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News Release - Kingston-based Canadian Frailty Network receives renewal funding of $23.9 million from Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

KINGSTON – An internationally recognized research network focused on improving health care for an aging population has received renewal funding from the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. Launched as an NCE in May 2012, Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) will receive $23.9 million in renewal funding for the next five years, matched by $30 million in contributions from 150 partners.

Hosted by Queen’s, CFN is a national initiative to improve the care of older Canadians living with frailty. Its goals are to increase frailty recognition and assessment, support new research and engage frail older people and their caregivers to improve decision making, and mobilize evidence to transform health and social care to meet the needs of the aging population.

“This Queen’s-led Networks of Centres of Excellence demonstrates the importance of the research at Queen’s and is evidence of how knowledge-mobilization can be done effectively and lead to a measurable impact,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University.

For its second term, CFN has prioritized standardizing how frailty is identified and measured in various care settings, continuing to increase evidence on frailty to aid decision making, and mobilizing knowledge to catalyze change in care. Canada is a leader in frailty research but, despite this, the Canadian health-care system has lagged behind other jurisdictions in applying what is known about frailty.

“Implementing standardized ways to identify and measure frailty will support comparisons between jurisdictions and identify variations in care, outcomes and health-care resource utilization,” says John Muscedere, Scientific Director and CEO, CFN. “This can increase value from health-care resources by avoiding under use and overuse of care. Informed by evidence, our goal is the right care, delivered in the right setting, as determined by older frail individuals with their families and caregivers.”

Over the past five years, CFN has had a number of successful outcomes:

  • Pilot study of in-bed cycling as a rehabilitation intervention for older frail patients in the ICU has led to full study.
  • A national partnership with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and Mount Sinai Hospital implemented elder-friendly models of care in 17 Canadian hospitals and an international hospital, and further collaboration is planned for Term 2.
  • A study testing ICU screening for frailty has been rolled out across Alberta.
  • ICU patients in Alberta are now screened for frailty. Promising feasibility study result has led to volunteer patient navigators for frail rural dwelling seniors being tested across Canada.
  • Testing by home care teams in the province of Quebec examined how a training program for doctors and interprofessional teams can improve the experience of the frail elderly and their families and caregivers in confronting the decision to stay at home or move to a care facility.
  • CFN’s Interdisciplinary Program is the only one in Canada targeting frailty, and nearly 550 young scholars, students and trainees have developed enhanced specialized skills and knowledge to provide the best evidence-based care.

“The unique challenges posed by frailty require a shift in Canadian health policy and planning on a national level,” says Russell Williams, Chair, Board of Directors, CFN. "Canada needs frailty assessment standards implemented across care settings; better frailty training for caregivers and health-care professionals; and funding models to address the needs of older adults living with frailty.”

For more information, visit the website. To view the government announcement visit the website.

EDITORS NOTE: Queen’s is hosting a media opportunity regarding the CFN funding on Friday, March 3 at 1 pm in the Queen’s Biosciences Complex, 116 Barrie Street.

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Anne Craig, Media Relations Officer

613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca

Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines. Queen’s University is a member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.

Canadian Frailty Network (previously known as TVN) is Canada’s only network devoted to improving care for older Canadians living with frailty, including at end-of-life. We do this by increasing awareness of frailty and the value of assessment, by providing evidence to inform decision making from the bedside to the policy making level, by training the next generation of care professionals and scientists, by supporting research and interventions, and by mobilizing knowledge to transform health and social care for frail older Canadians. CFN brings together a community of 3,500 researchers, policy makers, national organizations, clinicians and other health-care professionals, students, health-care providers, industry, and older Canadians and their families and caregivers.

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