Pre-conference master classes available


When: Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Where:  Virtual
                   In-person at The Hilton Niagara Falls Hotel
9:00AM to 4:00PM
Registration fee:  In-person: $100 USD*
                                        Virtual: $70
*Delegates that register to attend the in-person conference will get a discount rate of  30% to attend the pre-conference event


About the Frailty and Long-term care master class:

Frailty is a state of increased vulnerability that results from reduced reserve and loss of function across multiple systems. Over one million older Canadians are living with frailty. To adequately care for the ageing population, frailty needs to be part of the conversations among long-term care residents, health care providers, caregivers, scientists, and policymakers.


The Canadian Frailty Network (CFN) is devoted to improving care for older Canadians living with frailty and supporting their families and caregivers. The Network has cultivated relationships with strategically aligned organizations and stakeholders across Canada and internationally. CFN improves frailty care by increasing frailty recognition and assessment, by increasing evidence for decision-making, by advancing evidence-based changes to care, by training the next generation of care professionals and scientists, by catalyzing change in Canada’s health and social care systems, and always by engaging with older adults and their families and caregivers.

Throughout the interactive session, participants will:

  • Gain an understanding of frailty, the operationalization of frailty identification, and the roles of social and palliative care for older adults living with frailty in long-term care.
  • The session will also explore national and international strategies that extend long-term care services to older adults residing at home and create community spaces within long-term care homes.

Master class outcomes:

  • Understand frailty including its assessment and treatment;
  • Be aware of the challenge posed by frailty in the long term;
  • Describe how to improve the quality of life of long-term care residents through social interventions;
  • Discuss how clinicians and decision-makers can integrate palliative care into long-term care; 
  • Understand the benefits of transforming long term care services and spaces to better serve their residents and the surrounding community.

Register now


Dr. John Muscedere

MD, FRCPC; Scientific Director & CEO, Canadian Frailty Network; Research Director, Critical Care Program, Queen’s & KHSC; Professor, Critical Care Medicine, Queen’s University

John Muscedere was appointed Scientific Director of Canadian Frailty Network, effective August 1, 2013. He has been involved with CFN since its inception, having participated in the Network’s initial proposal for Network of Centres of Excellence funding, as well as serving as Chair of the CFN Knowledge Translation Committee in its first year. He is an intensivist at Kingston General Hospital, and Professor of Critical Care Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. He is also the Research Director of the Critical Care Program at Queen’s and KGH.

Dr. Muscedere is Co-Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group Knowledge Translation Committee. John is an accomplished critical care researcher whose primary research interests include nosocomial infections, clinical practice guidelines, knowledge translation and critical care outcomes.

He has led or participated in the development of many national and international clinical practice guidelines which have guided critical care practice including guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ventilator associated pneumonia, hypothermia post cardiac arrest, calcium channel blocker poisoning and sepsis.  As an intensivist, he has first-hand knowledge of caring for critically ill frail older adults both in academic and community settings. Dr. Muscedere has a keen interest in the design of healthcare systems to optimize patient centered outcomes.

He has participated in the redesign of the Ontario provincial critical care system including serving as the regional critical care lead for the South East Local Health Integration Network for 10 years.

Mr. Kashtin Fitzsimons

MSc(HQ); Director, Quality, Risk and Performance, Circle of Care, Sinai Health System

Kashtin Fitzsimons currently serves as Manager, Quality Improvement at Amica Senior Lifestyles where he has overseen initiatives impacting resident safety and quality of life across thirty-one residences in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. With a Masters of Science in Healthcare Quality, Risk and Safety from Queen’s University, Kashtin has applied this background to quality improvement efforts in long-term care, acute care, and community health.

Through an ongoing partnership with the Canadian Frailty Network, Kashtin has led Amica’s efforts for quantifying and managing resident frailty present within the organization. To date, this has resulted in a Frailty Index tailored to the health assessment completed for all seniors living in an Amica residence.

Looking ahead, Kashtin is excited to partner with researchers and leaders in this field to continuously improve the ageing experience in Canada and abroad.

Dr. Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard

PhD, RN; Consortium national de formation en santé Research Chair in Population Aging, Université de Moncton; Chairperson of the National Seniors Council, Government of Canada; Professor, School of Nursing, Université de Moncton

Suzanne Dupuis-Blanchard is professor at the School of Nursing at the Université de Moncton, is Research Chair in Population Aging CNFS and is Director of the Centre for Aging Research.

She holds a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Alberta, a Master of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick and a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing from Université de Moncton. She is the current Chairperson of the National Seniors Council, the past President of the Canadian Association on Gerontology (2014-2018) and past co-chair of the Council on Aging of the New Brunswick government which produced a provincial strategy on aging.

