Dear colleagues,

This week we opened the doors to the new Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, a centre of excellence for persons living with mild to moderate dementia, their families and care partners. This is an exciting, innovative first in Canada made possible by the generous support of the Bitove family and a partnership with the York-UHN Nursing Academy.

This new endeavour brings together our shared expertise and exquisite integration of academic practice, strategy, planning and operations. The academic leadership of Dr. Gail Mitchell, Director, York-UHN Nursing Academy, Dr. Joy Richards, VP, Health Professions and Chief Nursing Executive, and Susan Brown, Director Strategy & Transformation, are working in strong partnership with Sue Jewell, Senior Vice President, Toronto Rehab and Natalie Cournoyea, Senior Director, who are responsible for the day-to-day oversight and operations of the program. Dr. Ron Keren, Medical Director, Geriatric Rehab, has also been integral in the vision and planning of this new program.

The Wellness Academy provides innovative, holistic and arts-based programming for individuals with dementia. The fee-for-service- program, located at 1929 Bayview Avenue, offers activities including: discussion of quality of life issues, expression of self through the arts and movement, engagement and learning, relationships for living. Each participant can choose activities they find most meaningful.

The Wellness Academy gives people living with dementia hope. Hope that the program participants will remain engaged with their loved ones, have the opportunity to connect with others, stay in their homes longer and live more fulsome lives.

As part of the model of care, researchers also conduct scientific studies on best practices in care. This research and implementation of research findings will help people living with dementia reach and maintain their highest quality of life.

The Wellness Academy addresses a widening gap in services available for patient and families living with dementia. The research done as part of the program, will hope to illustrate how this care approach can lower hospitalization rates for people living with dementia and how it enhances their overall health as well as the relationships they have with their families and loved ones.

More details on the registration fees and programming that's offered. Please direct your patient, their families and the people in your lives to The Wellness Academy if you think this could help them.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this new service and its successful launch!


Bob Bell

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