Division of Geriatric Medicine

Annual Report


Division Director:
Dr. Sharon Marr

Division Members: S. Abid, C. Allaby, A. Braun, D. Cowan, M. Gagnon, G. Heckman, A. Khan, S. Marr, B. Misiaszek, A. Papaioannou, C. Patterson, M. Peat, S. Prasad, R. Safranyos, J. St. Onge, I. Turpie, T. Woo, J. Yang

Educational Activities


The Division has remained very active serving over 150 undergraduate and postgraduate learners rotating through our geriatric medicine programs.  This past academic year has been extremely successful under the leadership of our educational leaders Drs. Cowan, Allaby, Didyk, Gagnon, St. Onge, Marr, McLeod, Misiaszek, and Woo.

The Division hosted Dr. Michael Gordon, visiting professor from the University of Toronto; Dr. Jayna Holroyd-Leduc, visiting professor from Calgary University; and Dr. Pam Jarrett visiting professor from Dalhousie University. Monthly geriatric grand rounds were held locally at the Juravinski Hospital and each has been video-conferenced to more than 10 community locations.   The Division also welcomed its new residents Drs. Fiona Menzies, Abdulaziz Al-Rasahed, and Rana Al-Hamwy. With growing interest in geriatric medicine, the postgraduate residency Geriatric Interest Group (GIG) has been under development with leadership and support from our division members and internal medicine residents.  The undergraduate Inter-professional GIG continues to be successful and holds its annual interdisciplinary workshop at multiple campus sites with Dr. Woo as their faculty advisor.

The Division collaborated with the Regional Geriatric Program, Central to provide excellence in education and capacity building through the development of innovative and successful educational programs related to seniors and frail elderly persons.  Our division has had strong leadership, collaboration and presence at many educational events including the Regional Geriatric Program Central Cognitive and Geriatric Assessment Training Workshops, Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) and other McMaster University geriatric educational events.  Drs. Gagnon and Heckman have partnered with Dr. Linda Lee to develop and implement a novel and effective model for Family Medicine Memory Clinic Training Programs within the HNHB LHIN and other provincial LHINs.  This model of capacity building has been awarded a grant from the Ontario College of Family Physicians. Drs.  Patterson and Cowan have also partnered with Family Health Teams (FHT) within Hamilton to provide geriatric expertise and capacity building and have been successful in meeting the needs of FHT’s and their patients and health care providers.

Thank you to Dr. Heckman, who has stepped down as the Geriatric Medicine Residency Research Program Director, for his dedication and support to this program and our geriatric fellows. Congratulations to Dr. Didyk who was appointed the Internal Medicine postgraduate Regional Educational Leader for the Waterloo Campus, which will have its inaugural Internal Medicine residency-training program as of July 2011.

Research Programs


The Division continues to have a number of outstanding and successful research endeavors and projects such as “A knowledge to action intervention in long term care – A feasibility study focusing on the uptake of osteoporosis and fracture prevention best practices” and the “Development of bone quality parameters for assessing osteoporosis using peripheral quantitative computed tomography” (CI.  Dr. Papaioannou, CIHR funded grant); Ontario Survey evaluating bisphosphonate use and osteonecrosis of the jaw in Ontario (PI Dr. Khan); Family Medicine Memory Clinic Training Program funded by a grant from the Ontario College of Family Physicians (Co PI Drs. Gagnon, Heckman and Lee); Summary of Senior Friendly Care in Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant (HNHB) Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Hospitals” (Co-Author Dr. Marr).  In addition, Dr. Papaioannou leads the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Strategy for Fracture Prevention in Long-term Care.  She was also the lead author of the 2010 Osteoporosis Canada Guidelines (CMAJ) that included the development of a knowledge translation strategy to ensure the guidelines are disseminated to primary care and patients. The focus of the guidelines was the targeted assessment and treatment of high-risk patients for fractures and introduced a new 10-year fracture risk assessment model.

We also want to thank and acknowledge Dr. Papaioannou who has been appointed the Research Director for the Division of Geriatric Medicine.   Her appointment will no doubt ensure that our division members are supported in their research endeavors and our research opportunities will develop and grow.

Lastly, we want to thank Dr. Molloy for his contributions as a renowned researcher in the area of dementia and advanced directives.  He has accepted a position at Cork University in Ireland as the Chair of the Centre of Gerontology and Rehabilitation in September 2010.

Major Achievements


Congratulations to Dr. Gagnon who received the Postgraduate Residency Teacher of the Year award, Department of Medicine, and the Regional Geriatric Program Central Executive Senior Leadership Award.  The St. Joseph’s Healthcare (SJH) geriatric program was awarded the Best Sub-specialty Rotation within the Department of Medicine. Dr. McLeod was awarded the prestigious W. Watson Buchanan AFP Clinician Educator Award, Department of Medicine Internal Career Award.  Dr. Khan was awarded the International Clinician Instructor Award in the field of metabolic bone disease. Dr. Woo was awarded the Medicine Clerkship Faculty Teaching Award at this year’s inaugural Medicine Clerkship Program Award’s ceremony.  The Division of Geriatric Medicine, in recognition of Dr. Turpie’s outstanding leadership and mentorship in education at McMaster University, has established an annual undergraduate award, which was awarded to Ms. Amy Montour, McMaster University MD Class 2011.

Future Directions


The Division will continue to develop strong leadership and collaborative partnerships with each of its academic health science centre partners, Regional Geriatric Program Central, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and community stakeholders.  Our division will strive to ensure that the needs of the frail elderly are addressed. We will continue to optimize their chronic health conditions and prevent further medical and functional deterioration whenever possible, to educate and train future generations of interdisciplinary health professionals in the care of the elderly persons, and to promote and develop research programs that optimize the care and functional independence of older persons.

Our division would like to thank Dr. O’Byrne, Ms. Rosati and their administrative and finance department staff; Mr. Sulewski; Dr. Lumb, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Peter’s Hospital; Dr. Russell, SJH; Ms. Pacheco; Ms. Voogd; and our administrative staff for their ongoing support and dedication for our Division of Geriatric Medicine. I would also like to thank Drs. Misiaszek and Gagnon for their support and guidance as geriatric site chiefs at HHS and SJH.