Dr. Susan Mercer
Faculty of Medicine
Cp-Investigators: Cathy Hoyles, Patricia McCarthy, Weyam Fahmy, Laura Harris Lane, Dr. Holly Etchegary
Dr. Mercer was awarded a 202 ARC-NL Research Grant for her project entitled,
An Inter-professional Model of Care for Frail Older Adults in Newfoundland and Labrador.
ARC-NL: What piqued your interest in this area of research?
I work as a care of the elderly trained family physician in Geriatric Medicine at Eastern Health. In this role I see patients who have declining health and function and I make recommendations about interventions that might improve their bothersome symptoms, quality of life, and function. We currently have a very small program with only three full-time physicians so we reach a small number of patients. However, many aspects of this type of care are happening in other programs in our system but without any overarching organization or coordination. My goal in this research is to eventually bring about more accessible, higher value care for the frail older adult population.
ARC-NL: Can you please provide a brief synopsis of your specific project?
This project will begin with a literature review to look at models of care for frailty that exist across the country and in other parts of the world. We will then do an environmental scan of the aspects of frailty care that currently exist for outpatients in the Eastern Health region. We will get local and national expert opinions on the gaps and strengths in our current offerings for frailty care as well as what are some of the challenges to developing a model of frailty care for our region and on a larger scale for our province. We will then work on a larger grant proposal to fund a project for the implementation of a frailty model.
ARC-NL: How did getting the support of the ARC-NL Research Grant assist you with your project?
This project would not be possible without the funding support from ARC-NL and the research support from the Department of Research and Innovation at Eastern Health. The funding opportunity was what brought the research team together to explore areas of interest and need, determine the research question, and develop a proposal for the work. We are very grateful to have received the funding to see the work through.
ARC-NL: How do you feel your research will benefit the aging population of Newfoundland and Labrador? Canada?
As mentioned above, my goal in this research is to eventually bring about more accessible, higher value care for the frail older adult population. This will require integrated older adult care principles wherever older adults are served.