← Go Back

Experiences with nutrition risk screening in the community: a multidisciplinary panel


View Related Content by:


Marjan Abbasi, Lisa Peach, Ross Lepera, Maggie Wallin, Denis Tsang


Nutrition screening is an important step in the prevention, detection & treatment of malnutrition. Older adults are particularly vulnerable, timeliness of screening has escalated due to staff/workplace challenges in a post pandemic era. Nutrition interventions, including those provided in a primary and community setting, have shown to result in a positive impact on intake, quality of life, health care costs and even mortality. Nutrition screening with validated tools and care pathways have been shown to be feasible in a family practice setting.

A “stronger together” approach is needed in a community setting where other medical professionals can work with dietitians to provide the best nutrition care. In this session, a well known nutrition researcher will briefly review the evidence and knowledge based pathways created around nutrition screening in older adults. This will be followed by an interactive interview style session in which MDs, RNs and a Clinical Program Lead from varying primary care settings across Canada will share their personal experiences with nutrition risk screening.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this webinar the audience will be able to:

  1. learn about the evidence based nutrition pathways that pertain to older adults in the community,
  2. reflect on novel approaches for nutrition screening as shared by the panel
  3. explore ways to adopt best nutrition screening practices in their own settings


Marjan Abbasi, MD CCFP CAC (COE) FCFP, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta
Lisa Peach, RN, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC
Ross Lepera, MD, CFPC, Adjunct Professor, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Windsor
Maggie Wallin, BMR-PT, CRE, Physiotherapist,Winnipeg, MB

Denis Tsang, MSc, MAN, RD, CHE, CDE, Clinical Programs Lead, Ontario Health; Vice-President, College of Dietitians of Ontario; Lecturer, University of Toronto

Moderator: Heather Keller RD PhD FDC FCAHS, Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging, University of Waterloo.

About the Panelists:

Dr. Marjan Abbasi is a primary care physician with extra training in care of the elderly. She is the Site Lead for the Geriatric Program at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton Alberta and an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Care of Elderly with 20 years of clinical and teaching experience. The focus of her practice (both as a primary care physician and as a consultant in areas such as inpatient, outpatient, and assisted living) is the care of older adults living with frailty. Dr. Abbasi has designed and implemented a number of programs to respond to the unmet needs of this population. She is co-lead in creating and operationalizing an integrated care model to proactively identify and manage older adults living with frailty in primary care, Seniors’ Community Hub, which received national recognition from Canadian Frailty network in 2018.

Lisa Peach is a Registered Nurse and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist professional who has worked in both the hospital and community environments. After earning her B.S.N. degree from the University of British Columbia, she worked in Vancouver and overseas, in Saudi Arabia and Australia, in the areas of medicine, oncology, and in HIV/AIDS.  After returning from Australia, she began her career in Community Home Care Nursing with Vancouver Coastal Health and continued in this capacity for over 20 years.  In the interim, she earned a diploma in Natural Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2018.  In 2019, Lisa assumed the role of Community Nurse Case Manager.  She has a keen interest in improving overall client nutritional health, and advocating for improved nutritional screening.

Dr. Lepera is a family physician who was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He graduated from Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and now operates an independent family practice in the city. Dr. Lepera works in the Erie Shores HealthCare hospital system and is part of the Shelter Health Network initiative working at the Salvation Army. As adjunct professor with Schulich, Dr. Lepera is a preceptor for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. His interest in nutrition stems from his personal experience, his work in the hospital system, and through collaboration with colleagues in dietetics. He has specific interests in nutrition related to sports medicine and geriatrics. Dr. Lepera is supervising a team of medical students on a research project of determining malnutrition risk in community dwelling older adults and his lead student, was the recipient of CMTF’s 2023 Summer Student Scholarship Award.

Maggie Wallin iis a Physiotherapist and Respiratory Educator with over 18 years of experience working in both Acute Care and Community Care settings.  She has attended the Dorothy M Wylie Nursing and Health Leaders Institute where she co-developed a Falls Prevention Program implemented within Winnipeg’s Grace Hospital Outpatient Physiotherapy Dept.  She has been a resource for other institutions in Manitoba to develop similar programs with greater outreach within the city and province.  She has presented on the subject of Falls Prevention at CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) with regards to the importance of physical activity in aging. Along with her other responsibilities in Primary Care, Maggie organizes a Falls Prevention Screening Clinic, several times per year.  Clients are screened for potential falls risk factors such as mobility and nutrition and other factors.  Clients are provided with education, resources and referrals to Community Programs based on screening criteria.

Denis Tsang is a Primary Care Dietitian, Lecturer and Clinical Programs Lead based in Toronto. For the past decade, he has worked in comprehensive team-based primary care specializing in chronic disease management and clinical quality improvement. In addition, he has involved in resident teaching at the Department of Family & Community Medicine of the University of Toronto. Denis currently serves as the Vice-President of the College of Dietitians of Ontario and a verified consultant at OceanMD. He is passionate about patient safety and experience, total quality management and health system transformation while his professional interest is primarily focused in digital health solutions and process optimization in healthcare management. His belief in providing Ontarians the right care in the right place at the right time continues to be the driving force behind his contributions and dedications to the healthcare system.

About the Moderator:

Heather Keller RD PhD FDC FCAHS is the Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging at the University of Waterloo. She is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric nutrition, assessment, and treatment. Research areas focus on nutrition risk and malnutrition identification and treatment across care sectors; improving nutrition care processes and implementing screening and other best practices; supporting food intake of diverse groups living in the community, including those living with dementia; and improving hospital and residential food and promoting food intake and the mealtime experience in these settings. Professor Keller has led several national research and knowledge translation projects, including the landmark Nutrition Care in Canadian Hospitals, More-2-Eat and Making the Most of Mealtimes in Long Term Care studies. Professor Keller has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and translates much of this evidence into practice with tools and resources.  As a founding member and past chair/co-chair (2009-2018) of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, she is involved in translating research into practice and advocating for improvements in nutrition care. She is currently the co-chair of the primary care working group for CMTF and involved in several national and international expert groups advancing the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition. 

Webinar sponsored by:


Original Source: "Canadian Malnutrition Awareness Week Webinars" Wednesday, October 4, 2023.

The views expressed by speakers or other third parties in CNS webinars, events and/or conferences are those of the speaker or third-party and not necessarily of CNS.

CNS is committed to maintaining responsible and transparent processes with respect to support received from industry partners and sponsors for all CNS activities.  While input from industry partners and sponsors is valued by CNS, final control over session topics and content, speaker participation, award recipients, or other factors related to CNS activities is retained by the Society. All CNS conference program content, educational initiatives and award recipients are reviewed and approved by respective CNS committees.

Length: 1:08:55

Type: File

Last Updated: October 4, 2023

Name Type
Experiences with nutrition risk screening in the community File
Experiences with nutrition risk screening in the community: a multidisciplinary panel Video
© 2024 CNS-SCN - Canadian Nutrition Society