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Remembering Dr. Martha Donnelly

It is with a sense of profound sadness and shock that we are sharing the news that Dr. Martha Donnelly died suddenly on January 10, 2019.

Martha was a significant and tireless advocate and pioneer in geriatric mental health and dementia care. She provided leadership – and friendship – to many of us in the geriatric mental healthcare communities in BC and across Canada.

In addition to actively practicing as a Geriatric psychiatrist at VGH, she was a longstanding faculty member in the Dept. of Psychiatry and Dept. of Family Practice, UBC Faculty of Medicine where she was instrumental in bringing about a stronger curriculum for training physicians to work with older Adults.

Martha was also founding member of the Centre for Research on Personhood and Dementia (CRPD).

It is difficult to name all of the committees and expert panels that Martha participated on – always bringing a candid, informed lens that pushed for best care for older Adults. Her advocacy, ability to work as a team member and expertise helped to inform the framework of the Adult Guardianship Act of BC, push for a National Dementia Framework, and develop many ‘best practices’ related to assessing incapability, family care and dementia care.

Martha will be missed for her energy, dedication, knowledge and empathy that she had for those who were more vulnerable and for those of us who were privileged to work with her at some point during her busy and impressive career.

Memorial services are scheduled for Friday, January 18 at the Arbutus Club.

Read more stories here



The Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) is currently accepting abstracts for CAG2019, their 48th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting. The meeting will be held October 24-26, 2019 in Moncton, New Brunswick at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Beauséjour.

The theme of the 2019 annual meeting is “Navigating the Tides of Aging Together”. Abstracts are welcomed from all disciplines and all interests in aging, including research, practice, policy and related areas. International submissions are encouraged.

Abstract submissions are due by April 15, 2019.

More information can be found here



The Exchange is an informal gathering of graduate students and post-doctoral scholars who get together to raise new questions about aging and dementia, and to explore new ideas for research.