Linda Li leads a new network with a goal of increasing independence in older adults

Linda Li’s application entitled ‘Knowledge translation to optimize mobility independence in older adults: Improving Cognitive & jOint health Network (ICON)’ has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) at $199,000 per year for three years. 

It was second in the competition and was funded at 100% of the amount requested (an increasingly rare phenomenon at the CIHR).  Co-principal investigators include Teresa Liu-Ambrose, John Esdaile, Diane Gromala (SFU).  Co-investigators include Chris Shaw (SFU), Richard Smith (Centre for Digital Media), France Legare (Laval), Sharon Straus (U of T), and Allyson Jones (U of Alberta).  Knowledge Broker, Alison Hoens will be serving as lead for the KT Core Facility. Collaborators include Arthritis Consumer Experts, Alzheimer’s Society of BC, CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons), and the Arthritis Health Professions Association.  As you can see, Dr. Li has assembled a national network of 9 leading research programs and 4 consumer/health organizations. 

Why brain and joint health?  Well, they are essential for people to enjoy the best quality of life. Both cognitive impairment and chronic joint diseases are common as we get older. These conditions are expensive and can be fatal if not treated appropriately, yet the use of effective prevention strategies and treatment has been extremely poor.

The mission of ICON is to transform how research in cognitive and joint health is used to improve clinical practice and individual self-management. Using digital technology, we will develop ‘knowledge translation tools’ that aim to: 1) improve physical activity to promote joint and cognitive health in older people, and 2) improve the timely use of first-line treatments especially in people with arthritis.  The big message is that Dr. Li’s team will engage the power of digital media to ‘put research into action’.  The network will modernize the effort to improve the quality of life of older people for the 21st century.