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Allison Bell   |  Terri Bowser  |  Sylvia Davidson  | Sherry Faubert

 Naomi Feil  | Laura Gaspard   |   Dr. William (Bill) Gibson 

 Dr. Heather Keller   |  Vicki de Klerk-Rubin   |   Dr. Margaret McKinnon

Kim Ritchie   |   Sheila Smith   |   Dr. Phil St. John


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Allison Bell

Allison is the pharmacy manager with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Long Term Care Program. In her role, she supports pharmacy services in personal care homes in the 5 regional health authorities across Manitoba. Allison is in the process of completing her Master of Health Management from McMaster University. As a member of the Canadian Deprescribing Network, Allison is passionate about optimizing medications in older adults.
Thursday, October 6 - Less is More: Deprescribing as a Way to Reduce Medication Risks and Improve Health


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Sylvia Davidson

Sylvia Davidson is an occupational therapist and the manager/professional practice chief of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Therapeutic Recreation at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto. Throughout her career as an occupational therapist, she has worked clinically in acute care, rehabilitation, long term care and in the community. Sylvia is currently the chair of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist’s Dementia Network. She is also vice president of the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation and a past president of the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists. She believes passionately in the role everyone has to play in dementia care in partnership with people with dementia and their individual support systems.
Thursday, September 15 - To Respond or Not to Respond? A Systematic Approach to Understanding Responsive Behaviours


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Becky Dowson

Becky Dowson graduated from Oxford University with a BA in Music before training as a Music Therapist at Anglia Ruskin University. She qualified in 2012 and has experience with a variety of client groups, but has a particular passion for working with people living with dementia. In 2020 she completed her PhD at the University of Nottingham. Her research focused on the benefits of singing groups for people with dementia. She currently works as a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham and as a Music Therapist at Chiltern Music Therapy.

Thursday, December 1 - Practical Strategies for Incorporating Music Therapy in Day to Day Care
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Sherry Faubert

Sherry graduated from the University of Calgary in 1998 with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree and began her career in Child and Family Services in Calgary Alberta. Sherry worked as an investigator and case manager for eight years before transitioning into healthcare.

In 2008, Sherry completed her Master of Social Work degree from Laurier University in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario. In 2009, Sherry relocated back home to B.C. with her family and transitioned into healthcare. Sherry has worked in a variety of practice settings in Alberta, Ontario and B.C from Maternity/Pediatrics to Older Adult and Hospice/Palliative Care.

Sherry joined the Fraser Health Regional Advance Care Planning team in 2021, where she is now passionate about elevating the importance of advance care planning conversations across healthcare settings.

Thursday, January 19 - Digging Deeper into Advance Care Planning



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Naomi Feil

Naomi is the developer of Validation. She was born in Munich in 1932 and grew up in the Montefiore Home for the Aged in Cleveland Ohio, where her father was the administrator and her mother, the head of the Social Service Department. This unique background gave her insight into the world of the elderly. They were her neighbors and her friends growing up.

After graduating with a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York, she began working with the elderly. Between 1963 and 1980 Naomi developed Validation as a response to her dissatisfaction with traditional methods of working with the severely disoriented old-old people who were her clients.

In 1982, she published her first book, Validation: The Feil Method. Her second book, The Validation Breakthrough, was first published in 1993. Feil and her husband have made many films and videos about aging and Validation. Since the mid-1970s, Feil has done over 900 workshops in the United States and Canada, plus almost 1000 workshops in Europe and Asia.
Thursday, April 28 - Validation Technique



Laura Gaspard

Laura Gaspard completed her Bachelors of Social Work with a specialization in Ageing from UBC Okanagan in 2011. Her ongoing focus was supporting individuals and families impacted by Dementia, which soon branched into looking at quality of life and quality of death for those with cognitive impairment. Laura was introduced to Advance Care Planning in 2013; in 2015 she completed her Masters in Social Work focusing on Indigenous wellness in health care, and using Advance Care Planning to support quality of life of individuals in Long Term Care. Laura has worked in a variety of Long Term Care homes (general public and specialized), rehabilitation/convalescent care, acute care and community care. She joined the Advance Care Planning team in 2020. When not at work, Laura enjoys running, painting and spending time with family.

Thursday, January 19 - Digging Deeper into Advance Care Planning


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Dr. William (Bill) Gibson

Dr. Gibson completed medical school at the University of Sheffield, UK, and higher specialist training in general internal medicine and geriatrics in South Yorkshire. He completed a research fellowship in urinary incontinence at the University of Alberta, where he received his PhD. He is interested in examining the links between falls and LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms) in older people, which is the basis of his ongoing research program. Bill is a consultant geriatrician at the University of Alberta hospital, and his clinical practice concentrates on continence and other bladder and bowel issues, dementia and frailty.
Thursday, November 3 - Pain, Constipation, Incontience: Its Effects on Health, Daily Function and Behaviours


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Dr. Heather Keller

Professor Keller is the Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging at the University of Waterloo. She is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric nutrition, assessment, and treatment. Research areas focus on nutrition risk and malnutrition identification and treatment across care sectors; improving nutrition care processes and implementing screening and other best practices; supporting food intake of diverse groups living in the community, including those living with dementia; and improving hospital and residential food and promoting food intake and the mealtime experience in these settings.

