CFN names first Interdisciplinary Fellows

September 26, 2013

Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) is pleased to announce eight fellowship awards as part of their mandate to develop multidisciplinary and multi-sector approaches to caring for seriously ill elderly patients, their families and caregivers.

“The care needs of the frail elderly are complex and often require collaboration among a number of health professionals, community organizations and institutions, in a system that typically separates different levels and types of care,” said CFN Scientific Director Dr. John Muscedere. “The Interdisciplinary Fellowship program provides the learning environment required to help break down the barriers in our health system and improve care across all settings.”

CFN’s two-year fellowship training program, which includes a stipend of $50,000 per year, extends beyond traditional academic and clinical programs to offer enriched experiential learning opportunities that give trainees the skills, experiences, and attitudes they need to work together to ensure the highest quality of care for seriously ill, elderly patients. It is designed, said Dr. Muscedere as “an approach that allows patients, families and their support systems to feel listened to, rather than talked at.”

The eight award recipients, who represent a wide range of disciplines and educational institutions across Canada, have diverse backgrounds related to aging and the seriously ill elderly, including interests in palliative care, advance care planning and home-based rehabilitation. They will work on their own self-directed research initiative while completing six multidisciplinary training program modules that include mentoring, placements and ongoing interaction and engagement with supervisors, mentors, patients and families, colleagues, industry and government.

A contribution to training the next generation of researchers and highly qualified personnel is a required component of all CFN-funded projects to deepen appreciation for holistic care, increase exposure to interdisciplinary research and advance intellectual and professional development. A summer student program launched in June 2013 provided research funding for ten students from seven programs at eight universities across Canada.

A backgrounder is available listing the Fellowship recipients, their projects, supervisors and host institutions. If you are interested in more information about the Interdisciplinary Fellowship Program competition, please consult the Funding Opportunities section of the website.