We are pleased to announce Dr. Sophiya Benjamin as the Schlegel Chair in Mental Health and Aging at McMaster University and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA). This appointment comes as a recognition of her outstanding contributions to the fields of geriatric psychiatry, geriatric medicine, and patient-centered care.
Benjamin’s career has been dedicated to enhancing the care of older adults in Canada. As the co-founder and co-executive director of GeriMedRisk, a virtual care startup company incubated and supported by the RIA, she empowers clinicians across Canada through education in medication optimization in older adults, and clinicians in Ontario through interprofessional consultations.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sophiya Benjamin to the RIA research team,” said Tina Mah, executive director at the RIA. “Her exemplary dedication to improving the lives of older adults through specialized geriatric mental health approaches to care will undoubtedly benefit even more older adults across Canada with this Schlegel Chair position.”
Benjamin’s focus on pragmatic research has been instrumental in integrating geriatric specialties with cutting-edge digital platforms and in-person services. This work aims to overcome the challenges of access to care for older adults, addressing longstanding inequities and inefficiencies.
“I look forward to working with the other RIA chairs on transdisciplinary research that results in meaningful change to improve the mental well-being of older adults,” said Benjamin, highlighting the priority of older adults’ mental health across community and communal living environments.
Her role as the postgraduate research lead in psychiatry at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine further exemplifies her dedication to education and mentorship. Under her guidance, resident physicians learn the skills and insights necessary to deliver care that is evidence-informed, patient-centric, and efficient.
She has served in other pivotal leadership roles, including her tenure as the inaugural co-medical director at Provincial Geriatrics Leadership Ontario until 2021 and as medical director for the Specialized Mental Health Program at Grand River Hospital. Her clinical practice continues at this program and at the Village of University Gates.
The RIA supports a world-class research team, including 12 Schlegel Research Chairs and 3 specialists. The creation of this next Schlegel Chair will contribute to the interdisciplinary approach to research that will offer comprehensive solutions to the challenges and opportunities that come with an aging population.
ABOUT THE RIA
The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life and care for older adults. The RIA tackles some of the biggest issues facing an aging population by integrating research, education and practice. The RIA develops solutions that make a difference to benefit older adults everywhere.
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging