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  • 09 Jul 2015 2:08 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    The Geriatric Psychiatry Program at Dalhousie’s Department of Psychiatry has had an active year.

    One major highlight was receiving accreditation by the Royal College of Canada for our Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Training Program.  All of the Geriatric Psychiatrists at Dalhousie participated in the process, with substantial contributions made by: Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, the Clinical Academic Leader of the Geriatric Psychiatry Program, Dr. Janya Freer our new Program Director, Dr. Mark Bosma, Departmental Postgraduate Director and appointed Chair of the Royal College Geriatric Psychiatry Committee and Dr. Cheryl Murphy, member of the Royal College Examination Committee.  Our accredited Dalhousie Geriatric Psychiatry Program is a two-year residency, with the option of completing the first year during the five-year general psychiatry residency. There are only five such training programs in the country at this time.

    Dr. Meagan MacNeil completed her Fellowship year, and joined the Geriatric Psychiatry team. Clinically Dr. MacNeil now works with our interdisciplinary outreach and outpatient service out of the Nova Scotia Hospital, and provides cognitive therapy through Dalhousie’s Enhanced Group CBT Program for depressed and anxious seniors. Dr. MacNeil contributes to capacity- building through the Nova Scotia Seniors Mental Health Network, and is actively involved in teaching and research as well.

    Dr. Vanessa Thoo received the CAGP Resident Research Award, and completed a clinical and research elective in Geriatric Psychiatry, under the supervision of Drs. Keri-Leigh Cassidy and Janya Freer. Through the provincial Fountain of Health Initiative for positive aging, Dr. Thoo project involved developing a seniors’ mental health promotion tool for use by clinicians, and evaluating the material through the NS Seniors Mental Health Network. She has submitted her paper to an academic peer- reviewed journal, and she presented her work at several different conferences: CAGP, Alzheimer Society Conference, and upcoming Atlantic Provinces Psychiatric Association Conference. Dr. Thoo has also been accepted to the Geriatric Psychiatry Training Program in Toronto.

    Provincially, we have undergone significant restructuring from nine to two districts, and have been engaged in the Nova Scotia Dementia Strategy.  Under the work of the newly formed Care by Design Mental Health Committee, Dr. Sameh Hassan has provided leadership this past year in developing an acute response protocol for long term care, including recommended medication approaches to managing challenging behaviours. The Care by Design Mental Health Committee will continue its work to develop a sustainable model for long term care, aiming to connect these recommendations with those that emerge from the Provincial Dementia Strategy.

    Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy was the recipient of the CAGP Regional Contribution in Geriatric Psychiatry Award. Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy has been contributing to regional efforts as the Co-Chair of the Nova Scotia Seniors Mental Health Network over the past decade. Dr. Cassidy and the members of the Nova Scotia Seniors Mental Health Network also received the R. Wayne Putnam Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Continuing Professional Development.  Dr. Cassidy was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Nova Scotia Dementia Strategy, and has been providing leadership in seniors mental health promotion as co-Chair of Fountain of Health Initiative. This year, the Fountain of Health Initiative received a $25,000 grant from New Horizons to implement senior-lead positive aging courses in the community, and a $10,000 grant to increase mental health promotion activities by Nova Scotian family physicians. The Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health has begun to collaborate with the Fountain of Health Initiative on a national seniors’ mental health promotion effort.

    In terms of the current clinical and educational offerings by our collaborative, multidisciplinary Seniors Mental Health Team, we place a high priority on quality the educational experience of our students, and on service to patients and families.  A major clinical goal of our team is not only to intervene in a crisis but to anticipate and circumvent problems before they arise. As a recent clinical example (patient details changed for anonymity), a 76 year old woman with Parkinson’s being cared for at home by her husband with in-home support had recently declined from mild to moderate dementia with care needs now beyond what was feasible at home. Avoiding a breakdown of the situation, or need for acute care services, our team members functioned to anticipate her future care needs, provide a proactive competency assessment, support and educate the family, and communicate closely with primary care and community partners and services. As a multidisciplinary team, we are proud of what we accomplish together. We are equally proud that our service is consistency rated positively by students citing the strength of our multidisciplinary team work, and the rich learning environment provided by our team.

