families, are projected to burden already stretched health systems and staff. Alberta has favored resourcing supportive living environments in an effort to reduce more expensive and less desired (by older adults) LTC admissions. This has resulted in a dramatically changed resident profile in LTC – residents are more complex with heavier physical care requirements and higher social needs, are much closer to death, and because of later stage dementia have severe communication challenges. Staffing and other resources have not increased commensurately with this demand. In Alberta, as across Canada, quality problems plague LTC settings and have for decades – polypharmacy, unmanaged pain and depression, loneliness, boredom, safety, workforce engagement and training, staff burnout, an aging workforce, staff-resident ratios. Is the 2030 state inevitably an extension of the current state or can we act now to choose a different path?

Dr. Carole Estabrooks Presentation

Dr James Silvius

James L. Silvius BA(Oxon) MD FRCPC, Provincial Medical Director, Seniors Health AHS and Senior Medical Director, Seniors Health SCN

Dr. Silvius is a Clinical Professor in the Division of Geriatric Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. He has held numerous leadership positions within seniors’ health and continuing care over his career and most recently a combined role of Provincial Medical Director, Seniors Health and Senior Medical Director, Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network. He maintains a clinical practice in geriatrics at Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary. External to AHS he is the Chair of the Canadian Drug Expert Committee, CADTH, and co-founder and co-director of the Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDEN). Other interests include being the lead for MAID for Alberta, participation in TREC (Translating Research in Elder Care) and the DementiaNet, and distance health care delivery.

Dr. James Silvius’ presentation is entitled, “Transforming the Alberta Health System to meet the needs of an Aging Population.”

Our health system was fundamentally designed at a time when health care was focused on more acute and less chronic illness; it now needs to catch up to, and move past, our current reality in order for us to care for our aging population in the future. We need to examine what we are currently doing well, what we need to do differently, and how can we leverage innovation and research to consistently provide the care people need, closer to home.

By examining the innovative practices and models that have been implemented globally to develop our future state, we can change the way Albertans receive care, improve the quality of life, and use our resources appropriately.

Dr. James L. Silvius Presentation

Dr David Hogan1

Dr. David Hogan

Born in Baie Comeau QC, David attended universities in Nova Scotia, Alberta, and Ontario. A specialist in internal medicine and sub-specialist in geriatric medicine, he joined the University of Calgary in 1990 where he held the Brenda Strafford Foundation Chair in Geriatric Medicine for 25-years and is now the Academic Lead of the Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging (O’Brien Institute for Public Health). He served as Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Specialty Committee in Geriatric Medicine, President of the Canadian Geriatrics Society, and editor of the Canadian Geriatrics Journal. David has authored over 290 peer-reviewed publications. National and Provincial awards received includes the 2019 AMA Medal for Distinguished Service. He was a member of the CAHS Expert Panel that produced the 2019 Improving the Quality of Life and Care of Persons Living with Dementia and Their Caregivers report.

D. David Hogan will be presenting, “Improving the Quality of Life and Care of Persons Living with Dementia and their Caregivers.”

This presentation is based on the report by the same name (https://www.cahs-acss.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Report.pdf) produced by an expert panel assembled by Canadian Academy of Health Services (CAHS). The increasing number of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias pose a significant challenge for Canadian families and their caregivers, and more broadly, for the health care system. Recognizing the importance of developing and implementing an effective strategy to address this challenge, the Minister of Health of Canada, through the Public Health Agency of Canada, asked the CAHS to provide an evidence-informed and authoritative assessment on the state of knowledge to help advance federal priorities under the National Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Act. Engaging persons living with dementia was an important theme of the report. Topics covered ranged from public awareness & prevention to end-of-life care and included education, research, and implementation challenges.