Her program of research focuses on the multiple dimensions of aging in place, including social frailty, age-friendly communities, and testing innovative service delivery approaches within an Official Language Minority Community (OLMC) context. She has held funding from multiple organizations including CFN, CIHR, SSHRC, PHAC-GNB, and NBHRF. She lives in New Brunswick with her family.

Dr. Ben Robert

MD, MBA; Medical Director, Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre; President, Ontario Long Term Care Clinicians

Dr. Ben Robert is a family physician providing in-patient care and long-term care for over 30 years.  He is the medical director for The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre and is on staff at The Ottawa Hospital. 

Dr. Robert attended the University of Ottawa and obtained his Doctorate of Medicine (MD) in 1986. He also achieved specialization in family medicine with a CCFP in 1988 at the University of Ottawa.  Dr. Robert received his Master of Business Administration in 1995. He has additional credentials in Care of the Elderly, as well as Palliative Care. 

Dr. Robert has been essential in the development and implementation of a new frailty-informed care program for long-term care residents at Perley Rideau.  

Dr. Pamela Durepos

PhD, RN; Assistant Professor, University of New Brunswick

Dr. Pamela Durepos is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of New Brunswick. She completed her doctoral project at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Sharon Kaasalainen.

Pamela’s program of research focuses on a palliative approach to care for persons with chronic illnesses and supporting family caregivers to prepare for end-of-life. Her doctoral thesis ‘Caring Ahead’ involved the development and evaluation of a questionnaire to measure how prepared caregivers feel for death.

Prior to joining UNB Pamela worked for 17 years at the Hamilton General Hospital Neurotrauma ICU.

Dr. Samir Sinha

MD, DPhil, FRCPC, AGSF; Director of Geriatrics, Sinai Health System and University Health Network; Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital; Associate Professor, Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Sinha is the Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals in Toronto and the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. He is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He studied undergraduate medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and holds a Masters in Medical History and a Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Oxford’s Institute of Ageing.

Dr. Sinha’s expertise makes him a highly regarded international expert in the care of older adults. He has advised hospitals and health authorities in Britain, Canada, the United States, and China on the implementation and administration of integrated and innovative models of geriatric care that reduce disease burden, improve access and capacity, and ultimately promote health. He is the Director of Health Policy Research at the National Institute on Ageing—a Ryerson University think tank dedicated to policy solutions for an ageing population—and serves as a member of the Government of Canada’s National Seniors Council. He is also Chair of the National Long-Term Care Services Standards for Canada.

He is the architect of the Government of Ontario’s Seniors Strategy and, in 2014, Maclean’s named him one of Canada’s 50 most influential people and its most compelling voice for the elderly.

Dr. Sharon Straus

MD, FRCPC, MSc; Director, Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute; Physician-in-Chief, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital; Professor, Geriatric Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Sharon Straus is a geriatrician and clinical epidemiologist who trained at the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford. She is Physician-in-Chief of the Department of Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital as well as Director of the Knowledge Translation Program at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital.

She is also a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and has supervised more than 25 graduate students from different disciplines, including clinical epidemiology, health informatics, and human factors engineering. She holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Quality of Care. She has held more than $60 million in peer-reviewed research grants as a principal investigator and has led several national research and training initiatives, as well as knowledge translation for national and international groups.

She has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed publications, and three textbooks in evidence-based medicine, knowledge translation, and mentorship, and, since 2015, has consistently been in the top 1% of highly cited clinical researchers as per Web of Science.

Her professional and research interests include advancing the science of knowledge translation; advancing systematic review methods, including those for complex interventions; mentorship; geriatric medicine; capacity building; optimising quality of patient care; health informatics; health services research; clinical epidemiology; and health technology assessment. She has received national awards for mentorship, research, and education.

Ms. Sharon Specht

MA; A/Assistant Deputy Minister, Health and Social Services, Government of Yukon

Sharon Specht is the A/Assistant Deputy Minister of Continuing Care in the Government of Yukon’s Department of Health and Social Services. Her experience spans over 30 years of clinical, administrative, and strategic work in healthcare. Sharon holds a Master of Art in Leadership from Royal Roads University and completed undergraduate studies in psychology and nursing at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Albert respectively.

Sharon believes that person-centred care and a focus on community are integral in building staffing models and programs that work well for people. In her work with the Government of Yukon’s Continuing Care Division, over the course of five years, she integrated several innovative initiatives encountered during an international delegate visit to Denmark. Significant positive additions to the continuum of care for Yukon’s seniors and elders has been the result.

Sharon is a long-time member of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group and previously served as President of the Group’s Executive Committee. Sharon was awarded the Leadership Award from the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group for her work.