    Nova Scotia has the oldest population in Canada with a senior population that will double over the next 20 years from 15 to 35% of the NS population. As the only tertiary Geriatric Psychiatry service in the province, we are acutely aware of the need sustainable provincial system that can meet the needs of our aging population. Our team envisions the need for a paradigm shift from being a clinical service to increasingly being utilized as a provincial resource for education and community capacity building. We have begun that process on many fronts, include through the Healthy Living program, the Nova Scotia Seniors Mental Health Network, and through our involvement in local and provincial strategies as described above.  We envision that a sustainable future must also include a paradigm shift toward greater seniors’ mental health promotion and upstream prevention--  or a “Positive Psychiatry of Aging” that highlight the psychosocial aspects of successful aging. Drs. Keri-Leigh Cassidy and Janya Freer and multidisciplinary members of our Healthy Living program, are actively providing provincial leadership in seniors’ mental health promotion through the Fountain of Health Initiative. For more information about the Fountain of Health Initiative for positive aging, please visit

  • 09 Jul 2015 2:05 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    The Research committee continues to work to promote research in geriatric psychiatry in Canada.  Please contact us at if you would like to learn more or to be included in our budding research network. 

    Check out this list of recent publications from Canadian researchers in geriatric psychiatry, hot off the press!

    A randomized trial of a depression self-care toolkit with or without lay telephone coaching for primary care patients with chronic physical conditions.

    McCusker J, Cole MG, Yaffe M, Strumpf E, Sewitch M, Sussman T, Ciampi A, Lavoie K, Platt RW, Belzile E.

    Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2015 May-Jun;37(3):257-65. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2015.03.007. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

    Development of a comprehensive hospital-based elder abuse intervention: an initial systematic scoping review.

    Du Mont J, Macdonald S, Kosa D, Elliot S, Spencer C, Yaffe M.

    PLoS One. 2015 May 4;10(5):e0125105. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125105. eCollection 2015.

    Impaired insight into delusions predicts treatment outcome during a randomized controlled trial for Psychotic Depression (STOP-PD study).

    Gerretsen P, Flint AJ, Whyte EM, Rothschild AJ, Meyers BS, Mulsant BH.

    J Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Apr;76(4):427-33. doi: 10.4088/JCP.14m09003.

    Latrepirdine for Alzheimer's disease.

    Chau S, Herrmann N, Ruthirakuhan MT, Chen JJ, Lanctôt KL.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Apr 21;4:CD009524. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009524.pub2.

    Recognizing acute delirium as part of your routine [RADAR]: a validation study.

    Voyer P, Champoux N, Desrosiers J, Landreville P, McCusker J, Monette J, Savoie M, Richard S, Carmichael PH.

    BMC Nurs. 2015 Apr 1;14:19. doi: 10.1186/s12912-015-0070-1. eCollection 2015.

    Gray matter atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment/Alzheimer's disease over the course of developing delusions.

    Fischer CE, Ting WK, Millikin CP, Ismail Z, Schweizer TA; Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

    Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 Mar 27. doi: 10.1002/gps.4291. [Epub ahead of print]

    Dopamine D2/3 receptor availability in the striatum of antipsychotic-free older patients with schizophrenia-A [(11)C]-raclopride PET study.

    Nakajima S, Caravaggio F, Mamo DC, Mulsant BH, Chung JK, Plitman E, Iwata Y, Gerretsen P, Uchida H, Suzuki T, Mar W, Wilson AA, Houle S, Graff-Guerrero A.

    Schizophr Res. 2015 May;164(1-3):263-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2015.02.020. Epub 2015 Mar 8.

    Anxiety symptoms in amnestic mild cognitive impairment are associated with medial temporal atrophy and predict conversion to Alzheimer disease.

    Mah L, Binns MA, Steffens DC; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

    Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 May;23(5):466-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2014.10.005. Epub 2014 Oct 29.

  • 22 Jun 2015 9:54 AM | CAGP (Administrator)

    Name of Event: The 8th Canadian Conference on Dementia

    When: October 1st – 3rd, 2015

    Where: The Westin Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario

    Description: The 8th Canadian Conference on Dementia (CCD) will be held in downtown Ottawa in 2015 with a dynamic program! Join us on October 1st – 3rd, 2015 at The Westin Ottawa Hotel for two-and-a-half jam-packed days of exceptional learning opportunities while spending time with friends and colleagues in the Nation’s Capital.

