RIA sets up for continued success with staff restructuring

July 14, 2016

WATERLOO, Ont. (Thursday July 14, 2016) – The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) has grown rapidly over its first 10 years, and the next decade will see continued and even accelerated growth. With a new strategic plan for 2016-2020, RIA’s key priorities are:

  • Supporting and advancing the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging development on the north campus of the University of Waterloo.
  • Continuing to build capacity in research-practice integration/knowledge mobilization.
  • Continuing to build a critical mass of world class research and researchers within RIA.
  • Expanding community connections, including the spread of the living classroom model.
  • Diversifying funding.

In consideration of these priorities, a number of changes to the RIA organizational structure and staffing will be put in place to set up for continued success.

Summary of Changes (effective August 1, 2016)

  • Mike Sharratt has served ably as RIA President over the past 10 years, stewarding RIA’s rapid growth and overseeing the development and opening of the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging. RIA will continue to benefit from his expertise in his new role of Senior Director of University Relations.
  • Josie d’Avernas has shared leadership of RIA with Mike in her role as Vice President, and will move into the role of Executive Director of RIA. Her focus areas for strategic development will align with a) the ambitious milestones set in the 2016-2020 strategic plan, b) the mandate of RIA as a catalyst for the development and spread of innovations that enhance quality of life and care for older adults, and c) RIA’s vision to be one of the top 5 innovation institutes for aging in the world.
  • Senior Advisors in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Collaboration will seek out and cultivate connections and opportunities to advance RIA’s profile and impact nationally, and in future internationally. Ron Schlegel and Marlene Raasok will assume these roles, and a third will be announced in the future.
  • Rich Hughson will continue his role as Schlegel Research Chair in Vascular Aging and Brain Health and will add the role of Senior Director of Research. This role includes promoting and coordinating the use of RIA lab space, directing use of the labs at the Centre of Excellence, and providing input to research priorities in Schlegel Villages.
  • Susan Brown will take on an expanded role as Director of Research Coordination and Research-Practice Integration.
  • Hilary Dunn will be promoted to Director of Communications, while also continuing in her role as A-HA Program Manager.
  • Gert Hartmann will continue in her role as Director of Community Partnerships and Business Development.
  • Kim Fitzpatrick will join the RIA team as Project Manager of the Schlegel Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care.

The changes outlined above will support RIA’s innovative efforts to integrate research, education, and practice to enhance quality of life and care for older adults.

About the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging

The Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a non-profit, charitable organization that partners with the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Schlegel Villages, and many other organizations and academic institutions, to enhance the quality of life and care of older adults. By integrating research, education and practice, RIA supports practice-relevant research and mobilizes research evidence so it can inform programs, be integrated into education and training, and influence practice and policy. The best of what is learned is then disseminated broadly to benefit older adults everywhere. For more information go to www.the-ria.ca.

Media Contact

Hilary Dunn
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
519-904-0660 ext. 4104