May 13, 2014 – Thunder Bay, ON
Two researchers from Lakehead University are receiving the highly prestigious Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN) fellowship award of $50,000 per year for two years. Eight such awards are being presented in Canada.
The purpose of the award reflects TVN’s mandate: to develop highly qualified professionals who can thrive in a multi-disciplinary health care environment.
Lakehead University’s Dr. Lana Ozen, a Post Doctoral Fellow in Health Sciences, and Kathy Kortes-Miller, a PhD candidate in Education, are proud to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.
Dr. Ozen’s research project is called A mindfulness intervention in long-term care for frail elderly, families and formal caregivers. It involves a form of meditation where elders will become aware of and accept thoughts, feelings and body sensations by practicing weekly.
“The TVN fellowship is an excellent opportunity for me to continue studying the potential benefits of mindfulness in older adult populations who may be experiencing a diminished quality of life due to chronic conditions,” Dr. Ozen said.
“For this fellowship, I am interested in adapting a mindfulness intervention as a means of improving quality of life and mental health for frail elders in long-term care, as well as their family and formal caregivers,” she said.
Dr. Ozen is uniquely positioned through her program of research to make an important difference in the lives of many seniors living in the community and in long-term care.
“By using this mindfulness intervention, Dr. Ozen seeks to improve the quality of life of seniors who are facing challenging emotional situations,” said her research supervisor, Dr. Michel Bedard, Professor in the Department of Health Sciences.
“Thanks to TVN, Lakehead University and St. Joseph’s Care Group, Dr. Ozen can continue her research for another two years. I am extremely pleased that we can retain such an emerging researcher in Thunder Bay,” Dr. Bedard said.
Kortes-Miller’s research project is called Interdisciplinary End-of-Life Care Education Using High Fidelity Simulation in Long-Term Care. It allows long-term care staff to use life-sized simulation manikins for hands-on, experiential learning.
The High Fidelity Simulation technology produces lung, heart, and stomach sounds in the manikins, in addition to voice projection capabilities to help train long-term care workers by bridging communication theory with practice.
This research focuses on promoting comfort of staff with end-of-life communications, which has been identified as critical by families of loved ones who are in long-term care.
“The overall contribution of this research is to improve the quality of end-of-life care to frail elderly people living and dying in long-term care homes by providing staff with innovative, interdisciplinary palliative care education and promoting teamwork,” Kortes-Miller said.
She partnered with Lakehead’s Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health, St. Joseph’s Care Group, Elisabeth Bruyere Residence in Ottawa and Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto for this research.
“This Fellowship award will allow me to expand my PhD dissertation research that I am currently completing here in Lakehead’s Faculty of Education with my supervisor Dr. Lisa Korteweg,” Kortes-Miller said.
The TVN Interdisciplinary Fellowship program allows Kortes-Miller to focus on three areas she is passionate about: interprofessional education in health care, educational technologies and improving palliative and end-of-life care for elderly who are ill.
“Kathy is a talented early researcher who has combined her backgrounds in Social Work and Education to explore and evaluate innovative educational programs for long-term care staff who want to learn more about palliative care,” said her research supervisor, Dr. Mary Lou Kelley, Research Chair in Palliative Care and Professor of Social Work and Gerontology.
“Her research has practical benefits to long-term care residents and the health care system. Kathy represents the next generation of health care researchers being trained at Lakehead University,” Dr. Kelley said.
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In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by a new Strategic Plan (2013-2018), our University is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses, in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Home to Ontario’s first new Faculty of Law in 44 years (Fall 2013) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's West Campus, Lakehead is among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities (2014 Maclean’s University Rankings), as well as 1st in Ontario and 2nd in Canada for its innovative research (Re$earch Infosource). Our Orillia campus is the first in North America to be built entirely to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. Share your Lakehead story as it relates to our Strategic Plan at www.lakeheadu.ca/presidents-office/nurturing-passion, and learn more about Lakehead at www.lakeheadu.ca.
Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN) is a national network funded by the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (NCE). TVN was created to improve care for our frail elderly by fostering productive partnerships and collaborations among researchers, health care professionals, policymakers, and patients, their families and support systems, and by supporting these collaborations through funding research, mobilizing knowledge and training the next generation of highly qualified personnel. TVN focuses on the frail elderly across all settings, promoting a collaborative approach to improving care by that supports multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral teams working to develop solutions to improve care. To-date, the Network has provided over $14M in funding for research and training programs, engaging over 1,000 researchers, trainees, health care professionals and policymakers, and is actively facilitating new partnerships with key stakeholders to guide their national agenda. For more information, visit www.tvn-nce.ca.