    The 8th CCD brings together a group of national and international scholars to share clinically relevant, cutting-edge developments in dementia research.

    The program boasts a plethora of new, eclectic, and interactive workshops, as well as poster presentations. As usual, the conference will conclude with clinicopathological vignettes – a true opportunity to test the knowledge that you have gained from the conference with real time cases!

    The 8th CCD organizing committee is please to invite you to join us for a Welcome Reception on Day 1 and a Dinner on Day 2, giving you an opportunity to network with your friends and colleagues while dining…and for those who joined us in 2013 fabulous entertainment that had everyone out on the dance floor! Don’t be left out, we are anticipating record-breaking attendance, so be sure to register early to guarantee your place and to benefit from the Early Bird Rate.

    We look forward to seeing you in Ottawa!


    Registration Rates:

    Registration Category

    Registration Rate

    Early Bird Rate (Ends August 21st, 2015)


    Regular Rate (Starts August 22nd, 2015)


    Allied Health Professionals/Nursing Early Bird Rate (Ends August 21st, 2015)


    Allied Health Professionals/Nursing Regular Rate (Starts August 22nd, 2015)


    Industry Professionals




    One Day Rate - October 1st: General 


    One Day Rate - October 1st: Student 


    One Day Rate - October 1st: Industry Professional


    One Day Rate - October 2nd: General 


    One Day Rate - October 2nd: Student


    One Day Rate - October 2nd: Industry Professional


    One Day Rate - October 3rd: General 


    One Day Rate - October 3rd: Student 


    One Day Rate - October 3rd: Industry Professional


    All funds will be processed in Canadian dollars.

    HST (13%) will be applied to all transactions.

    Full Conference Registration includes access to all breakfasts, breaks, lunches, opening reception and gala dinner.

    Please note this year we will not be having a conference syllabus, but will be using a conference app that will include all speaker details, learning objectives, biographies and you will also be able to download the speaker presentations via the app.

    Payment can be made online via credit card (VISA, MasterCard only) or by cheque. If you wish to pay be cheque, please select the Manual Payment option on the second page of the registration form. Cheques are to be made payable to University Health Network and a copy of your register form must be included with your cheque. Please mail cheques to the address listed below:

    ATTN: Conference Services

    550 University Avenue

    Room 3-213

    Toronto, Ontario

    M5G 2A2


  • 27 Apr 2015 3:35 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    The participating Universities that are accepting Residents for training have agreed upon aligning the dates for the application process for the Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty Residency Programs. This includes such dates as the application deadline, notification, acceptance.

    Please see the dates below for 2015 :

    1. Application Deadline: Monday, September 14, 2015

    2. Notification of Interview: Thursday, October 1, 2015

    3. Applicant Interviews: Week of October 21, 2015

    4. Letters of Offer sent out:  Friday, November 13, 2015

    5. Deadline to receive responses to Letters of Offer:  Friday, November 20, 2015

    Please note that each university has its own application process/forms. For more information please follow up with your university.

  • 13 Apr 2015 10:05 AM | CAGP (Administrator)

    To view the CAGP March 2015 e-newsletter, please click here!

  • 09 Apr 2015 4:18 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    In the spirit of greater collaboration to which CPA and the academies committed at last September ‘s Council of Academies, CPA staff and past President of CAGP, Dr. Kiran Rabheru teamed up to respond to MP queries about mental health and the elderly.

    On March 10, Dr. Kiran Rabheru, and CPA Manager of Government Relations, Kelly Masotti, went to the Hill to speak to NDP MPs Claude Gravelle and Charlie Angus. 

    The discussion with Mr. Gravelle focused on private Member’s Bill C-356, An Act for a National Dementia Strategy. The bill supports The Alzheimer Society's call for a national dementia plan to help reduce the burden of dementia and to support more people with the disease across Canada. It would see health-care providers, politicians, and policy makers focus on:

    • Increasing funding for research into all aspects of dementia
    • Promoting earlier diagnosis and intervention
    • Strengthening the integration of primary, home and community care
    • Enhancing skills and training of the dementia workforce
    • Recognizing the needs and improving supports for caregivers

    More on Bill C-356.