Dr. David B. Hogan Presentation

Jordana Salma

Jordana Salma, RN, MN, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta

Dr. Salma is a Registered Nurse and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Her program of research focuses on the health and well-being of older immigrants and visible minorities in Canada. Her work aims to identify and implement community-based interventions that improve health outcomes in these populations. She is particularly interested in chronic disease management, cross-cultural conceptualizations of healthy aging, and psychosocial dimensions of health. Her research to date has been with Arab, South Asian, African and Muslim communities. She draws from Feminist, Transnational and Anti-Colonial perspectives to highlight the ways immigrant and visible minorities experience structural barriers and enact personal agency across social and political spaces. Some examples of recent projects relate to stroke prevention in Arab women, aging experiences of Muslim older adults, and physical activity in older immigrants.

Dr. Salma’s presentation is entitled, “Improving Seniors Services to Meet the Needs of Canada’s Diverse Immigrant and Ethnocultural Communities.”

Canada has 6.8 million immigrants, the second-highest percentage of foreign-born nationals in the world, and one out of every five Canadians identify as members of a visible minority group. The greying of Canadian society is inclusive of these diverse communities, and their experiences of growing old in Canada require better understanding and attention in policy and service provision. Areas, where significant service gaps exist, are caregiving and the wellbeing of caregivers, social isolation and loneliness, health literacy, and access to community health programs. Strategies to address these gaps require multi-level approaches that re-examine immigration and aging policies and re-evaluate service provision and funding structures. Drawing from examples in her research and reflecting on current Canadian evidence, Dr. Salma will highlight some of the experiences, needs, and areas for future improvement in seniors services.

Dr. Jordana Salma Presentation

Monica Morrison

Monica Morrison, Executive Director, Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre, President of Alberta Association of Senior Centres

Monica has been working with seniors for 29 years. Her background is Recreation and has worked in long term care, adult day program, senior centres as well as community support services. Monica is the Executive Director at the Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre in Red Deer and has become very involved in her community. She is the President of the Board of Directors for the Alberta Association of Senior Centres, and is the treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council. She is part of the Central Alberta Poverty Reduction Alliance. Monica is involved in the development of the Red Deer Coordinated Community Response for Elder Abuse and was part of the hoarding protocol for the Red Deer community. She sits on the Central Alberta Falls Prevention Coalition, and is a senior fitness instructor trainer to develop community based senior fitness programs. In June of 2016 she won the Red Deer Women of Excellence in fitness, recreation and exercise for her work with seniors in the area of fitness both at the Bowden Petitionary senior men’s group as well as community based fitness programs. Monica also does instruction at Red Deer College Continuing Education in the area of aging and physical activity. Monica’s passion is seniors. She believes that all seniors deserve a good quality of life till the end of their journey and works hard with her staff and community partners to ensure that senior issues and service gaps are identified and at finding solutions.

Monica Morrison’s presentation is entitled, “Senior centres are part of the solution: how senior centres play a role in healthy aging in Alberta.”

Senior Centres and Senior Drop-ins play a vital role in community. They help address the issue of social isolation and mental health. They provide opportunities for people to remain engaged in community through volunteer work and sharing of skills in running programs. This presentation will look at Senior Centres and drop-ins in both urban and rural communities. We will look at the importance of collaboration with other stakeholders in the community. How Senior Centres play a role in healthy active aging and why we need to identify the need in our community and how we engage various partners to collaborate to meet the needs. Seniors Centres are part of the solution for community care and we need to be proactive in how we can support the community where we live.

Monica Morrison Presentation

Catherine Douglas

Catherine Douglas BRE, Manager, Office of the Alberta Health Advocates

Catherine Douglas is the Manager at the Office of the Alberta Health Advocates. She has over 40 years of experience working with persons with disabilities, in health care, and in seniors housing across four different provinces . Catherine’s passion for and dedication to patients combined with her extensive experience help to support Albertans as they navigate the complicated and ever changing health system. A lover of song, dance and anything Scottish, Catherine lives in Edmonton with her husband, young adult children and two spoiled dogs!

