Our People

National Leadership Team

The Fountain of Health National Leadership Team is composed of Canada’s leading academic geriatric psychiatrists, researchers, and leaders of major national organizations serving seniors. The National Leadership Team promotes knowledge transfer and translation of Fountain of Health materials, to the public and to healthcare providers across Canada. The National Team is responsible for building momentum of the Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging across Canada and internationally and works in alignment with the Positive Psychiatry Section of the World Psychiatric Association. The National Leadership Team Members are:

Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, MD
Founder, National Leadership Team

Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, MD FRCPC is the founder of the Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging and co-founder of the World Aging and Brain Health Institute. She is Board Member of the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry, the Positive Psychiatry Section Editor of the World Psychiatric Association, and. Dr. Cassidy is an Associate Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry at Dalhousie University, a national expert in late life mood disorders and psychotherapy, lecturer at the a CAGP National Review Course in Geriatric Psychiatry in 2012, an annual event that won the 2014 Joint CPA-COPCE Award for the Most Outstanding Continuing Education Activity in Psychiatry in Canada. She is the author of Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for older adults. Dr. Cassidy’s research explores the links among beliefs on aging, health behaviours and outcomes.

Dr. David Conn, MD
VP Education, Baycrest

Dr. David Conn is the Vice-President of Education and Director of the Centre for Education & Knowledge Exchange at Baycrest. He is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He is founding Co-Chair of the Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health and Past President of the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and co-editor of three textbooks. He received the 2005 Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry Award for Outstanding Contributions to Geriatric Psychiatry in Canada and a Distinguished Service Award from the International Psychogeriatric Association in 2009. In 2010 he was co-recipient of the CIHR Institute of Aging Betty Havens Award for Knowledge Translation in Aging.

Dr. Catherine Donnelly, PhD
Associate Professor, Queen’s University,

Catherine Donnelly PhD is an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at Queen’s University, with cross appointment to the Department of Family Medicine.  Her research and clinical practice focuses on team based primary care with an emphasis on supporting healthy aging and participation in individuals with chronic conditions. She is also interested in exploring collaborative practice and assessment/evaluation.

Dr. Cindy Forbes, MD
Past President of the CMA

Dr. Cindy Forbes, MD, CCFP, FCFP is the 2015-2016 President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is passionate about health promotion and dedicated to leading healthcare system improvement. Dr. Forbes is a family physician practicing in Nova Scotia and a graduate of Dalhousie Medical School. She was  also the recipient of the Dalhousie University Medal for Academic Achievement. Dr. Forbes was the Past President of Doctors Nova Scotia, Member of British Columbia’s Medical Association Council on Health Care and Promotion, Past Chair of the Canadian Medical Association’s Committee on Health Care and Promotion and Member of the CMA’s Political Action Committee. In her current role as CMA President she has overseen the CMA’s National Seniors Strategy and “Demand a Plan,” the largest and most successful public engagement campaign in the history of the CMA.

Dr. Chris Frank, MD
Chair, FCFP (Care of Elderly)

Dr. Chris Frank MD, FCFP (Care of Elderly); is the Chair of the Health Care of the Elderly Program at the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

He is also an Associate Professor in Department of Medicine at Queen’s University and the Clinical Leader of Specialized Geriatric Services at Providence Care. His clinical interests are palliative care and geriatric rehabilitation.

Margaret Gillis
President, International Longevity Centre Canada

Margaret Gillis is the founding President of the International Longevity Centre Canada, part of a global alliance of 17 Centres dedicated to the needs and rights of older people. An award winning executive and innovative leader, Margaret played a key role in establishing the Age-friendly Community program in Canada and internationally, this program is now in over 900 Canadian communities and 26 countries worldwide. Other career highlights include a joint government-NGO project to protect seniors in disasters which was recognized by Her Majesty the Queen.

Margaret has strong credentials in regard to human rights, working with and speaking at the UN General Assembly on behalf of older people and as Canadian Delegate to the Organization of American States, Institute for Children. With a background in health promotion, protection and programming for the aged, women and children, Margret is committed to improving the rights of older people.

