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Aiken joins College of New Scholars

Elected for her research on health services and policies related to Canadian military personnel, veterans and their families.

Alice Aiken (School of Rehabilitation Therapy) has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists for her research on health services and policies related to Canadian military personnel, veterans and their families.

[Alice Aiken]
Alice Aiken (School of Rehabilitation Therapy) has been elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

“What this election to the RSC College of New Scholars means, most importantly, is that military, veteran and family health research is now firmly on the Canadian research landscape,” says Dr. Aiken, Director, Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR). “This will allow us to broaden the reach and scope of the research to serve those who serve us.”

After serving 14 years in the Canadian Forces – first as a ship’s navigator in the Royal Canadian Navy, then as a physiotherapist – Dr. Aiken pursued an MSc and PhD in rehabilitation science. In 2010, Dr. Aiken co-founded CIMVHR to support research and new policies, programs and practices to improve health outcomes for military personnel.

Since its founding, CIMVHR has secured more than $30 million in funding and become a focal point for more than 35 Canadian universities and more than a thousand researchers and clinicians working to address the unique health research needs of the Canadian military.

CIMVHR has also led the development of a whole new field of research into the unique health needs of veterans and their families. For example, since CIMVHR was formed, the number of peer-reviewed publications on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Canadian veterans has increased by 400 per cent – leading to new treatments and policy changes.

In addition to her election to the college, Dr. Aiken has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work. She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel for the 33 Health Services Group and was recently awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for her work improving the lives of veterans.

Members of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists demonstrate, at an early stage in their career, a high level of achievement. It serves as a fourth entity, alongside the three existing academies of the RSC, and serves to address issues of concern for new scholars, artists and scientists. Up to 100 new members are elected every year and membership is for seven years.