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With an aging population in Canada, we can expect the number of older adults who will experience dementia will increase, making dementia and brain health research a critical focus at Bruyère. We are pleased to announce Dr. Frank Knoefel has been appointed as the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind – Bruyère Research Institute Chair in Primary Health Care Dementia Research at Bruyère Research Institute.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Knoefel accept this Chair,” said Heidi Sveistrup, VP Research and Academic Affairs, Bruyère, and CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, Bruyère Research Institute. “The intersection of his experience as a primary care provider for older adults and his extensive research portfolio is incredibly valuable in advancing research that directly supports patients and caregivers across their journey through a dementia diagnosis.”

“In Canada, the number of people diagnosed with dementia has grown rapidly, creating a healthcare crisis that needs to be addressed at multiple levels,” said Ruth Slack, PhD, Director, uOttawa Brain and Mind Research Institute, Full Professor, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. “The uOBMRI is excited to announce the joint Chair in Primary Health Care Dementia Research with Bruyère Research Institute appointed to Dr. Frank Knoefel, a leader in this field.  This is a great opportunity for our institutes to work together to accelerate our research programs in memory care and dementia prevention.”

Dr. Knoefel has been a physician with Bruyère for 26 years, and was a part of the creation of the smart apartment within the Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital 15 years ago. Since then, the smart apartment has become an AGE-WELL national innovation hub, known as the SAM3 (Sensors and Analytics to Monitor Memory and Mobility), and Dr. Knoefel continues to work with AGE-WELL as the national lead of their Cognitive Health and Dementia challenge area.

This Chair, created in partnership with the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute, the Department of Family Medicine, and the Family Medical Associates of Ottawa, will be an opportunity to expand upon Dr. Knoefel’s program of research, which focuses on home monitoring technology as a mechanism for assessing functional ability in older adults. The work on these sensor systems has grown impressively from its first testing stages in the lab to being implemented in the community, clinical settings, and retirement homes as it continues to advance and evolve through ongoing research and partnerships with institutions like Carleton and industry leaders such as Best Buy Health.

“As an Academic Family Health Team, we are constantly striving to develop and implement new best practice in primary care,” said Dr. Jolanda Turley, President of the Family Medical Associates of Ottawa. “Supporting a research chair that is centered on how we might provide diagnosis and treatment for older adults is transforming care for our patients and team alike.”

“We are so delighted to be supporting the work Dr. Frank Knoefel will pursue with this research chair,” said Dr. Clare Liddy, Chair and Professor, Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa. “His clinical expertise as a family doctor combined with his dementia research focus has the potential to significantly improve health care delivery for people living with dementia in the primary care community.”