On Call Innovation Conversation

Upstream Interventions for Downstream Results: How the CARES model is improving quality of life for Canadian seniors

Held June 13, 2017



Did you know?

  • Nearly half of Canada’s healthcare budget is spent on seniors aged 65 and older as a result of the impact of chronic diseases and frailty on their health.
  • Frailty in seniors is associated with poor quality of life. Once frail, a senior is more at risk for falls, disability, institutionalization and death.
  • Fraser Health partnered with Nova Scotia Health Authority and Shannex Inc. through CFHI’s EXTRA: Executive Training Program to implement a primary care upstream intervention initiative called CARES that demonstrates the progression of frailty in seniors can be proactively delayed.

Consider this …

Frailty is a geriatric syndrome associated with poor quality of life and increased reliance on healthcare resources.

By 2031, seniors will account for 22.8% of the population in Canada. This aging population is prone to frailty, placing increasing pressure on an already over-burdened healthcare system. Current healthcare services between primary care and community resources are reactive, hospital-centred and fragmented, which creates a barrier to prevention and care.

CARES – Community Actions and Resources Empowering Seniors – is a primary healthcare upstream intervention that aims to decrease the downstream impact of frailty. Using a phased approach, CARES combines regular assessments by primary care providers with wellness coaching from trained volunteers. The aim is to support seniors to age well and live a higher quality of life within their community for longer.

In 2014, the Fraser Health Authority (B.C.) partnered with Nova Scotia Health Authority, Shannex Inc. (N.S.), and CFHI’s EXTRA Program to implement an inter-provincial CARES initiative – the first of its kind. Results to date have been extremely promising: seniors participating in CARES have seen considerable improvements in their well-being and quality of life over a six-month period.

Join us as we:

  • introduce and explain the CARES approach
  • examine key results for the interprovincial CARES initiative
  • explore the potential and current plans for sustainability and spread

Be part of the conversation!

This interactive On Call session be presented by CARES project team members from Fraser Health and the Nova Scotia Health Authority, and hosted by Kaye Phillips, Senior Director at CFHI.



Grace ParkDr. Grace Park
Dr. Grace Park is the Program Medical Director for Home Health Services and a Family Physician in the White Rock, South Surrey community. She is also a board member of the local Division of Family Practice. She is a member of the Interdivisional Services Committee where heads of all Divisions of Family Practice in Fraser Health meet with senior executives of the Health Authority. As part of her role in Home Health, she has introduced the Integrated Health Networks to the Divisions to partner Home Health Case Managers with Primary Care providers to share client populations and proactively manage care for long term clients in the program. Dr. Park has held multiple medical leadership roles over the years both at the local and the regional level. She is a systems thinker and has enhanced her leadership skills by completing the executive MBA in Healthcare at the UBC Sauder School of Business. She is passionate about improving healthcare for seniors by working upstream through a population health perspective in partnership with community programs and agencies.

Annette Garm Annette Garm
Antonina (Annette) Garm, RN, MALS, MSN, EXTRA Fellow holds two masters degrees; the first in in Liberal Arts and the second in Nursing. She holds C.N.A. certification in Gerontology GNC (C) and is an EXTRA Fellow from the Canadian Foundation for Health Care Improvement (CFHI) Executive Training n Research Application (EXTRA) Program. She has taught at two universities in BC and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau. She has multiple publications and presentations to her name and is currently a collaborator in several research projects. Currently she is the Executive Leader for the CARES Project at Fraser Health in British Columbia

Dr. Barry ClarkeDr. Barry Clarke
Dr. Barry Clarke is a leader in primary health care and continuing care renewal in Capital Health and the community at large. He is a transformational leader, linking and working with his colleagues both within their respective organizations, in community and across the Province to influence change. Dr. Barry Clarke continues to develop his career administratively and academically. Within Capital he continues to develop his skills as a physician leader, and academically he will be available to a promotion to Associate Professor. Within the Capital Health Continuing Care program, Barry leads administrative and clinical policy and guideline development within the nursing home sector, and within the health care of the elderly develops curriculum and evaluation for geriatric trainees.


Christine QuinnChristine Quinn
Christine Quinn is a Director at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) where she is a quality improvement advisor and lead responsible for developing and implementing key components of CFHI’s spread and scale initiatives. Christine has a degree in nursing, a Master’s of Public Administration and over 25 years’ experience working in healthcare. She has a passion for patient-centred care and quality improvement and has championed public health policy development and implemented provincial and regional improvement initiatives such as the Ontario Driven to Quit Challenge, Home First and Health Links.