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Board of Directors (2019- 2020)

Scientific Director - Dr. Lynn Mcdonald

Founder and Scientific Director, National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)

Dr. McDonald is a professor in the Faculty of Social Work and Past Director of the Institute for Human Development, Life Course and Aging at the University of Toronto. In 2002 she was awarded the Governor General’s Golden Jubilee medal for her contributions to Canadian gerontology. She has been a board director of the Alberta and Canadian Associations of Gerontology and served as Editor, Policy and Practice and Acting Editor, Social Sciences for the Canadian Journal on Aging. She also has been a board director of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Currently, Dr. McDonald is a member of the Board of Accreditation of the Canadian Association of the Schools of Social Work, the Social Dimensions of Aging Committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is a member of the planning committee for the new Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. She is a member of the Expert Advisory Committee for the Report Card on Seniors 2006, published by the National Advisory Council on Aging. She is also a member of the Working Group for the Panel Study of Life Course Dynamics housed in Quebec. Dr. McDonald has held numerous grants from Health Canada, the former HRDC, from SSHRCC, MCRI CIHR, Population Health, and the National Directorate on the Homeless. She is a co-author of a major Canadian textbook, Aging in Contemporary Canada (2003) and has numerous articles and technical reports on aging.

Board Chair - Dr. Peter Donohue

Director, Graduate Program Chair and Associate Professor, King's University College's School of Social Work, Western University

Dr. Peter Donahue is Director, Graduate Program Chair and Associate Professor of King’s University College’s School of Social Work at Western since 2015. Dr. Donahue was Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, Renison University College, University of Waterloo (2008 – 2012) and served as Chair of the Department of Social Development Studies at Renison (2013 – 2015). Previously, he was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. He holds a PhD and Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, and a BA (Gerontology) and BSc (Biology) from McMaster University. Peter is a founding member of the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE), and served as the first Network Manager for the organization.

Secretary - Dr. Mary Fox

Associate Professor, York University School of Nursing

Mary Fox, RN, PhD, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at York University and Adjunct Scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, is a world-renowned expert in the prevention of functional decline in older persons during acute illness and recovery. She has led and collaborated on research projects (> 30) with interdisciplinary academics and research-users and has consistently secured prestigious and highly competitive awards (e.g. CIHR training fellowship, Ontario Career Scientist, Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation Early Researcher). The recipient of more than $3 million in grants, she has disseminated the findings of over 30 studies in more than 100 peer reviewed published manuscripts and conference proceedings. She teaches courses on aging and research methods to undergraduate and graduate nurses and nurse practitioners.

Member - Dr. Veronique Boscart

Affiliate Scientist, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI)

Dr. Veronique Boscart has extensive nursing experience including working as a clinician, educator, manager and researcher in an international setting. She has published over forty peer reviewed manuscripts and is the lead author on the first Canadian edition of Gerontological Nursing and Healthy Aging (2011). Veronique is chair holder of the CIHR/ Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Senior Care funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)/ Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) College and Community Innovation (CCI) grant program at Conestoga College and Schlegel Village. She is Principal Investigator on the Neighbourhood Team Development program and Co-Principal Investigator on Developing patient-provider partnerships across the system (CFN Catalyst Grant) and DIVERT-CARE (collaboration action research & evaluation) study: A multi-provincial pragmatic trial of cardio-respiratory management in home care" (CIHR Project Grant).

Member - René d'Entremont

Public Relations Director, Rakuten Kobo

René is a bilingual communications professional who delivers strategic corporate messaging and creative initiatives for global programs. He currently holds the role of Public Relations Director at Kobo, and for the past five years has inspired his team to elevate the Kobo brand around the world, encouraging people to read more—whenever and wherever they want through digital reading.  Prior to joining Kobo, René worked in a variety of communications roles in the travel and entertainment industry for top brands such as The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, and LG Electronics. He holds a BA of Arts from the University of Western Ontario and a certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Fanshawe College.

Member - Dr. Christopher Frank

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Queen's University

Dr. Christopher C. Frank is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at Queen’s University and works at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston. Dr. Frank is a family physician with a certificate of added competency in the Care of the Elderly. His clinical work focuses on geriatric rehabilitation and consultation, and palliative care.

Member - Dr. Sandra Hirst

Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary

Sandra P. Hirst RN, PhD, GNC(C) is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing. She has held a number of leadership positions in gerontology including: president of the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association; president of the Canadian Association on Gerontology, and president of the Alberta Association of Gerontology. Sandra has completed a three year appointment from the Prime Minster to sit on the National Seniors Council. She currently sits on the Board of the IFA.  Her areas of research and related scholarship focus on abuse and neglect of older adults, and the experiences of older adults who reside in long term care facilities. In 2012, she received the Jeanne Mance award from the Canadian Nurses Association, the highest honour that a registered nurse can receive from her peers.