Dr. Cindy Grief, MD
Medical Director, Mental Health Services, Baycrest

Dr. Cindy Grief, MD, FRCPC is a Geriatric Psychiatrist at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto, where she is the Medical Director for Mental Health Services. Her clinical roles include inpatient and outpatient psychiatry. She is also the consultant to Baycrest’s palliative care unit. Bereavement is a particular area of interest, which prompted her to complete a Master’s of Science degree in Medical Anthropology. Dr. Grief is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She is also a graduate of the Centre for Faculty Development’s Education Scholars program (UofT), and has been active in postgraduate and continuing education. Dr. Grief is currently developing a national education program in geriatric mental health (GeMH) for health care professionals using varied education technologies including videoconferencing, webinars and simulation.

Ms. Jenny Hardy, OT Reg.
Occupational Therapist, Canadian Mental Health Association

Jenny Hardy is an occupational therapist at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division. In her role, she coordinates the Living Life to the Full program, a CBT-based mental health promotion program delivered in community settings. Jenny has worked to bring Living Life to the Full to older adults across Ontario, receiving national recognition from the CBC on this innovative approach. Jenny is currently focused on bringing Living Life to the Full to caregivers 55+ living in Toronto, through the ENRICHES Collective Impact Project. Since graduating from the University of Toronto, Jenny has spent her career working to implement community based initiatives for older adults, including a food security program, friendly visiting service, and community garden initiative.

David Harvey
Chief Public Policy and Programs Initiatives Officer, Alzheimer Society of Ontario

As Chief Public Policy and Programs Initiatives Officer, David Harvey leads the Alzheimer Society of Ontario in influencing policy change to improve the quality of care for people living with dementia and their families, and is responsible for developing initiatives for healthy aging and reducing the risk and impact of dementia.

David also co-chairs the national brainXchange and speaks regularly at professional conferences.

David holds a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) and a Masters of Education from the University of Western Ontario, a Master’s degree in Library Science (University of Toronto) and a diploma in public administration.  

Dr. Kiran Rabheru, MD
Past President, Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry

Kiran is a Full Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. In 2014, he was certified as a subspecialist in Geriatric Psychiatry by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Also in 2014, he was recertified as a geriatric psychiatrist by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Currently at The Ottawa Hospital, he serves as Medical Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry and ECT Program, as well as the Behavioral Support Team. 

Kiran obtained his MD at UWO in 1980, completed a rotating internship at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, and enjoyed his career as a general practitioner for 5 years, which he maintains has grounded him in “real life medicine”. He became certified in Family Medicine in 1987 and obtained Fellowship in the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2004. 

Kiran has been passionate and committed to serving the elderly throughout his career. He is recognized nationally and internationally as a Founder of the subspecialty of Geriatric Psychiatry. He is the recipient of Outstanding Achievements in Geriatric Psychiatry in Canada award by the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry (CAGP). Kiran has served as President of the CAGP and the Board of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) for four years. Currently he serves on the OMA’s General Council and the OMA Health Policy Seniors Care Working Group. 

Dr. Mark Rapoport, MD
President, Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry

Dr. Mark Rapoport, MD, FRCPC, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, a clinical scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the current President of the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry (CAGP).  He is also a member of the Canadian Driving Research Initiative for Vehicular Safety in the Elderly (CanDRIVE), and an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Geriatrics.  He founded the CAGP National Review Course in Geriatric Psychiatry in 2012, an annual event that won the 2014 Joint CPA-COPCE Award for the Most Outstanding Continuing Education Activity in Psychiatry in Canada. He was the scientific co-chair for the 2009 International Psychogeriatric Association Congress in Montreal, Quebec.  He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA), and won the 2014 CAGP Award for Outstanding Contributions in Geriatric Psychiatry.