    The conversation with Mr. Angus centered on his private Member’s motion (M-456) to establish a Pan-Canadian Palliative and End-of-life Care Strategy by working with provinces and territories on a flexible, integrated model of palliative care. The motion was passed with near unanimous consent in May 2014. The NDP have launched the campaign, A Promise is a Promise, calling on the government to act and implement the motion.  As part of the countrywide campaign, CPA was invited to provide an expert to be part of a Town Hall panel hosted by Mr Angus in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 21.  Dr. Rabheru graciously accepted to participate on behalf of CPA.

    More on Motion M-456.

    For more on what CPA has accomplished in partnership with its members, read the CPA Report to Members at

    L’APC et l’Académie canadienne de psychiatrie gériatrique (ACPG) parlent de démence et de soins palliatifs avec les parlementaires

    Pour faire suite à l’engagement à une plus grande collaboration qu’ont pris l’APC et les académies lors du Conseil des académies en septembre dernier, le personnel de l’APC et le président sortant de l’ACPG, le Dr Kiran Rabheru, ont fait équipe pour répondre aux questions des députés en matière de santé mentale des personnes âgées. 

    Le 10 mars, le Dr Rabheru, et la gestionnaire des relations gouvernementales de l’APC, Kelly Masotti, se sont entretenus avec les députés du NPD Claude Gravelle et Charlie Angus.

    La discussion avec M. Gravelle a porté sur le projet de loi émanant d’un député C-356, une Loi concernant une stratégie nationale sur la démence. Le projet de loi appuie la demande de la Société Alzheimer d’un plan national sur la démence pour contribuer à réduire le fardeau de cette maladie et à soutenir plus de personnes qui en sont atteintes au Canada. Le plan ferait en sorte que les fournisseurs de soins de santé, les politiciens et les décideurs se concentrent sur les éléments suivants :

    • un financement accru pour la recherche sur tous les aspects de la démence;
    • une amélioration des diagnostics et des interventions précoces;
    • une intégration renforcée des soins primaires, des soins à domicile et des soins en milieu communautaire;
    • une amélioration des compétences et de la formation des personnes qui œuvrent dans le domaine de la démence;
    • la reconnaissance des besoins des aidants et l’amélioration des soutiens mis à leur disposition.

    À propos du projet de loi C-356.

    La conversation avec M. Angus a porté sur sa motion émanant d’un député (M-456) visant à créer une Stratégie pancanadienne de soins palliatifs et de fin de vie en collaborant avec les provinces et territoires à un modèle flexible et intégré de soins palliatifs. La motion a été adoptée presque à l’unanimité en mai 2014. Le NPD a lancé la campagne « Une promesse est une promesse », qui demande au gouvernement d’agir et de mettre en œuvre la motion. Dans le cadre d’une campagne pancanadienne, l’APC a été invitée à déléguer un expert pour prendre part à une assemblée présidée par M. Angus à Ottawa, le jeudi 21 avril. Le Dr Rabheru a accepté avec grâce d’y participer au nom de l’APC.

    À propos de la motion M-456.

    Pour plus de détails sur ce qu’accomplit l’APC en partenariat avec ses membres, consultez le Rapport aux membres, à l’adresse

  • 09 Apr 2015 4:15 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting Canadian Association on Gerontology (

    October 23-25, 2015

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    The Canadian Association on Gerontology is pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for CAG2015: From Possibility to Practice in Aging, October 23-25, 2015 in exciting Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    Join us for Canada’s premier multidisciplinary conference for those interested in individual and population aging. Abstracts are welcomed from all disciplines and all interests in aging, including research, practice, policy and related work. International submissions are encouraged. We are also pleased to offer the CIHR-IA Student Poster Competition and student travel assistance grants.

    Abstracts are due by April 15, 2015.

    For more information, including discounted room rates at the Westin Calgary, please visit

    Special Offer for New Members: Join the CAG now, and you'll receive 14 months of membership for the price of a one-year membership! Membership entitles you to many benefits, including reduced rates to attend CAG2015, members-only updates on resources and events in the field, a print and online subscription to the Canadian Journal on Aging, as well as opportunities to network with national and international peers. For more information, please visit

    CAG2015 is hosted by the Faculty of Social Work at University of Calgary


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  • 09 Apr 2015 4:06 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    2015 has been an excellent year so far for geriatric mental health research in Canada.  Please check out some of our recent CAGP member publications below.

