Dr. Ann C. Beckingham Award
Shirin Vellani is a Nurse Practitioner with experience working in a variety of specialized geriatric services programs. She is a second-year student in a collaborative PhD program in Nursing Science and Aging, Palliative, and Supportive Care at the University of Toronto. She is currently working as a research assistant with her PhD supervisor, Dr. Katherine McGilton at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-UHN and as a Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Nursing. She completed her Diploma in Nursing and Post RN BScN programs from the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan; and her Masters in Nursing-Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Toronto. Her research interest is informed by her clinical experience, first as a critical care nurse and then as a nurse practitioner working with older adults. During her PhD, Shirin aspires to conduct a randomized controlled feasibility trial on an Advance Care Planning intervention in community dwelling older adults with early stages of dementia and their trusted individuals. The findings of this study can serve as impetus to design a larger study, which can potentially increase a sense of autonomy in older adults. As well, prepare their trusted individuals in making care decisions in concordance with older adults’ wishes, which may also have an impact on their end-of-life care.