Expanding the Network of Champions at Annual Innovation Summit

Organizers to put out call for submissions to present at June event

By Kristian Partingon

An important strategic priority for Schlegel Villages is to "drive measurably better quality outcomes through programs, research and education.” The annual Innovation Summit, presented in partnership with The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), “is a perfect example of our commitment to this as we drive decision making to the neighbourhood levels,” says Jaimie Killingbeck, Schlegel Villages Director of Quality and Innovation.  

Team member innovators enjoy networking with
like-minded people at the Annual
Schlegel Villages/RIA Innovation Summit.

Innovation is behind the technologies and systems that improve the lives of residents in every way, from cardio vascular health to nutrition, and it’s research that pushes the boundaries of possibility within an innovative mind. The summit, which takes place in June, showcases the best in quality improvement, innovation and research from inside age-related research communities, industry vendors and the frontlines of care and support. 

In mid-February, summit organizers will put out a call for submissions, seeking speakers for the two-day event who wish to showcase an idea that has impacted the lives of Villagers or will potentially do so in the future. This sharing of ideas inevitably inspires others, says RIA Research Application Specialist Lora Bruyn-Martin, and this is why she and her fellow summit organizers are seeking all interested speakers.

“We want to give everyone equal opportunity because I am sure there are things going on that we are completely unaware of,” Lora says.  

“It’s just a great opportunity for everyone to come face-to-face to share what they’re doing and what’s working,” she adds, noting that while successes are great to highlight, true innovation requires willingness to make attempts and learn from mistakes. “We must not be afraid to share failures,” she says.

Olivia Neilipovitz and Erica Hooker hope to be part of the summit once again. They’ve attended the past two events and last year were part of presentations about two innovations from their village – restorative dining and resident sleep tracking. As RAI-QI nurses at the Village of Aspen Lake in Windsor, they have a keen interest in better ways of supporting residents and the summit reinforces the fact successful innovation is possible, even within the limits of long-term care regulation.

“When we think of long-term care and we think of the funding and the accessibility we have, there are some big ideas that we really can still accomplish within the constraints that we have,” Erica says. “I really enjoy the summit; it’s a very motivating time for everybody to see what’s going in other villages and outside the villages.”

Together with other innovation champions at the village, Erica and Olivia created a committee that meets regularly to discuss trial programs running in each neighbourhood. Every department and every neighbourhood is represented, ensuring a cross-functional approach to challenges and the innovative ideas that provide solutions.

Olivia says networking with people from different villages who share a similar passion for new ideas is one of the greatest benefits of the summit experience.

“If you have any questions you can ask people right away,” Olivia says. “You come off the summit and you’re excited about doing different new programs in the village and you have those resources right away. You know who to talk to and you have the answers to be able to start those programs.”

For more information or to see how you can apply to be part of this year’s Innovation Summit, please contact Lora at lora.bruyn-martin@uwaterloo.ca or Jaimie at jaimie.killingbeck@schlegelvillages.com