Canadian Frailty Network funding renewed for a second term

Canada’s ability to care for more than 1.2 million frail older citizens along with their families, caregivers and care providers received a significant boost with the announcement March 1st of $23.9 million in renewal funding for Canadian Frailty Network from the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program for a second five-year term (2017-2022). This funding will be leveraged by $30 million in projected cash and in-kind contributions from 150 partners in the academic, industry, community and government sectors.

“In renewing CFN’s funding for another five years the Government of Canada and the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat have made a powerful statement on the importance of improving care and quality of life for the over one million older Canadians living with frailty, “said CFN’s Board of Directors Chair Russell Williams at an announcement event held at Queen’s University on March 3rd with MP Mark Gerretsen. “This new funding will enable the Canadian Frailty Network to mobilize and grow our community of partners and stakeholders to transform how Canada cares for frail older Canadians, their families and caregivers.”

The grant will be paid over five years, and will allow CFN to continue the work they began with the initial round of funding received in 2012. This has involved supporting 88 research projects at 44 Canadian post-secondary institutions and teaching hospitals, and providing training opportunities to over 550 students, recent graduates and other highly qualified people. The CFN community has grown to over 3,500, including 400 researchers across Canada.

Canada has become a leader in frailty research but, despite this, the Canadian healthcare system has lagged behind other jurisdictions in applying what is known about frailty. “This renewal funding from the NCE will lead to many impacts on our system,” says John Muscedere, CFN Scientific Director and CEO, “which can increase value from healthcare 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.”

“The need for system change is a priority for more than one million frail older Canadians, their families, and for those delivering care. Frailty matters for Canada; the status quo isn’t an option, and together with our partners CFN is making change possible.”

The renewal application process was a year-long team effort, and the collaborative strength of CFN involving contributions from so many network stakeholders was at the heart of a very strong proposal.

In addition to the five-book proposal major effort was put into a day-long presentation to the NCE’s Expert Panel of impartial international experts, and a final presentation to the NCE Standing Selection Committee. Many volunteers from the CFN community contributed to these efforts as contributors, reviewers, mock panelist and presenters.


About the NCE Program

Since its creation in 1989, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program has successfully brought together the best minds in many disciplines and sectors to solve major social, economic or health issues for Canadians.

The program supports large-scale academically led research networks that harness the creativity and inventiveness of Canadian health, natural, and social scientists and engineers. Partners from industry, government and not-for-profit organizations contribute additional expertise and cash and in kind support. International acclaim has led other countries, including Australia, South Africa and some within the European Union, to incorporate the NCE model into their programs.

The NCE program currently supports 12 research networks.