WATERLOO, ON, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Ground was broken for a pioneering
innovation institute for aging on the north campus of the University of
Waterloo today. The initiative will help Canada better prepare for an
The new development will bring long-term care, research, and teaching
activities together on the University of Waterloo campus to improve
seniors' living and train the next generation of front-line staff.
The $376 million project is the joint vision of local entrepreneur and
philanthropist Ron Schlegel and the University of Waterloo. The project
brings together the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA),
Schlegel Villages, the University of Waterloo and Conestoga College
Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning to address the growing
urgency for innovation in elder care in Canada.
"We are building an infrastructure for innovation in aging that is
unparalleled anywhere in the world," said Ron Schlegel, a former
Waterloo professor. "The total infrastructure will consist of this lead
village on the university campus, combined with 13 other Schlegel
Villages across South and Central Ontario to form a powerful paradigm
for research and real time application."
Construction of the two new facilities - the Schlegel Villages Waterloo
Long-Term Care Home and the RIA - comes as Ontario's health care system
faces emerging challenges, as the seniors population in the province
will double over the next two decades.
"Improving how we care for older Ontarians is high priority for our
government. This world-class facility will not only provide our seniors
with a wide range of living options, but will also create a learning
environment where innovative best practices will be developed and can
be spread across the province and beyond. Seniors everywhere will reap
the benefits," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term
"I am very pleased to see Waterloo Region applying its spirit of
innovation to the important issue of aging," said John Milloy, MPP for
Kitchener Centre. "The RIA will be a leader in developing and
implementing research and training programs for our aging population."
In August, the University of Waterloo announced that aging research
would become one of three research priority areas.
"These new facilities will help students and researchers address some of
the questions that Canada is faced with as our population grows older,"
said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice chancellor of Waterloo.
"There is an urgent need to develop new knowledge and talent to tackle
the oncoming tsunami of aging-relating problems across the globe. These
innovative new facilities will allow us to shed new light on some of
the challenges we face as we grow old."
The first of its kind in Canada, the arrangement will allow Waterloo
faculty, researchers, and students to work alongside Conestoga College
personal-care students and practical nurses on projects informed by
residents' feedback. The research and training will impact front-line
care, shape curricula and build capacity within the aged-care sector.
"This new Centre will be instrumental in the development of innovative
training models to prepare future generations of health care
professionals and enhance the quality of life and care for older adults
across our community and beyond," said John Tibbits, president of
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. "We
look forward to working with our partners to address the urgent need
for a highly skilled workforce that can address the care needs of our
"The magic of this arrangement is that front line staff will interface
with university and college students and researchers, all of whom will
mingle with residents of the new Village," said Michael Sharratt,
president of the RIA and research professor (emeritus) at Waterloo.
"Today we officially launch our campaign to raise capital funds to
support the construction of this wonderful facility. We have already
raised more than half of our $9 million fundraising target."
The University of Waterloo and Conestoga College have a long history of
partnership with the RIA. Waterloo, a founding partner of the RIA,
holds Schlegel Research Chair positions in Geriatric Medicine,
Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, Vascular Aging and Brain Health, and
Nutrition and Aging. As the RIA's primary practice development partner,
Conestoga College professor Veronique Boscart holds the CIHR/Schlegel
Industrial Research Chair in Seniors Care for Colleges.
Over the next 10 years, Ron Schlegel plans to fund at least 10 more
Schlegel Research Chairs to support relevant research themes and equip
the country with the strategies to manage an aging population.
Construction on the two facilities is set to complete by mid-2015.
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart
of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading
comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in
undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's
largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its
connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in
learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is
committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by
championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant
to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about
Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.
About the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging was
created in 2005 as a senate-approved research institute at the
University of Waterloo, then became a non-profit charitable
organization in 2006 with core partnerships with University of
Waterloo, Conestoga College and Schlegel Villages. The RIA conducts
research aimed at enhancing the care, health and wellness of older
adults in community-based and long-term care environments. The 3,000 residents living in 13 Schlegel Villages provide voluntary and vibrant
living research environments and living classroom environments. The
best of what is learned in these environments is disseminated broadly
to benefit older adults everywhere.
For more information go to www.the-ria.ca
About Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Conestoga is Ontario's fastest growing college and a leader in
polytechnic education, providing a full range of career-focused
education, training and applied research programs to prepare students
for success in the new knowledge economy and promote economic
prosperity throughout our region and across Ontario. The college
provides more than 200 career-focused programs, including degrees,
diplomas and post-graduate certificates, and is a provincial leader in
the provision of apprenticeship training. With campuses and training
centres in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, Ingersoll
and Brantford, Conestoga serves 11,000 full-time students. Continuing
education courses and programs attract more than 30,000 enrolments each
year. For more information, visit www.conestogac.on.ca
Image with caption: "Aerial view rendering of the new $367 million centre of excellence for innovation in aging on the University of Waterloo north campus. Construction started today on the centre of excellence, which is made up of the Schlegel Villages Waterloo Long-Term Care Home and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging. (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131113_C7093_PHOTO_EN_33330.jpg
SOURCE: University of Waterloo
For further information:
University of Waterloo
Conestoga College ITAL
519.748.5220 ext 3336
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
519.571-1873 Ext 127
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