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Vol 40  No 3
September 20, 2007


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Newest Canada Research Chair will focus on healthy aging
by Deborah Inkpen


Dr. Wendy Young

Helping people grow old comfortably is the focus of Memorial’s new Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging.

Dr. Wendy Young intends to work across a number of disciplines to learn from those who are aging comfortably, and bring the fruits of her research to rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“My research program will systematically develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based primary and secondary prevention interventions that promote healthy aging for older persons,” she explained.

Along with researching how people age well, Dr. Young will examine how best to care for people with common age-related chronic diseases such as respiratory diseases, cancer, diabetes, cardiac disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, and osteoarthritis.

“Healthy aging” is defined by the World Health Organization as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. Staying active and healthy as we grow old – this is every person’s hope. However, it’s not the reality for many Canadians.”

“The prevention, detection and therapy of age-related diseases are of particular relevance to the population of Atlantic Canada and especially Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (Research). “Dr. Young’s expertise is a very welcome addition to our team of health care researchers.”

In the long run, Dr Young has a vision for seniors living in remote locations across the country getting support from each other and as well as professionals.

The Canada Research Chairs program was established by the Government of Canada to enable Canadian universities to achieve the highest levels of research excellence. In its 2000 budget, the federal government provided $900 million to support the establishment of 2000 Canada Research Chairs in universities across the country.

The program is designed to enable Canadian universities to create outstanding research opportunities that will attract researchers with international reputations. For more information on the Canada Research Chair Program, please consult the web site at: www.chairs.gc.ca.

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