    If you are interested in joining a network of Canadian researchers in geriatric mental health, or in having your recent publication highlighted here, please contact the Research Committee chair, 

    Six-month outcomes of co-occurring delirium, depression, and dementia in long-term care.

    McCusker J, Cole MG, Voyer P, Monette J, Champoux N, Ciampi A, Vu M, Belzile E.

    J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Dec;62(12):2296-302. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13159. Epub 2014 Dec 8.

    The impact of aging, cognition, and symptoms on functional competence in individuals with schizophrenia across the lifespan.

    Kalache SM, Mulsant BH, Davies SJ, Liu AY, Voineskos AN, Butters MA, Miranda D, Menon M, Kern RS, Rajji TK.

    Schizophr Bull. 2015 Mar;41(2):374-81. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbu114. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

    Persistence and adherence with dementia pharmacotherapy: relevance of patient, provider, and system factors.

    Maxwell CJ, Stock K, Seitz D, Herrmann N.

    Can J Psychiatry. 2014 Dec;59(12):624-31. Review.

    Evaluation of a problem-solving (PS) techniques-based intervention for informal carers of patients with dementia receiving in-home care.

    Chiu M, Pauley T, Wesson V, Pushpakumar D, Sadavoy J.

    Int Psychogeriatr. 2015 Jan 23:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

    New use of antipsychotics associated with a small increased risk of acute kidney injury in older adults with mental disorders.

    Kirkham J, Seitz D.

    Evid Based Ment Health. 2015 Mar 5. pii: ebmental-2014-101979. doi: 10.1136/eb-2014-101979. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.

    In-vivo imaging of grey and white matter neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease: a positron emission tomography study with a novel radioligand, [18F]-FEPPA.

    Suridjan I, Pollock BG, Verhoeff NP, Voineskos AN, Chow T, Rusjan PM, Lobaugh NJ, Houle S, Mulsant BH, Mizrahi R.

    Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Feb 24. doi: 10.1038/mp.2015.1. [Epub ahead of print]

    Depression and Outcome of Fear of Falling in a Falls Prevention Program.

    Iaboni A, Banez C, Lam R, Jones SA, Maki BE, Liu BA, Flint AJ.

    Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 Feb 16. pii: S1064-7481(15)00087-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2015.02.006. [Epub ahead of print]

    rTMS of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex for major depression: safety, tolerability, effectiveness, and outcome predictors for 10 Hz versus intermittent theta-burst stimulation.

    Bakker N, Shahab S, Giacobbe P, Blumberger DM, Daskalakis ZJ, Kennedy SH, Downar J.

    Brain Stimul. 2015 Mar-Apr;8(2):208-15. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

    Chronic kidney disease in lithium-treated older adults: a review of epidemiology, mechanisms, and implications for the treatment of late-life mood disorders.

    Rej S, Elie D, Mucsi I, Looper KJ, Segal M.

    Drugs Aging. 2015 Jan;32(1):31-42. doi: 10.1007/s40266-014-0234-9.

    Grey Matter Atrophy in Mild Cognitive Impairment / Early Alzheimer Disease Associated with Delusions: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study.

    Ting WK, Fischer CE, Millikin CP, Ismail Z, Chow TW, Schweizer TA.

    Curr Alzheimer Res. 2015 Feb 4. [Epub ahead of print]

    Anxiety Symptoms in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment Are Associated with Medial Temporal Atrophy and Predict Conversion to Alzheimer Disease.

    Mah L, Binns MA, Steffens DC; Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

    Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 29. pii: S1064-7481(14)00306-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2014.10.005. [Epub ahead of print]

    An international study of the quality of national-level guidelines on driving with medical illness.

    Rapoport MJ, Weegar K, Kadulina Y, Bédard M, Carr D, Charlton JL, Dow J, Gillespie IA, Hawley CA, Koppel S, McCullagh S, Molnar F, Murie-Fernández M, Naglie G, O'Neill D, Shortt S, Simpson C, Tuokko HA, Vrkljan BH, Marshall S.

    QJM. 2015 Feb 5. pii: hcv038. [Epub ahead of print]

    Functional Consequences of Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density in Humans across the Adult Lifespan.