Sheree Kwong See

Sheree Kwong See, PhD
Alberta Seniors Advocate and Professor of Psychology, University of Alberta

Sheree Kwong See is a Canadian expert on the psychology of aging and professor of psychology at the University of Alberta. She conducts research on cognitive aging and the development and impact of age stereotyping and ageism in real world contexts. She is also an award-winning instructor and administrator. In her work, Dr. Kwong See has been a passionate advocate for aging issues for over 20 years. She has been seconded by the Alberta Government to serve as the Alberta Seniors Advocate from September 2016 to December 2019. As the Advocate, Dr. Kwong See is a voice for seniors and senior issues. The role of the Alberta Office of the Seniors Advocate is to provide resolution support to senior Albertans and their families; and through this work to identify issues and make recommendations to government for improvement to programs and services.

Karen McDonald

Karen McDonald, Executive Director, SAGE Seniors Association

Karen McDonald’s career has focused primarily the field of gerontology, including a decade in seniors’ supportive housing and a decade with the Sage Seniors Association, most recently as Executive Director. Sage is a community-based seniors serving organization that provides social services, primary health care, community development, and life enrichment programming.
In 2015, Karen co-founded MatchWork, an interactive employment training and assessment tool used by employment support organizations to more effectively guide and support those who face barriers to employment.
Karen completed both her MBA and BA at the University of Alberta. She is currently the co-chair of the Community Mental Health Action Plan System Integration Leadership Team and the past-chair of the Seniors Communications Action Network (SCAN). In 2011, Avenue Magazine recognized Karen as a Top 40 Under 40 as a result of her professional and volunteer work in community.

Catherine Douglas, Dr. Kwong See and Karen McDonald will be presenting a “Report on current status, gaps and issues of current seniors’ services in Alberta and possible future solutions”

Government advocate offices and non-profit community senior serving organizations are in a unique position to identify, from the perspective of system users, gaps and issues in seniors programming and services. In this presentation the Alberta Seniors Advocate Office (Sheree Kwong See) and the Alberta Health Advocates Office (Catherine Douglas) will outline key issues identified in seniors programs, including health services for maintenance and prevention of disease, identified from work with clients connecting with the offices. Karen McDonald will identify issues from community-based seniors serving organizations and the seniors they serve. Together the speakers will suggest directions governments and policy makers will need to consider in addressing identified gaps and issues.

Gaps Issues and Opportunities in Seniors’ Services in Alberta Presentation

Dr Susan Slaughter

Dr. Susan Slaughter

Susan Slaughter is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta. As a Registered Nurse she has a longstanding interest in the care of older people, which informs her research focused on maintaining, enhancing, and measuring the functional abilities in the areas of mobility, nutrition and quality of life. Understanding effective ways to introduce and sustain evidence-based practices in health care is central to her research with older people.

Dr. Susan Slaughter will be presenting a “Report on current status, gaps and issues of current seniors’ services in Alberta and possible future solutions”

Dr. Susan Slaughter Presentation

Corinne Schalm

Corinne Schalm, Executive Director Continuing Care, Alberta Health

Corinne Schalm is the Executive Director of Continuing Care with Alberta Health where she leads policy development for the province’s continuing care system. She has a Master of Science in Gerontology degree and a Masters in Public Administration, and in 2008 was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian College of Health Leaders (FCCHL). Corinne is passionate about improving the quality of life for seniors. She has over twenty five years of experience working in senior leadership roles in the field of gerontology in Alberta at the provincial policy level and with seniors’ service provider organizations.

Corinne Schalm will be presenting “The changing needs of a new generation of older adults"

Corinne Schalm Presentation

How can we better meet the unmet transportation needs of seniors in urban, rural, and remote areas of Alberta?

