We are thrilled that yesterday Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development Lisa Dempster announced the provincial government will partner with Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, to fund a pilot research centre devoted to the study of aging.
Memorial’s Aging Research Centre (ARC), housed at Grenfell with a satellite office at the St. John’s campus, will help recruit and retain a growing corps of qualified and experienced researchers and develop specialized expertise among graduate students and clinicians.
The centre will also link researchers in this province with teams and programs in other jurisdictions, and attract and manage funding from both the public sector and private donors.
Encouraging and supporting collaborations and partnerships is also a critical component of the centre’s work, linking the university, government and community stakeholders — it will channel research activities into areas of priority concern for this province’s public policy and administration.
I am honoured to serve as the inaugural director for this provincial research centre, where I will work closely with the other members of ARC’s core leadership team: Drs. Kelly Vodden, associate vice-president research and graduate studies, Grenfell Campus; Stephen Bornstein, director N.L. Centre for Applied Health Research; and Benjamin Zendel, Canada Research Chair in Aging and Auditory Neuroscience; as well as ARC’s co-ordinator, Dr. Karen Doody.
The core leadership team works with a management board comprised of government and university officials as well as an advisory council comprised of older adults, family members and representatives from aging-related organizations.
The advisory council’s role is to help ensure our research is answering the questions and informing the policies that will benefit older residents of N.L.
A key mandate of the ARC is in the area of knowledge translation and mobilization. It is important to both government and the university that the research coming out of the ARC will be meaningful and beneficial to the people of our province. For this reason, engagement with the community is critically important. The ARC will host public talks and create accessible publications describing research relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador completed by our members and other researchers across Canada and the world.
For more information about the ARC or to sign up to participate in aging-related research, visit our website.
Dr. Veronica Hutchings is the director of the Aging Research Centre at Grenfell Campus.