New Centre will enhance innovative education and research knowledge translation
Schlegel Villages and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) have always enjoyed a strong partnership with Conestoga College. The school is viewed as an essential element in the development of a compassionate seniors-care work force while translating knowledge gleaned through research into practice in the service of older adults.
This ongoing partnership became more fully entrenched on April 13 when officials from all three organizations gathered at the College’s Doon campus in Kitchener to officially open the Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care.
“The Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care represents an important step forward in our efforts to advance innovation and address real-world needs through education, applied research and workforce development,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We are grateful for the support provided by Schlegel Villages and our partners for the establishment of this important new resource as we work in collaboration to enhance the quality of life and care for Canada’s growing population of seniors and their families.”
Hundreds of Conestoga College personal support worker and practical nursing students have already enjoyed the hands-on benefits of training in the “Living Classroom” model, which places students within village settings at the Villages of University Gates and Riverside Glen for their practical education.
The Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care will build upon this idea of innovative education to improve a workforce that can meet the demands of an aging population, ensuring that seniors enjoy the best in life quality through every stage of life.
“We are very pleased to work with Conestoga for the delivery of innovative education and workforce development that will improve the quality of care for seniors now and into the future,” said Schlegel Villages and RIA founder Ron Schlegel. “This investment will allow us to continue to build on our shared successes as we work towards our common goal of creating a better community.”
The new centre was made possible though support from Schlegel Villages, RIA, The Natural Sciences Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Veronique Boscart, who specializes in knowledge translation from her position as CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care, will continue her efforts to improve the lives of older adults from her new position as the centre’s director.
“The Schlegel Centre adds significantly to our collective capacity to do the important work we’re doing to innovate for enhanced seniors care and living,” said RIA director Josie d’Avernas during her remarks, noting that Veronique’s previous leadership contributed much to the strength of the partnership between Conestoga and RIA. That will only grow under her continued stewardship.
“I want to extend my personal congratulations, and congratulations on behalf of the entire RIA team, to Veronique and her team, and to Conestoga College, for the incredible success of the (IRCC) program,” Josie continued, “and for the opening of the Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care, which is a physical manifestation of the success of this program and of the expanded partnership with RIA and Schlegel Villages.”