Dr. Marie-France Rivard, MD
Advisory Board Member, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Ms. Bonnie Schroeder
Director, Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health

Bonnie Schroeder, MSW, RSW is the part-time Executive Director of the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH). She is also a consultant and part-time Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Social Sciences (Gerontology Minor). The CCSMH is a national organization to promote the mental health of seniors by connecting people, ideas and resources, with priorities on advocacy, public awareness, education, research, promoting best/ promising practices, caregiving and human resource.

World Aging and Brain Health Institute: International Researchers in Optimal Aging

The World Aging and Brain Health Institute fosters international collaborations to synergize research in optimal aging. The World Aging and Brain Health Institute (WABHI)* is dedicated to research and education promoting healthy aging with a particular focus on positive beliefs on aging & health behaviour change. The evidence-base of the Fountain of Health includes research on: healthy aging, brain health and neuroplasticity, resilience in aging, psychosocial health in aging, beliefs on aging, cognitive behavioural therapy & health behavior change. 

WABHI was founded in 2016 in affiliation with the Positive Psychiatry section of the World Psychiatric Association, the UCSD Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Baycrest Centre, the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry, the Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging.  In June 2016, WABHI will host the first International Think Tank on Optimal Aging in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

The Founding Members of the World Aging and Brain Health Institute are prominent international leaders and researchers, whose research contributions provided the inspiration and academic substance behind the Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging. The Founding Members of WABHI are:

Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, MD
Founder, WABHI, Past President American Psychiatric Association, USA

Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, M.D. is the Past President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and director of two institutes focused on of aging (Stein Institute for Research on Aging and Hartford Center for Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry) and the newly launched UCSD Center for Healthy Aging (2014). He has published over 600 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 12 books, including Successful Cognitive ad Emotional Aging (2009), Prevention in Mental Health (2011), and Positive Psychiatry (2015), and was listed in “The Best Doctors in America” and in the Institute for Scientific Information’s list of the “world's most cited authors.” 

Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, MD
Founder, WABHI, Canada

Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, MD FRCPC is the Founder of the Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging and the World Aging and Brain Health Institute. She is the Positive Psychiatry Section Editor of the World Psychiatric Association. She is an Associate Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry at Dalhousie University, a national expert in late life mood disorders and psychotherapy, and the author of Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for older adults. Dr. Cassidy’s research explores the links among beliefs on aging, health behaviours and outcomes.

Dr. Nathan Herrmann, MD
Scientist, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, Canada

Dr Herrmann is Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Head of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. At Sunnybrook, he is co-director of the Clinical Neuropharmacology Laboratory and a scientist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program and the Center for Stroke Recovery. Dr. Herrmann’s research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders pharmacotherapy, studying treatments for cognitive enhancement, disease modification, and neuropsychiatric symptoms. He has published over 470 publications, with over 280 in peer-reviewed journals. He has held over 120 research grants including peer-reviewed grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) among others. He has won the Award for Outstanding Achievements in Geriatric Psychiatry from The Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry (2010), and the International Psychogeriatric Association’s Distinguished Service Award (2009).

Professor June Andrews, FRCN
Director, Dementia Service, Scotland

Professor June Andrews, FRCN is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing of the UK, and has been recognised internationally for her influence on health care delivery.  As a psychiatric and general nurse she has worked in clinical health care and management, and as a trade union leader, before becoming a Senior Civil Servant in the Scottish Health Department, and eventually running the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling for over a decade.  In 2016 she was appointed Professor Emeritus of the University to focus on the public understanding of dementia, and she became the Director of the Dementia Service Development Trust, a charity that has been funding change and innovation in dementia care for over a quarter of a century.

Dr. Brad Meisner, PhD
Assistant Professor of Health Promotion, Canada

Dr. Brad Meisner, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University. He is the Director of the Research and Education on Aging and Community Health Unit (REACH-U) and an Associate Research Scholar at the Healthy Populations Institute. Dr. Meisner’s research focuses on the promotion of healthy aging throughout the life course through challenging negative age stereotypes and supporting positive ones.