    Nazeri A, Chakravarty MM, Rotenberg DJ, Rajji TK, Rathi Y, Michailovich OV, Voineskos AN.

    J Neurosci. 2015 Jan 28;35(4):1753-62. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3979-14.2015.

    Supported depression self-care may prevent major depression in community-dwelling older adults with chronic physical conditions and co-morbid depressive symptoms.

    Cole MG, McCusker J, Yaffe M, Strumpf E, Sewitch M, Sussman T, Ciampi A, Belzile E.

    Int Psychogeriatr. 2015 Feb 20:1-2. [Epub ahead of print

  • 09 Apr 2015 3:59 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    Prairies Update: Saskatchewan

    Greetings from Saskatoon!  Drs. Davidson, Prasad and Thorpe are very excited to welcome Dr. Alanna Baillod to our team of geriatric psychiatrists in Saskatoon.  Alanna completed her PGY6 year at the University of Ottawa and returned to Saskatoon in the fall of 2014.  This has increased our cohort of geriatric psychiatrists to 4 and has provided opportunities to expand our current delivery of services. As a group we continue to work in collaboration with the Seniors Health and Continuing Care Behaviour Support Team and Mental Health and Addictions Services seniors program community mental health nurses (CMHN) to form the Seniors Mental Health Outreach Team. 

    Over the past three years we have been focused on developing capacity in long term care.  Currently seniors’ health has been identified as a priority within the Saskatoon Health Region and province of Saskatchewan. Members of our team participated in the Provincial Seniors Strategy with the ministry of health to look at improving care for seniors in Saskatchewan.  Our team also participated in “Client Service Mapping-Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan-Seniors Mental Health” with the Ministry of Health to review the current and future state of mental health service delivery for seniors with the end deliverable being recommendations to be considered by the Mental Health commissioner. Members of our team are collaborating with Home Care to provide geriatric psychiatry services within the community through a pilot project called “Home First.” The project’s goal is to keep seniors in their home longer with enhanced services from home care, which includes support from the Seniors’ Program Community Mental Health Nurse and a geriatric psychiatrist.  This project will be part of a larger “Seniors House Call” project that is focused on Emergency Department flow and reduced wait times.

    As we are well below benchmarks for the recommended composition of a geriatric mental health team, we have advocated for increased recruitment of geriatric psychiatrists and increases in staffing for the outreach team with nurses and social work.  We have achieved some success as we have obtained administrative support and we developed a centralized intake process to streamline long term care consultations for geriatric psychiatry and the behaviour support team and received an additional 1FTE community mental health nurse. 

    As a team we are looking forward to expanding clinical geriatric services in the Saskatoon Health Region and continuing the positive momentum of senior leadership and the ministry recognizing the importance of seniors’ mental health.

    Marla Davidson MD, FRCP(C) 

    Psychiatry, University of Saskatchewan

  • 09 Apr 2015 3:48 PM | CAGP (Administrator)

    Acualities au Quebec

    English version to follow

    Le printemps est plutôt agité au Québec, dans un contexte de restriction budgétaire et d’austérité, et divers bouleversements politiques sont en cours avec l’application dès le 1 avril 205 par Le Ministre de la Santé et des Services Sociaux du Québec, le Dr Gaétan Barrette, du projet de loi 10, la Loi modifiant l’organisation et la gouvernance du réseau de la santé et des services sociaux (abolition des agences régionales, création d’établissements à mission élargie et implantation d’une gestion à deux niveaux hiérarchiques) afin de favoriser et de simplifier l’accès aux services pour la population, de contribuer à l’amélioration de la qualité et de la sécurité des soins et d’accroître l’efficience et l’efficacité de ce réseau. Le projet de loi instaure une nouvelle gouvernance pour les établissements régionaux et suprarégionaux, (membres  nommés par le ministre) et accorde de nouveaux pouvoirs au ministre.

    Et puis vient le projet de loi 20, Loi favorisant l’accès aux services de médecine de famille et de médecine spécialisée et modifiant diverses dispositions législatives en matière de procréation assistée. Cette loi prévoit certaines obligations applicables à la pratique des médecins qui participent au régime d’assurance maladie du Québec (suivi médical d’un nombre minimal de patients pour les omnipraticiens, nombre minimal de consultations ailleurs qu’au service d’urgence d’un établissement pour les spécialistes, exigences pour assurer aux patients une continuité des soins). À défaut pour un médecin de se conformer à ces obligations, cette loi prévoit la réduction de sa rémunération par la Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.

