Sarah Webster: With a career focus on improving the lives of older adults with complex needs, and extensive practical experience with system-level knowledge translation and exchange, Sarah has the ability to understand the unique needs of this population while effectively engaging stakeholders, connecting complex parts in the system and facilitating shared solution finding. Sarah began her career in long-term care and residential living. She later transitioned into the field of knowledge translation and exchange, and now has extensive experience providing knowledge brokering support to knowledge exchange networks such as the Alzheimer Knowledge Exchange, Canadian Dementia Resource and Knowledge Exchange, and most recently to Niagara Connects, the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health and the Seniors Health Knowledge Network.
Sarah is currently the Knowledge Broker for the Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program. Through this role, she increases awareness about age-friendly communities, strengthens connections between people involved in this work, and builds community capacity to make use of resources and supports available to them. She is passionate about building relationships, seeing the big picture and helping people connect to and understand the information that matters to them.
A Provincial Knowledge Exchange Approach to Strengthen and Connect Age-Friendly Initiatives across Ontario
Age-Friendly Communities (AFCs) promote healthy aging, independence, and inclusion by improving the built and social environments. Ontario’s AFC Outreach Program is a partnership between the Ministry of Seniors Affairs and researchers at the University of Waterloo, Huntington / Laurentian University, Queen’s University, the Seniors Health Knowledge Network and Ontario Interdisciplinary Council on Aging and Health. The Ontario AFC Outreach Program is a community-informed response that is built on foundational work of the World Health Organization and the Age-Friendly Community Milestones developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
By applying a provincial knowledge exchange approach, the AFC Outreach Program builds on the planning and implementation framework presented in the Ontario-developed Finding the Right Fit: AFC Planning Guide, augments the provincial AFC grant program, and aims to incorporate best practices at the community, regional and provincial levels. This presentation will describe how a provincial knowledge exchange approach to supporting AFCs has:
- Increased awareness of AFC planning and implementation processes and impacts
- Increased connectivity within and between communities to enable the spread of best practices and identification of emerging trends
- Enhanced the capacity of communities to accelerate and strengthen their AFC work