Dr. Christine A. Padesky, PhD
Co-Founder of Center for Cognitive Therapy, USA

Christine A. Padesky, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Center for Cognitive Therapy in Huntington Beach, California is a Distinguished Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and a leading CBT innovator. Along with Kathleen Mooney, PhD she created Strengths-Based CBT which helps clients construct new beliefs and behavioral strategies in order to improve overall functioning and relationships. Included in this approach is a 4-step protocol which helps people build a personal model of resilience. She provides workshops and consultation to therapists worldwide and develops audio CD & DVD therapist training materials. She is co-author of five books, including the new Mind Over Mood, 2nd Edition. With over a million copies sold world-wide in 23 languages, the first edition was named the most influential CBT book of all time by the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (BABCP). Dr. Padesky is recipient of BABCP's Most Influential International CBT Therapist award and the California Psychological Association's Distinguished Contribution to Psychology award. In 2007 the Academy of Cognitive Therapy bestowed on her its Aaron T. Beck Award for her enduring contributions to the field.

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, MD
Professor of Alzheimer Research, Canada

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, MD, FRCPC, FRCP is a Professor of Medicine (Geriatric Medicine and Neurology) at Dalhousie University with a longstanding interest in clinical and epidemiological aspects of frailty, dementia and delirium. Professor Rockwood has published more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific publications and eight books, including the eighth edition of the Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine & Gerontology. He is the Kathryn Allen Weldon Professor of Alzheimer Research at Dalhousie University and Honourary Professor in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester.

Dr. Michael Vallis, PhD
Founder, Behavioural Change Institute, Canada

Dr. Vallis, PhD is a registered health psychologist practicing at the Capital Health, Halifax, and cross-appointed to Dalhousie University as Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Health and Human Performance. His expertise is in adult health psychology, with an emphasis on diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology. He developed the Behaviour Change Institute, a training program for lifestyle counselling skills for physicians, nurses, dietitians and other healthcare providers, and he supervises research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease. He was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Dr. Lisa Marie Warner, PhD
Research Scientist, Germany

Dr. Lisa Marie Warner, PhD is a researcher at the division of Health Psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her research at the interface between Health Psychology and Gerontology focusses on personal and social resources for older adults’ physical activity and social participation, such as their social support and self-efficacy (for details see http://tinyurl.com/WarnerL-CV-EN).

Dr. Julia Wolff, PhD
Research Scientist, Germany

Dr. Julia Wolff, PhD is the deputy head of the German Ageing Survey and works as a research scientist at the German Centre of Gerontology in Berlin, Germany. Her research focuses on health and health promotion in older adults. Dr. Wolff combines developmental and health psychological perspectives by studying resources for good health, such as views on ageing, social support and physical activity in long‐term and short‐term relationships. (www.dza.de/en/about‐the‐dza/staff/wolff.html)

Dr. Susanne Wurm, PhD
Professor of Psychogerontology, Germany

Dr. Susanne Wurm, PhD  is a professor of psychogerontology at the Friedrich-Alexander-University in Nuremberg, Germany, and Editorial Board Member of the “Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry” and “European Journal of Aging.”  Dr. Wurm’s research areas are health and health behavior in later adulthood and the role of psychosocial resources (e.g. individual views on aging, age stereotypes). She is offering European leadership in these domains as a member of the Advisory Board in the prevention network for healthy aging, Deputy President of the “Health Reporting and Health Monitoring” Committee of the Robert Koch Institute, member of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Network and Co-Chair of COST Workgroup 5 on “Internalized age stereotypes.”

 

*Note: The acronym WABHI is inspired by a Japanese term “”wabi-sabi,” meaning the intrinsic resilience, value and character of things that are old & time-worn, a concept celebrated in Japanese culture.The research of WABHI focuses on promoting life’s value and meaning, and improving quality of life over time. 

Wabi-Sabi: A Japanese Tea Ceremony Cup