Member - Dr. Ariela Lowenstein

President, Max Stern Yezreel Academic College, University of Haifa

Ariela Lowenstein, PhD, is the President of Max Stern Yezreel Academic College at the University of Haifa and Co-chair of the Center on Aging, Intergenerational Relations and Health. She is Chair of the Foundation Assisting Holocaust Survivors in Israel Scientific Advisory Committee, and serves on Israeli governmental and local agencies as a consultant and a policy advisor. Previously, Dr. Lowenstein has served as chair of the European Behavioral, Social Science and Research Section of the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics -- European Region, and chair of the Israeli Gerontological Society. Dr. Lowenstein received the Hazani Prize for Innovation in Aging from the Israeli Ministry of Social Welfare, and the Honorary Citizen from Haifa, Israel, for her work and support in developing services for the aged in the city.

Member -  Dr. Elsa Marziali

Research Associate, National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)

Dr. Marziali’s research has focused on designing and evaluating Internet-based video conferencing educational/support group interventions for persons with chronic disease (cardiovascular, type 2 diabetes, stroke, COPD, dementia, Parkinson’s) and their family caregivers. The aim is to make the research ‘products’ (evidence-based e-health home care intervention programs) available as service programs to health care organizations nationally and internationally.  Dr. Marziali’s innovative technology platform provides, a) online competency training of health service providers to reliably deliver and evaluate benefits of technology supported healthcare intervention programs; b) access to video conferencing platform for patients to participate in specific intervention programs and evaluate their impact on individual health status.

Member -  Laura Tamblyn Watts

Senior Fellow and Staff Lawyer, Canadian Centre for Elder Law

Laura Watts is a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Centre for Elder Law and formerly served as its National Director. She co-chairs the Law and Aging team of the National Initiative for Care of the Elderly, as well as co-facilitating the World Study Group on Elder Law. Laura also is a past chair of the Consumer and Investor Advisory Council established by the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments. Laura currently teaches at the University of Toronto where she is obtaining her doctorate jointly from the Faculty of Law and the Institute for Life Course and Aging.

Member -  Dr. Louise Plouffe

Research Director, International Longevity Centre

Louise Plouffe holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Ottawa, Canada. She is Senior Technical Officer in the Ageing and Life Course Programme, World Health Organization where she coordinates the development of a Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide in collaboration with partners in over 30 cities worldwide. She also is managing a WHO initiative to improve the visibility and inclusion of older persons in planning for humanitarian emergencies. Dr. Plouffe has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging since 2000.  Dr. Plouffe also has served on the Executive Board of the Canadian Association on Gerontology. Prior to joining the Public Service of Canada in 1989, Dr. Plouffe taught gerontology at the Université du Québec en Outaouais.  Her interest in aging began in 1977 when she worked as a psychometrist in the psychogeriatric unit of a mental hospital.

Member -  Bénédicte Schoepflin

Coordinator, Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA)

Bénédicte is the Coordinator of the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She is also the Social Media Coordinator for the British Columbia Law Institute and its division, the Canadian Centre for Elder Law, all based in Vancouver, B.C. Bénédicte holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Poitiers, France. Past experiences run the gamut from language instruction to talent acquisition and museum management. These experiences contributed to her appreciation of the bonds that connect us — linguistic, historical or generational — and of the importance of protecting and championing them. Joining teams that embrace aging and social justice seemed like the next logical step.

Member -  Dr. Samir Sinha

Director of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals

Dr. Sinha serves as the Director of Geriatrics of the Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto and was recently appointed the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. He is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2012, Dr. Sinha's was appointed by the Government of Ontario to serve as the expert lead of Ontario's Seniors Strategy and he is now working on the development of a National Seniors Strategy. Dr. Sinha has further consulted for hospitals and health authorities in Britain, China, Iceland, Singapore and the United States on the implementation and administration of unique, integrated and innovative models of geriatric care.


Member -  Doreen So


Lawyer, Hull & Hull LLP.

Doreen So is a lawyer at Hull & Hull LLP.  Her practice is specialized in estates, trusts, power of attorney, and capacity issues in Ontario.  Doreen is a fierce advocate for the elderly and other vulnerable individuals.  She was also a student at the Ontario Office of the Children’s Lawyer.  Doreen has a B.A. in Family Studies from the University of British Columbia and a L.L.B./J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School.

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