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Primary care models for nutrition screening: What works?

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Michele MacDonald Werstuck, RD MSC CDE, Nutrition Program Coordinator, Certified Diabetes Educator at Hamilton Family Health Team;

Sheny Khera, MD, Site Director, Misericordia Family Medicine Centre;

Marjan Abbasi, MD, Site Lead for the Geriatrics Program, Misericordia Community Hospital

Malnutrition in seniors is happening in our communities negatively impacting on rates of falls, hospitalizations, re-admissions and morbidity and mortality. Estimated costs of malnutrition in Canada are high accounting for $2 Billion of $25 Billion Canadian hospital budget due to longer hospital stays, frequent re-admissions and higher in-hospital mortality. The population of seniors is growing in Canada with approximately 9 million seniors over 65 years of age expected by 2031 according to Statistic Canada. Primary care teams are looking closer at senior malnutrition in the community and coming up with creative ways to identify seniors at nutritional and falls risk and link to team services in a more timely way. Join this webinar to hear more about the screening efforts happening in family health teams and primary care networks across Canada and walk away with tips and tools to use in your practice.


  1. Become familiar with the evidence of why we need to focus more attention on older adults at nutritional risk.
  2. Cite malnutrition screening efforts happening across Canada to detect and correct malnutrition in vulnerable seniors in primary care.
  3. Apply malnutrition tips and tools to begin screening in practice including validated screening tools and custom EMR malnutrition forms to standardize documentation and outcome measurement.

About the Speakers
Michele MacDonald Werstuck is Chair of the Dietitians of Canada Ontario Primary Health Care Action Group (DC- PHCAG), Assistant Professor (part-time) with the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University, and a family health team RD of over 25 years. Michele is a proud supporter of team-based care and innovative models of care. She has been instrumental in championing efforts to reach vulnerable populations in primary care, more recently leading the Senior Malnutrition DC-PHCAG working group in their goal of embedding nutrition screening programs for older adults into family practice. Most recently, Michelle has led the Hamilton Family Health Team Bariatric Working Group in the development of tools and interprofessional clinical care pathways for primary care teams to provide ongoing support for post-surgical bariatric patients discharged from bariatric clinics across Ontario.

Sheny Khera
is a family physician, with a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and is a full-time faculty member of the Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta. Dr. Khera has over 14 years of clinical experience and is the Site Director of the Misericordia Family Medicine Centre. Her research interests are in collaborative practice, seniors' care and primary healthcare transformation. Dr. Khera is the cofounder and co-lead with Dr. Abbasi in creating and operationalizing the Seniors' Community Hub. In recognition of her leadership in improving the care of older adults in Alberta, Dr. Khera was awarded a certificate of added competence in Care of the Elderly, leadership route (2016) and is a member of the Division of Care of the Elderly, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta.

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 and an Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Care of Elderly with over 14 years of clinical and teaching experience. The focus of her practice is the care for seniors living with frailty. Dr. Abbasi is the Medical Lead for the creation and implementation of a Senior Friendly Strategy Framework at the Misericordia hospital to improve inpatient care of seniors with frailty. She is also the co-lead with Dr. Sheny Khera in creating and operationalizing an integrated care model to proactively identify and manage seniors living with frailty in primary care, Seniors' Community Hub, which received national recognition from Canadian Frailty Network in 2018.

** Original Source: "CNS Education Webinars" Thursday, September 26, 2019


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Last Updated: September 26, 2019

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Primary care models for nutrition screening: What works? Video
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