Interim Scientific Director Appointed

January 25, 2013

The Board of Directors of Canadian Frailty Network is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Richard Birtwhistle, MD, MSc, FCFP as Interim Scientific Director, effective February 1, 2013.

Dr. Birtwhistle is a family physician and clinical epidemiologist. He is a Professor in the departments of Family Medicine and Community Health and Epidemiology in the School of Medicine at Queen’s University, and is also currently Director of the Centre for Studies in Primary Care in the department of Family Medicine. He also served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at Queen’s from 1996-2004. Click here to view Dr. Birtwhistle’s full CV.

Dr. Birtwhistle’s primary research interests include chronic disease management, electronic medical records, hypertension, and the evaluation of primary care models. As a family physician, he has first -hand knowledge of caring for the frail elderly. He is also interested in the international development of primary care and has been involved in projects in Bosnia, Herzegovina and Oman.

Since 2008 Dr. Birtwhistle has been the principal investigator, and is the current Chair, for the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) which is a national project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Its aim is to develop a central repository of de-identified patient data on chronic diseases from a network of primary care practitioners using electronic medical records. This data source will be available to health care providers and researchers, ideally leading to improved chronic disease care in Canada. Dr. Birtwhistle received the Researcher of the Year award in 2010 from the College of Family Physicians of Canada in recognition of the successes of CPCSSN.

Dr. Birtwhistle is also the Vice Chair of the reconstituted Canadian Task Force on Preventative Healthcare which produces evidence based guidelines for primary care practitioners. He has been a clinician researcher since 2010 with ICES@Queens, one of two satellite locations of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and is also involved as a researcher with the Canadian Institute of Military & Veteran Health Research.

The Board will begin the process for the selection of a permanent Scientific Director shortly.