    Soucieux d’inclure les gérontopsychiatres dans ce vigoureux processus, l’Association des Médecins Psychiatres du Québec (AMPQ) supporte l’idée de protéger nos postes spécifiques en gérontopsychiatrie. Le groupe de travail est dirigé par la Dre Jessica Roy-Desruisseaux, présidente du nouveau comité de gérontopsychiatrie de l'AMPQ que nous remercions pour son implication assidue. Ce comité travaille de concert avec le comité des effectifs médicaux de l'AMPQ pour demander au MSSS de reconnaître les PEM en gérontopsychiatrie pour les plans quinquennaux 2016-2020. L’AMPQ a répertorié 65 psychiatres avec pratique principale en gérontopsychiatrie au Québec dont 30 certifiés. 2 autres gérontopsychiatres certifiés pratiquent en psychiatrie adulte. 2 R6 à Montréal ont un poste et s'ajouterons aux effectifs et une R6 à Toronto est sans poste signé.

    Également, le Collège des Médecins du Québec étudie depuis juin 2014 la reconnaissance officielle de la gérontopsychiatrie comme surspécialité. Le tout sera officialisé par la modification du Règlement sur les spécialités médicales à un moment qui nous est malheureusement inconnu.

    Comme vous pourrez le voir sur notre site internet, le Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux du Québec a mis en ligne un très apprécié guide de pratique portant sur la démence et les symptômes comportementaux et psychologiques de la démence (SCPD), des capsules de formation sur les SCPD et différents outils SCPD. Cet important groupe de travail (comité SCPD) formé par le MSSS est représenté par les 4 universités québécoises  et est chapauté par la Dre Marie-André Bruneau que nous remercions pour son travail chevronné. Voici les liens internet qui seront également disponibles sous peu sur le site de l’ACGP :

    Le nouveau programme de surspécialité en gérontopsychiatrie de l’Université de Montréal accueille avec enthousiasme depuis 2014 deux résidentes, les Dres Cynthia Bellavance et Maryse Turcotte.

    D’autres universités québécoises sont actuellement à l’œuvre pour obtenir un programme de suspécialité en gérontopsychiatrie. L’Université McGill travaille actuellement à des modifications sur son programme présenté au CRMCC et un dépôt prochain auprès du CRMCC serait en cours  pour l'Université Laval.

    Le 2e congrès québécois sur la maladie d’Alzheimer à l'automne 2014 à Québec fut un franc succès, a regroupé plusieurs disciplines dont  des gérontopsychiatres. Le 3e congrès québécois sur la maladie d’Alzheimer et les maladies apparentées est prévu en 2016 à Sherbrooke.

    Enfin, plusieurs collègues sont actifs côté recherche. Entre autres, Dr Stéphane Richard-Devantoy et son équipe continuent leurs activités de recherche portant sur les bases neurocognitives de la vulnérabilité suicidaire des personnes âgées déprimées (travail collaboratif au sein du Groupe McGill d'études sur le suicide et du CSSS de Saint-Jérôme), sujet qui avait au préalable fait l’objet d’une revue de littérature (Geriatr Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil 2013 ; 11 (4) : 367-78) dont les résultats étaient que les fonctions exécutives, en particulier la prise de décision et l’inhibition cognitive, étaient

    davantage altérées chez les personnes âgées déprimées avec des antécédents de tentative

    de suicide que chez celles sans antécédent de tentative de suicide. Les données de

    l’imagerie cérébrale, qui demandaient à être répliquées, avaient mis en évidence des anomalies des circuits fronto-limbiques associées à la vulnérabilité suicidaire chez la personne âgée indépendamment des conditions psychopathologiques. En conclusion, selon les auteurs, la vulnérabilité suicidaire des personnes âgées était associée à des déficits neurocognitifs. Une évaluation neuropsychologique pourrait ainsi contribuer à détecter la vulnérabilité suicidaire d’une personne âgée déprimée, préalable indispensable à tout plan thérapeutique.

