Bluewater Health Establishes New Specialized Geriatric Service

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 12:28pm

SARNIA & PETROLIA – July 14, 2020 – Bluewater Health is pleased to announce it has established a new Specialized Geriatric Service.  

Sarnia-Lambton has an aging population, with 21.6% of the population aged 65 and over. To support this aging population, Bluewater Health has recruited an internist specializing in geriatric medicine, Dr. Amanda Giffin, in addition to recruiting a Nurse Practitioner, Judy Wambulwa, to support its new Specialized Geriatric Program. This service is based at the hospital and offers inpatient and outpatient support for Sarnia and Lambton County.

“Dr. Giffin has just completed her training at Western University and the University of Calgary. Dr. Giffin has expertise in the normal aging process and understands how much of the patient’s problem is related to normal aging as opposed to disease conditions or the side effects of drugs used to treat diseases,” said Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff. “Aging is a complex process that affects the whole body, physically, mentally and emotionally. Care of the elderly requires special expertise and a multidisciplinary approach to optimize function, enhance quality of life, promote independence, and reduce morbidity during the aging process. We have been working on recruiting and establishing this program for the past two years. Dr. Giffin has roots in Sarnia and we’re thrilled that she has chosen to work here.” 

“My first exposure to geriatric medicine was in medical school while I was doing a rotation at Western, and it was ‘love at first sight’,” said Dr. Giffin. “The comprehensive assessments of geriatric medicine allows you to get to know the whole person and that really resonated with me. I’m very excited to be able to provide geriatric care in the Sarnia area.”

Dr. Giffin’s practice will include cognitive assessment/dementia, cognitive/personality changes, behaviours associated with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, mobility/falls, and anxiety/depression in older adults. 

Dr. Haddad also noted that Bluewater Health has applied for funding from the Ministry of Health to support the new geriatrician position.

“The Specialized Geriatric Service will be focused on supporting seniors in the community as much as possible, since we know older, frail adults can become weaker with extended hospital stays,” said Laurie Zimmer, Vice President, Operations.

Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

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Media contact:
Birgit Lacey
Communications & Public Affairs
519-312-3887

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