Dr. Linda Lee renewed as Schlegel Research Chair
August 12, 2021
The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team are pleased to announce the renewal of Schlegel Research Chair Dr. Linda Lee as chair in primary care for elders. Dr. Lee’s commitment to improving the lives of people living with dementia through the delivery of complete, compassionate health care has made her invaluable to the RIA since 2016.
Dr. Lee is also a Care of the Elderly family physician, director of the Centre for Family Medicine and KW Regional MINT Memory Clinics and associate clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University.
In 2006, Dr. Lee developed the MINT Memory Clinic model as a multidisciplinary approach to providing early diagnosis and care for persons living with memory loss. The MINT (multispecialty, interprofessional team) Clinic model involves a team of nurses, a social worker, an occupational therapist, and a pharmacist working with a family physician to provide comprehensive care. It has been adopted by over 100 family health teams across Ontario, and the model is also being spread to Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan. An evaluation in 2019 found that the model reduced wait times to access dementia care by 50 per cent and was associated with significant dementia-related cost savings for the Ontario healthcare system.
“Dr. Lee’s work has had a tremendous impact on countless people living with dementia and their family members through expanded access to care and expertise,” said Tina Mah, executive director of the RIA. “We are thrilled to renew her chair position and I look forward to seeing her transformative work benefit more and more people across Ontario and across Canada.”
Additionally, Dr. Lee, along with Schlegel Research Chair in Dementia Professor Carrie McAiney, were one of 19 teams across Canada who contributed to the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), Canada’s largest dementia research network in 2019.
“I am honoured to be renewed as the Schlegel Research Chair in primary care for elders,” says Dr. Lee. “With this renewal, we will be able to expand the MINT Memory Clinic model to more family practices across the country. This is a significant opportunity to continue to improve the care for older adults living with dementia and their care partners.”
Dr. Lee’s innovative work has earned her several awards, including the 2014 Ontario Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety, the 2015 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Aging Betty Havens Award for Knowledge Translation in Aging, and more recently, the KW Oktoberfest Women of the Year Award in the Health and Wellness category.
Dr. Lee’s appointment, in partnership with the Centre for Family Medicine, will continue until the end of 2022.