This year, the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health is celebrating our 10 year anniversary! Founded in 2008, we will be posting regular videos to our new Youtube Channel this year to summarize our past successes, and talk about the future of the organization.
Rent free retirement living for young students in exchange for senior companionship and intergenerational mentorship. This is the solution Nipissing University nursing students Lori Sneddon and Kelley Nedza have outlined titled “The Intergenerational Living Model”.
Over the past months, Sneddon and Nedza have been completing a community placement project in collaboration with Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health in Goderich, ON. Through the guidance of Gwen Devereaux R.N., they have had access to many of the area’s most notable senior resources such as Goderich Place, Harbour Hill Retirement Community, and the McKay Centre for Seniors. While touring these places, both students recognized the beneficial programming that is in place for older adults living in the Goderich area. They also noted the potential for other initiatives for our progressively aging population. Thus, drafting a Goderich intended intergenerational living model.
In a brief presentation given at Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health on March 27th, both Sneddon and Nedza outlined the benefits of the model. The model would initially consist of nursing students living amongst the retirement community, which could be extended further into occupational/recreational therapy students, and even plumber or electrician apprenticeships. The students would live within the retirement home rent free in exchange for 30hrs of volunteer companionship with the other residents. Both students are very confident in the idea they have outlined, stating the only barriers to their model would be lack of interest or lack of funding.
Based off similar fully functioning models in The Netherlands, both students conducted research as to why they believe this model could be implemented in Huron County. They found that although Goderich has many effective resources and initiatives, geriatric loneliness and social isolation is still very prevalent. This model could improve social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and coping strategies which in turn will increase overall health, and reduce the instances of dementia, depression, and hypertension in seniors. Through a three “S” system they would hope the model would allow for older adults be supported, safe, and socially connected. In addition to the health benefits for the individuals, this model would greatly benefit the community by integrating inspired youth into our rural areas.
Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health is very excited about the model and would like to see how it can be further implemented after the nurses leave to pursue the rest of their degree. Thank you, Lori and Kelley, for all your hard work and we wish you the best of luck in your future schooling and research!
The Nipissing University Bachelor of Science in Nursing Community Health Clinical Practicum Placement provides an invaluable opportunity for third year nursing students to work collaboratively to perform a community assessment, and develop a meaningful project that will enhance the health of a community. Two such students currently engaged in completing their community placement, Lori Sneddon of Listowel, and Kelley Nedza of Grand Bend, are presently working at the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health located in Goderich, Ontario.
Under the direction of Gwen Devereaux R.N., students Sneddon and Nedza have chosen to assess the gaps in programming for Huron County Seniors. They are specifically researching existing programming developed to combat loneliness and social isolation among this vulnerable population. “It is so enjoyable working with these nurses and I am re-energized by their enthusiasm for our profession! At Gateway we continue to assist students wishing to further their professional careers in health care and this project assists also in making aging in Huron County better. A win- win for all of us!” said Devereaux.
After introducing the two students to current programming and initiatives at Goderich Place and the Harbour Hill Retirement Community, the students expressed amazement at the volume of current resources provided. Nedza stated “being here has broadened my knowledge of community rural health and a different specialty of nursing.” Sneddon stated, "I am impressed with how Gateway is creating initiatives and projects to better the rural communities. I didn't realize that there were so many areas of nursing incorporated into the community and I am proud to be a part of it."
In addition to this twelve week long practicum placement at Gateway, Sneddon currently works full time as a Mental Health Nurse (RPN) at Homewood Health Centre in Guelph, and Nedza is working as a R.P.N. at LHSC and Clinton Hospital.
Both students look forward to completing their work in partnership with Gateway long after the conclusion of their clinical experience.
On Thursday, January 25th, Heather Mair, a University of Waterloo professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies was appointed as a Research Chair at the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health. Heather has been given the title of Chair of Rural Community Development and Well-Being. Mair grew up in Rural New Brunswick and has a PhD in Rural Development. The majority of Heather Mair’s research and work has been in community development and the role that recreation, sport and leisure play in community involvement. She specifically likes to focus on and illustrate the social importance of these activities, which is especially evident within small towns and rural in communities. In filling this position, Heather Mair is looking forward to working within the community and helping to address some of the unique difficulties and issues of rural life through upcoming projects and potential research opportunities.
Additionally, a new partnership was made official at last week’s meeting between the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health, and the G2G Rail Trail organization with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. This document forms the first step in an active, and ongoing relationship built on the common interests of the two organizations to strengthen connections between communities, bring value to rural communities, and improve the quality of life and overall health of those living in rural Ontario. The documentation of these shared interests as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding, provides a concrete prospect for future policy development, possible research opportunities and overall growth.
Click here to read the full article from the Goderich Signal Star on Gateway's New Research Chair
Click here to read the full article from the Goodrich Signal Star on Gateway's New Partnership with the G2G Rail Trail
Health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and communities. We know that taking care of ourselves by eating well and staying active, not smoking, getting the recommended immunizations and screening tests, and seeing a doctor when we are sick all influence our health. Our health is also determined in part by access to social and economic opportunities; the resources and supports available in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities; the quality of our schooling; the safety of our workplaces; the cleanliness of our water, food, and air; and the nature of our social interactions and relationships.
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There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer’s, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer’s, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.