    Nancy Vasil MD FRCPC

    Communications Chair CAGP

    Professeure adjointe de clinique, Université de Montréal

    Regional Update : Quebec

    This spring is proving eventful in Quebec with budget restrictions, austerity and various policy upheavals that are underway. On April 1, 2015, the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Gaétan Barrette introduced Bill 10, An Act to Modify the Organization and Governance of the Health and Social Services Network, in Particular by Abolishing the Regional Agencies (creating entities with broader remits and introducing a two-tier management structure) to promote and streamline public access to services, contribute to improving the quality and safety of care, and boost the efficiency and effectiveness of this network. The Bill introduces a new governance structure for regional and supraregional bodies (members appointed by the Minister) and grants new powers to the Minister.

    And then comes Bill 20, An Act to Promote Access to Family and Specialized Medicine Services and Modifying Various Legislation Governing Assisted Conception. This Bill lays down certain obligations applicable to physicians participating in the Quebec health insurance system (medical monitoring of a minimum number of patients for general practitioners, minimum number of non‑emergency consultations, requirements to ensure continuity of care for patients). Where a physician does not comply with these obligations, the Bill provides for reduced remuneration by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

    Wishing to ensure that geriatric psychiatrists are included in this rigorous process, the Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec (AMPQ) supports the idea of safeguarding our geriatric psychiatry posts. The working group is led by Dr. Jessica Roy-Desruisseaux, Chair of the AMPQ's new geriatric psychiatry committee, who we would like to thank for her tireless involvement. This committee is working in collaboration with the AMPQ’s committee on medical manpower to request that the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) recognize medical posts in geriatric psychiatry for the five-year plans from 2016 to 2020. The AMPQ lists 65 psychiatrists whose main practice is geriatric psychiatry in Quebec, 30 of whom are certified. Two other certified geriatric psychiatrists practice adult psychiatry. There are two R6s in Montreal who have a post and will be added to the list, and one R6 in Toronto does not have a signed post.

    Furthermore, since June 2014 the Collège des médecins du Québec has been looking into having geriatric psychiatry officially recognized as a subspecialty. This will be formalized by the modification to the regulations governing medical specialization at some point; unfortunately, we do not know when.

    As you can see on our website, the MSSS has posted a much-appreciated practical guide to dementia and the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), training modules on symptoms and various other related tools.  This important working group (BPSD committee) formed by the MSSS is represented by the four universities in Quebec and led by Dr. Marie-André Bruneau, who we would like to thank for the high level of experience she brings to the committee. Please find below the links that will also soon be available on the CAGP website:

    Since 2014, the new subspecialty program in geriatric psychiatry at the University of Montreal has enthusiastically welcomed two residents, Dr. Cynthia Bellavance and Dr. Maryse Turcotte.

    Other Quebec universities are currently working on obtaining a subspecialty program in geriatric psychiatry. McGill University is currently making modifications to its program submitted to the RCPSC, and Laval University will soon be filing one with the RCPSC as well.

    The 2nd Quebec Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease held in Quebec City in the fall of 2014 was a clear success, attracting many disciplines, including geriatric psychiatry. The 3rd Quebec Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders is scheduled for 2016 in Sherbrooke.

    In addition, a number of colleagues are active in research. Dr. Stéphane Richard‑Devantoy and his team, among others, are continuing their research into the neurocognitive markers of suicide vulnerability in the depressed elderly (a collaborative project with the McGill Group for Suicide Studies and the Saint-Jérôme CSSS), a topic previously reviewed in the literature (Geriatr Psychol Neuropsychiatr Vieil. 2013; 11 (4): 367-78), with the following results: executive functions, especially decision-making and cognitive inhibition, were more impaired in the depressed elderly with a history of suicide attempts than in those without such a history. Brain scan data, which needed to be confirmed in further details, showed abnormalities of fronto‑limbic circuits which are involved in suicide vulnerability in the elderly independently of any associated psychopathological conditions including depression.  The authors concluded that suicide vulnerability in the elderly was associated with neurocognitive deficits. A neuropsychological assessment could thus help to identify the suicide vulnerability of a depressed elderly person, a first step for both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic care

    Nancy Vasil MD FRCPC

    Communications Chair CAGP

    Professeure adjointe de clinique, Université de Montréal

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