Dr. Ann C. Beckingham Award
15 years ago, I volunteered at a long-term care facility. It was during this experience that I saw a significant need for interventions to support the aging population, sparking my interest in healthcare. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of older adults, to help individuals live independently in their communities for as long as possible. I also recognized the great complexity of aging in which various social determinants of health and contextual factors intersect to influence individuals’ experiences with aging. The holistic nature of nursing was a key factor that encouraged me to pursue this career.
After working as a bedside nurse for six years, I realized that if I truly wanted to make a difference in older adult care that I would need to advance my education. My graduate experience as a master’s student inspired me to then pursue a doctoral degree in nursing. My current work focuses on how we can identify frailty in older adults early in their health trajectories to prevent adverse health outcomes that commonly occur in the older adult population. This work is critical in improving healthcare for older adults.
I am incredibly proud of how far I have come in my education. I have received multiple awards from the University of British Columbia as well as support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to engage in this work. My ultimate hope is that I can help improve healthcare for older adults, a population I feel is unfortunately often neglected.