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The Rural Health Services Research Network of BC (RHSRNbc) was established in May 2010, as part of an overall strategy to improve and expand health services research within British Columbia. The RHSRNbc is built upon the BC Rural and Remote Network (BCRRHRN), which was supported by the Michael Smith Foundation from 2005 to 2010. When a new funder was secured in 2010, the network was re-established under the direction of Dr. Stefan Grzybowski, which became the RHSRNbc.
The RHSRNbc is now supported by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc), through the Joint Standing Committee (JSC), which is funded through B.C.’s Ministry of Health and B.C.’s Medical Association. The Network strives to build upon experiences learned from the pre-existing Network, while striving to generate innovative ideas and strategies to build capacity within both the Network as well as within rural health services research. The RHSRNbc’s main purpose is to support rural health services’ researchers in British Columbia, with the goal of creating a supportive infrastructure with in which to facilitate the investigation of issues relevant to the health and health services of rural communities.
The RHSRNbc takes a multi-faceted approach to supporting and facilitating rural health services research. Not only do we maintain up-to-date information to inform members of any available grants, upcoming conferences and symposia but we also host skill building workshops, knowledge translation events and hold travel bursary competitions in order to ensure our members are prepared for and successful in the realm of rural health services research.
On Friday April 28th, Gateway CERH hosted an eclectic mix of academics, health professionals, business and banking community representatives, health unit and hospital administrators, elected officials, Seaforth and Goderich family health team representatives, creative cultural community representatives and Gateway CERH Research Chairs and Board members. The gathering was held at Gateway’s new offices in the Libro building in Goderich.
The purpose of this meeting was to explore and discuss opportunities for connecting these various sectors to advance health research in rural southwest Ontario. The challenges and opportunities involved in business development in the health care field and knowledge translation to rural residents were also topics of discussion.
The theme of the day was ‘Rural Health, Rural Economy, Partners in Growth’. The guest roster included the University of Guelph (School of Environmental Design & Rural Development), Western University (Master of Public Health and Health & Rehabilitation Sciences), University of Waterloo (School of Pharmacy), South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Alexandra Marine & General Hospital, Libro Credit Union, Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity, Huron Chamber of Commerce and the Huron Public Health Unit. Also present were MP Ben Lobb and MPP Lisa Thompson. Several of Gateway’s Research Chairs attended: Dr. Feng Chang (Chair of Rural Pharmacy), Dr. Agnes Kluz (Chair of Rural Senior Wellness) and Jay McFarlan (Chair of Rural Nutrition and Exercise).
Gateway Founder, Gwen Devereaux, said “This powerhouse of knowledge forms a Rural Health Team that will deliver better health for rural residents”.
Gateway President, Dr. Agnes Kluz declared “Research is the driving force in transforming health policy, systems and practice to improve health equity of rural populations. Through its work, Gateway provides context for the needs of rural communities and an understanding of the strategies that will be most effective to address barriers to strong and healthy rural populations”.
During the meeting, two Memoranda of Understanding were signed between Gateway and the University of Waterloo, School of Pharmacy and Canadian Centre of Rural Creativity. As well, two new Research Chairs were appointed; Dr. Al Lauzon (University of Guelph) as Chair of Rural Change & Development and Dr. Ryan Gibson (University of Guelph) as Chair of Rural Economic Development.
Gateway’s Board Chair, Dr. Feng Chang stated “Today is symbolic of what Gateway has accomplished over the years: forging fruitful partnerships, bringing diverse backgrounds and expertise to the table, contributing to student success, and strengthening the rural voice. We look forward to building on this milestone and charting our course ahead together”.
Following up on the Poultry Producers Lung Health Study held in Huron county, this is to provide a link to the Lung Health Questionnaire available across Canada. Rose-Marie Dolinar, a rural nurse practitioner and PhD candidate at the University of Western Ontario, is co-investigator of the study. The Lung Health Questionnaire will take less than 15 minutes to complete, and all information is confidential. The survey will be available until April 14, 2017, the link to the survey can be found here. Thank you.
The Poultry Producers Chicken Classic Golf Tournament was held on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the Seaforth Golf & Country Club. Proceeds from this tournament were generously donated to Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health.
Gateway has been collaborating with local poultry producers on a research project investigating lung health. A preliminary report of the Huron & Perth counties Poultry Producers Lung Health study was presented at the tournament.
Funding for this study was provided by The Lung Association through an Ontario Respiratory Care Society Fellowship Award. The rural lung health clinics, which included spirometry lung tests and N95 respirator fit testing, took place in Seaforth and Clinton, Ontario. Rose-Marie Dolinar, rural nurse practitioner and PhD student, and Dr. Andrew Johnson, professor and researcher in the School of Health Studies at The University of Western Ontario, were co-investigators on the project.
A presentation of the cheque, from proceeds of the golf tournament, was made to Gateway at their Board meeting held on November 25, 2016. Alex Westerhout, poultry farmer and co-organizer (along with Brian Falconer) of the Poultry Producers Golf Tournament, presented the cheque to Gateway Board members Dr. Feng Chang (Chair) and Dr. Agnes Kluz (President) with Rose-Marie Dolinar and Dr. Andrew Johnson in attendance.
Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health expressed a sincere thank you to the Poultry Producers for their significant contribution to this study, and for recognizing the value of rural health research.