Adults 65+ are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population. Accompanying this growth is the demand for more responsive forms of transportation. How can we better meet the unmet transportation needs of seniors in urban, rural, and remote areas of Alberta? Learn more about how these unmet transportation needs are being met through presentations from the Medically At-Risk Driver Centre (MARD), the Wainwright and District Handivan Society, and Drive Happiness.



Bonnie M. Dobbs, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta Director, Medically At-Risk Driver Centre (MARD), University of Alberta

Dr. Bonnie Dobbs is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of the Medically At-Risk Driver (MARD) Centre, a research and knowledge translation centre at the University of Alberta. Her primary areas of research are identification of drivers who may no longer be medically fit to drive, understanding the unmet transportation needs of seniors in rural and urban settings, and the role of responsive forms of alternate transportation (e.g., outside of the public transportation system) in maintaining mobility, independence, and safety for medically unfit drivers, for older adults who chose not to drive, and for persons with disabilities.


Bernie Buzik B.A BEd. Chair, Wainwright and District Handivan Society

The Wainwright and District Handivan Society (WDHS) was formed in January of 2013 and started operation in August of that year. The WDHS provides transportation to those individuals who for medical reasons are unable to drive themselves. Most of the transportation needs are medical but we also provide services to social, family and other occasions. Ridership started with a meager 20 riders a month to nearly 200 hundred riders presently. The WDHS operates in the Municipal District of Wainwright but we do travel to other centers as need be. We have two vans and one bus, which are wheel chair accessible. There are 1.5 drivers and a host of volunteer drivers and caregivers.


Drive Happiness

Drive Happiness

Drive Happiness is a non-profit organization that provides assisted transportation services to older adults through the help of volunteer drivers. Their mission is to assist seniors in remaining independent in their own homes for as long as possible. The Seniors Assisted Transportation program allows seniors access to a safe, reliable, and accommodating transportation service that can help them to attend medical appointments, get groceries, participate in recreational programming, or even to visit friends and family. Mobility is about more than simply getting from point A to B. It is about dignity, freedom, and being in control of your lifestyle. With Drive Happiness, seniors are able to keep their independence and remain active and engaged in their communities.

How can we better meet the unmet transportation needs of seniors in urban, rural, and remote areas of Alberta - Presentation

Drive Happiness Presentation

How do we integrate the medical model of healthcare with community based social services?


Lawrence Braul

Lawrence Braul, Chief Executive Officer, Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta

Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta (TPFA) operates seniors’ self-contained housing in Calgary with 1654 units in 16 buildings. TPFA also operates Peter Coyle Place, a supportive care facility for older adults living with the challenges of mental illness and/or addictions.

Current research interests include Scaling up Integrated Harm Reduction Health, Housing, and Social Supports for Inner City Older Adults with Addictions and Mental Health Challenges. This 3-year $1.5 million study, is funded by Health Canada and CMHC and will examine models of care for older adults in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

A second research interest is “Social Isolation”. TPFA is in the early stages of developing an assessment tool to determine the prevalence of social isolation within the TPFA portfolio.

Lawrence received the McKillop Award for Community Service in 2013 and he was named “Hero of the Flood”, following the flood in Calgary in June 2013.


 Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson, RN, BScN, Executive Director, Continuing Care, Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services

Carol has extensive experience working in the Alberta health care system with older adults in a variety of practice settings including home care, geriatric assessment and rehabilitation, long term care and geriatric psychiatry. Carol’s background includes policy positions at a provincial (Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services) and operational level, including quality improvement and safety in a community setting. She is the Executive Director, Continuing Care, Alberta Health Services, which includes Home Living, Facility Living, Supportive Living, Palliative/End of Life Care, Transitions Services, Planning & Program Support and Continuing Care Administration for the Edmonton Zone.


