Division of Geriatric Medicine

Showcase Research

The Division of Geriatric Medicine supports a number of outstanding and successful research endeavors & projects.  Some of our showcase items include:

Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

The Hospital Elder Life Program is an innovative and evidence based model of care designed to prevent delirium and functional decline in hospitalized older persons. Originally developed by Dr. Sharon Inouye & colleagues of Yale University’s School of Medicine as a means of promoting patient safety, HELP has been successfully implemented across many sites in the United States and Canada (8 in total for the latter).

In partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences, Division members, specifically Dr. Christopher Patterson, have been crucial in the promotion and successful implementation of the first Hospital Elder Life Program in a Canadian Hospital. HELP is in place currently at two teaching sites at Hamilton Health Sciences (Wards 3X/3Y and 4Y at McMaster Hospital campus and Wards E4 & F5 at the Henderson Hospital campus.).

Services are provided by a team of staff and volunteer, and the team includes Elder Life Specialists (E. Stirling & A. John), Elder Life Clinical Nurse Specialist (A. Pizzacalla), Geriatricians and highly trained volunteers.  Plans are being made to expand HELP, and to perform quantitative and qualitative evaluation of its effectiveness in a Canadian setting.


Fracture?... think Osteoporosis Program

Fracture?... Think Osteoporosis Program (FTOP) is a new interdisciplinary program developed and implemented by Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, which has been designed to improve diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in patients who have experienced fractures resulting from fragile bones.

Patients are referred to FTOP through primary care, orthopedic fracture clinics at the Henderson, Hamilton General, McMaster University Medical Centre, and Chedoke, inpatient orthopedic/rehabilitation units, Bone Mass Density clinics, and through the Osteoporosis and Fracture Prevention Clinic, located at Chedoke Hospital. Upon referral to the program, patients are given educational materials on osteoporosis. They are advised on how to have further assessment done to monitor their bone health, and asked questions by a screening coordinator about personal risk factors relating to osteoporosis and their general knowledge of the disease. The patient receives a “Fracture Alert” handout, reminding them to see their family doctor. The patient’s family doctor also receives a similar handout, as well as treatment guidelines. Patients who visit one of HHS’ fracture clinics receive follow-up calls six to eight weeks after their enrollment by a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

When the Fracture? Think Osteoporosis Program was first implemented in 2006, patients were being referred primarily through the fracture clinic at the Henderson. Today, both the Hamilton General and McMaster University Medical Centre fracture clinics have become involved with this program, increasing patient enrollment and allowing for a higher level of awareness and support for those living with osteoporosis.


Tri-City Research Day

The Tri-City Research Day in Geriatric Medicine is one of the ways members of our Division showcases excellence in aging research by new health sciences. Each year, undergraduate and postgraduate students supervised by researchers at each University present their work to a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience of peers, followed by the presentation of awards and a lively dinner to celebrate their achievements and the contribution of their supervisors.


Best Practice (BP) in LTC Initiative Bloggers

These are a collection of newsletters featuring topics related to promoting excellence in Long Term Care.

BP Blogger 1 – Medication: The right Dosing Issue

"The BP Blogger – Medications: The Right Dosing" was part of a knowledge translation research grant with CIHR Grant #KTS73426  "Improving prescribing of medication and patient safety in long-term care"

BP Blogger 2 – The Bones Issue

For more informative Best Practice Bloggers such as the one's above, click here.


Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan (CHHS-AP).

Dr. George Heckman was involved in the preparation of this document released yesterday (Working Group 6).

Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan website