Centre of Excellence

To advance the care of older adults living with frailty through applied, practical research and knowledge transfer, Perley Health established Canada’s first Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care in 2019. The Centre of Excellence honours Perley Health’s longstanding commitment to research, learning and continuous improvement, and to delivering ever-greater value to the healthcare system and the community. The CoE leads and participates in innovative initiatives that advance quality of care, along with relevant research and knowledge translation.

What is frailty?

A person who is frail is less able to cope with minor stresses and more likely to suffer rapid and dramatic changes in health. The risk of frailty increases with age, although older people are not necessarily frail. According to the Canadian Frailty Network (CFN), 50% of people 85 and older are medically frail. Current demographic trends indicate that frailty will be an increasingly important – and expensive – issue for the healthcare and long-term care sectors.

Despite the growing threat posed by frailty, healthcare systems across Canada are ill prepared. According to CFN: “No care setting in Canada currently identifies and assesses frailty as standard clinical practice.” In 2018, CFN and The National Institute on Ageing (NIA) published a report documenting a lack of consensus on how to measure and manage frailty. The Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care will fill these gaps by conducting clinical research and by developing evidence-based best practices in care.

Vision: To be the leading provider, educator and innovator in frailty-informed care for seniors in Canada.

Mission: Through innovative, evidence-based care, education and research, we will optimize quality of life for seniors living with frailty in long-term care.

In 2021, Commissionaires Ottawa — Canada’s largest employer of former Canadian Forces personnel — donated $2 million to the Centre of Excellence. In recognition of the gift, the title of research chair is known as the Commissionaires Ottawa Research Chair of the Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care. The position is currently held by Dr. Annie Robitaille, an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences. 

Recognizing the urgency of addressing care for seniors and Veterans’ living with frailty, Perley Health established Canada’s first Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care.

Perley Health will deliver on its vision in three ways:

  1. Rapidly advancing the care of seniors living with frailty through applied research.
    First, research priorities are chosen based on their abilities to make meaningful contributions to care at Perley Health and beyond.
  2. Knowledge transfer of lessons learned so that others can adopt best practices.
    Second, evidence-based practices will drive widespread knowledge-transfer and education in clinical care.
  3. Becoming Canada’s leader for excellence in the care of seniors living with frailty.
    Finally, Perley Health will be contributing to and influencing government policies to achieve excellence in caring for Seniors and Veterans living with frailty.

Learn more:

Strategic Framework (PDF)