Karen McDonald, Executive Director, Sage Seniors Association


Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki RSW MHS, Provincial Director, North Population, Public and Indigenous Health, Indigenous Health Program

Panel - Integrating Medical Model with Social Services Presentation

 Jennifer Mallamo

Jennifer Mallamo, Dementia Friendly Communities (DFC) Coordinator, The Brenda Strafford Foundation

Jennifer is the Dementia Friendly Communities Coordinator for the pilot project carried out in Westhills, Calgary and Okotoks – the first two Dementia Friendly Communities in Alberta. Pairing schooling and experience in Hospitality Management with a degree in Kinesiology and a keen interest in brain health, Jennifer channels her passion for seniors into the realm of dementia. In addition to her role with DFC, Jennifer works compassionately as a Care Partner for persons with dementia, walking alongside families through their journey, navigating the system and advocating for their best care.

The Brenda Strafford Foundation embarked on a 2.5 year pilot project in the geographic areas surrounding Westhills, Calgary, and in the Town of Okotoks. The goals of the project were to raise awareness of dementia, and build community capacity to support individuals to age in place. Through community engagement, awareness activities, caregiver support strategies, and business training, a Toolkit/Guide, website and eLearning Course were developed to assist and encourage other communities to embark on their own Dementia Friendly initiative. A review of the toolkit, eLearning Course, and testimonials will show clearly the impact that a community grass-roots initiative can have when strong partnerships are created with key community champions. Participants will have the opportunity to experience aging first-hand with a simulation activity designed to encourage compassion for those facing aging and cognitive decline. The goal of this session is to have you walk away with a greater sense of what you can do to support those with dementia in your own community, organization or social group.

Dementia Friendly Communities Presentation

 Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki

Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki, Provincial Director-North Indigenous Health Program, Alberta Health Services

Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki was born and raised in Peavine Métis Settlement-one of the eight (land based) Metis Settlements in Alberta. She has worked extensively in the Indigenous community for the last three decades. Carol completed a Master’s degree in Health Studies Center from the Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University. This degree is supplemented by three summers (2006-2009) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/University of Alberta School of Public Health-Joint Indigenous Summer Research Institute. Carol has started a PhD – at the University of Alberta School of Public Health-Health Promotion and Socio-behavioral Sciences but has yet to complete the program. She has been a registered Social Worker with ACSW for twenty years.

Presently she is the Provincial Director – North- Indigenous Health Program - Alberta Health Services. She has been in various leadership positions with the program since 2007. Until recently Carol has provided managerial/ administrative support to the Indigenous Wellness Clinic (IWP) which provides clinic-based, primary care services in Indigenous communities including: Diabetes management and education classes, chronic disease management, mental health and addictions, women’s health, chronic pain and palliative care to Indigenous populations. The Indigenous Health Program fosters a holistic approach that integrates the mind, body, spirit and emotions.

These services are provided onsite in Edmonton at Anderson Hall to all Indigenous clients in Alberta. The program primarily services Indigenous clients (First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities). The program was designed with community involvement to overcome geographical, economic, political, cultural and socio-historical barriers faced by Indigenous people. Carol also manages the Indigenous Cultural Helpers who provide support to Indigenous patients in the two major hospitals in Edmonton. Carol was on the Editorial committee of the Chief Medical Officer of Health “Let’s talk About Aging” – Aging Well in Alberta well in Alberta - Report by the Medical Officer of Health-Alberta Government. Carol is a past member of the Seniors Strategic Clinical Network.

Carol has extensive Residential School involvement provincially and nationally as a study panel member with the Law Commission of Canada report “Restoring Dignity”
She was a member of the Aboriginal Working Caucus-Indian Residential School Resolution, the caucus were special advisors to the Federal government. The contributions concluded with the development of the Alternative Dispute Resolution agreement. The agreement was seen as a historic resolution of Indian Residential School issues. http://www.ammsa.com/publications/windspeaker/considerable-consultation

On a personal note she been married for 39 years to the same wonderful man; they have three adult children, and 10 AMAZING grandchildren.

Carol Carifelle-Brzezicki Presentation