Professor Keller has led several national research and knowledge translation projects, including the landmark Nutrition Care in Canadian Hospitals, More-2-Eat and Making the Most of Mealtimes in Long Term Care studies. Professor Keller has published more than 240 peer-reviewed articles and translates much of this evidence into practice with tools and resources.

As a founding member and past chair/co-chair (2009-2018) of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, she is involved in translating research into practice and advocating for improvements in nutrition care. She is currently the co-chair of the primary care and long-term care working groups for CMTF and involved in several national and international expert groups advancing the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition.
Thursday, March 16 - Enhancing the Mealtime Experience


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Vicki de Klerk-Rubin

Vicki is the Executive Director of the Validation Training Institute and a certified Validation master. She is the author of Validation Techniques for Dementia Care and Validation for First Responders. Together with her mother Naomi Feil, the founder of the Validation method, she co-authored the revisions of Validation: The Feil Method and The Validation Breakthrough. Ms. de Klerk-Rubin holds a BFA from Boston University, an MBA from Fordham University, and is a Dutch-trained registered nurse. Since 1989, Ms de Klerk-Rubin has given Validation workshops, lectures and training programs in Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. She has also worked in long-term care in Amsterdam, leading Validation groups and training staff.
Thursday, April 28 - Validation Technique


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Dr. Margaret McKinnon

Dr. McKinnon serves as the Homewood Research Chair in Mental Health and Trauma and Professor and Associate Chair, Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. She is also the Research Lead in Mental Health and Addictions at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and a Senior Scientist at Homewood Research Institute.

Dr. McKinnon completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the internationally renowned Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Centre. She is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and is dually licensed as a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist.

Dr. McKinnon is known for her work characterizing trauma-related illness and PTSD among military members, Veterans, first responders, and survivors of childhood abuse and trauma. She is also involved in the development and testing of novel treatment interventions aimed at often-unexplored aspects of PTSD and trauma, including guilt and shame, moral injury, dissociation, and cognitive dysfunction.
Thursday, June 9 - Trauma As It Affects The Person with Dementia and You


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Elizabeth Nightingale

Elizabeth’s clinical specialty include brain injury, neurodisability and dementia. Further study following her MSc in Music Therapy has seen her train as a Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow and as assessor and trainer in other specialty programs. As Neuro Services Lead, Elizabeth has worked across a range of settings. She regularly presents at conferences, has guest lectured at several universities and has had her work and research published in journals including Journal of Dementia Care, Brain and Spinal Injury Handbook, and the British Journal of Music Therapy.
Thursday, December 1 - Practical Strategies for Incorporating Neurological Music Therapy in Day to Day Care


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Dr. Kim Ritchie

Kim is a Senior Research Associate at Homewood Research Institute and McMaster University. She obtained her PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Margaret McKinnon and Dr. Ruth Lanius, in the Trauma and Recovery Lab at McMaster University.

Kim’s doctoral research focused on co-occurring PTSD symptoms and dementia in Veterans. This research provided foundational knowledge on understanding and identifying PTSD symptoms in Veterans with dementia. Her current research involves examining the unique and shared lived experienced and psychological impacts among health care providers and public safety personnel resulting from their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this research will contribute towards the development of novel approaches to program development to address the needs of healthcare providers and public safety personnel during and after the pandemic.

Kim is a registered nurse and has extensive experience in mental health and geriatric mental health. Over her nursing career, Kim has worked in direct clinical care, advanced nursing practice, and professional practice roles. In addition, Kim has successfully led several large projects aimed at improving mental health outcomes for older adults in acute care and in the community. She also is an instructor at Trent/Fleming School of Nursing and Board Member for the Senior Care Network.
Thursday, June 9 - Trauma As It Affects The Person with Dementia and You



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Sheila Smith

Sheila has been in the nursing field in Winnipeg for over 30 years starting out as an LPN, furthered her training as an RN, then with the Critical Care Program, and subsequently completed her BN. Her background includes bedside nursing in Acute and Family Medicine followed by 15 years in Intensive Care. Sheila also taught at the University of Manitoba, in the College of Nursing, in a variety of roles which include Lab Facilitator for Health Assessment and Nursing Skills, Clinical Education Facilitator in Maintenance Clinical, Guest Lecturer, and as a Faculty Advisor for Practicum Students in their final year.

She also worked as a Family Medicine Educator at Concordia Hospital before taking her on her current role at the Regional Educator for the Long-Term Care Program in 2014. She is the WRHA Lead for Dementia Care in LTC and provides support to the 39 Personal Care Homes in the Winnipeg area.
Tuesday and Thursday, February 14 & 16 - Dementia Care Basics


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Dr. Phil St. John

Dr. St. John is an Associate Professor in the Section of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and is the Head for the Section of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He has taught and published in both geriatric medicine and health policy. Dr. St. John's research interests are in rural health, and the epidemiology of cognitive loss and depression. He is cross-appointed to Family Medicine and is an affiliate of the Centre on Aging at the University of Manitoba. His clinical practice is as a Consultant Geriatrician sited at Health Sciences Centre and as an Attending Geriatrician at Riverview Health Centre as well as providing rural geriatric consultation services through the Northern Medical Unit.
Thursday, May 19 - Delirium and Dementia


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