What are North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services

North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services are provided through specialized teams across the region that specifically focus services on the care of frail older adults and their caregivers.
NSM SGS Program Mandate
What are Specialized Geriatric Services
Specialized Geriatric Services in NSM
NSM SGS Program Leadership

North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services (NSM SGS) has five key roles related to the care of frail older adults and their caregivers in North Simcoe Muskoka:

We provide system leadership and help with planning, priority setting, design and redesign of services and programs for frail older adults in the region, while monitoring the impact and effectiveness of services and system changes.
Clinical Service
Clinical service is the heart of NSM SGS. We are involved in direct care, we help build standards of practice across the region and we provide leadership in clinical programming.
Education & Mentorship
NSM SGS plays an important role in providing education and mentorship to frail older adults and their caregivers, health care professionals, community providers and students.
Research & Ethics
With a key leadership role and role in clinical service, it is essential that we be aware of current best practices and research. This knowledge will help us build capacity, inform decision-making, design better programs and services and improve outcomes.
On a daily basis we advocate for change. Our advocacy can be as straightforward as advocating for a change in medication or as complex as developing proposals and business cases for program funding.

View our Quality Framework overview

NSM Specialized Geriatric Services are hospital and community-based health care services supporting frail older adults and their caregivers.

Who is a ‘Frail’ Older Adult?
While most older adults live healthy and active lives, some become frail, facing complex health problems putting them at risk of losing their independence. This can increase the risk of Emergency Department visits, hospital admissions and/or being placed prematurely in a long-term care home.

These older adults can have multiple chronic medical conditions as well as geriatric syndromes like dementia, depression, falls, weakness and other issues. This complex presentation can complicate accurate assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Often there are social situations at play which impact the senior’s home situation or caregiver supports. This can further complicate care.

How Does Specialized Geriatric Services Differ From Seniors’ Care?
Specialized Geriatric Services are just one component of seniors’ care. Care for seniors is provided effectively in many settings across North Simcoe Muskoka such as in doctors’ offices, in long-term care homes, through adult day program and through home care.
Specialized Geriatric Services specifically target frail seniors and their caregivers.  These teams provide short-term support to more complex cases, especially those cases needing help from many different types of health care professionals.  This team has expertise in geriatric medicine and geriatric psychiatry and is skilled in the assessment and management of geriatric syndromes.  Together, the team completes a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA).  A CGA examines a senior’s medical situation, functional abilities (i.e. like walking, bathing, memory, etc.), psychosocial situation and environment to develop a plan of care to meet the individual’s specific needs.

How Can Specialized Geriatric Services Help Seniors and the Health System?
In general, Specialized Geriatric Services are linked with better outcomes for frail seniors and their caregivers as well as the health system, including:
  • Fewer avoidable Emergency Department visits and hospital admissions.
  • An increase in aging at home and a decrease in premature placement in long-term care.
  • Less avoidable decline among high risk seniors with complex medical and psychosocial problems.
  • An increase in functional ability, independence, and quality of life for seniors and their caregivers
  • Increases in the skills and knowledge of health care providers regarding the care of frail seniors.

The North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services (NSM SGS) program provides regional leadership for specialized geriatric services throughout North Simcoe Muskoka.

The NSM SGS program works in collaboration with local partners to support and improve the quality of care provided to frail older adults and their caregivers.  In this region, there are a variety of partners who deliver specialized geriatric services, including:

Sandra Easson-Bruno

Sandra Easson-Bruno joined North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services (NSM SGS) in March 2016 as its inaugural Director. In this role, Sandra provides leadership and oversight to the planning, implementation and evaluation of all aspects of the program. She builds collaborative relationships, champions quality care and advocates for programming, funding and system change.

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Vice President, Partnerships and Chief Strategy Officer

Heather Bullock

Heather Bullock currently serves as Vice-President, Partnerships and Chief Strategy Officer, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, as well as Assistant Professor, McMaster University.

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Physician Lead – Specialized Geriatric Services

Dr. Kathleen Bingham

Dr. Kathleen Bingham is a psychiatrist with the North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services. Dr Bingham completed her medical degree at Western University and her psychiatry residency at the University of Toronto. In 2018 she completed a PhD with the University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science. She is a clinician-investigator, and her research focuses on cognition and everyday functioning in late life depression. Her clinical work involves treating older adults with mood disorders, dementia, and other psychiatric conditions in hospital, long-term care and the community.

Her goal as part of SGS leadership is to promote high quality, patient-centred, equitable and accessible care for older adults in our region via collaboration among the SGS team, community partners, patients and families. 

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Physician Lead – Geriatric Mental Health

Dr. Geoff Daniel

Dr. Geoff Daniel is a Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care Geriatric Psychiatrist working on the NSMSGS Mental Health and Behaviour Support Services integrated team. This experience in clinical, leadership and research aspects of geriatric psychiatry, along with his passion for collaborating, ensures that geriatric psychiatry, behaviour support services and geriatric medicine strive for optimal integration, communication and efficiency.

Dr. Daniel does not have a full bio on the site at this time.

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Manager, Geriatric Mental Health – Long-Term Care

Nancy Hooper

Nancy Hooper, Manager, Geriatric Mental Health (LTC), brings more than 18 years clinical experience and leadership to the NSM SGS program. She provides leadership and oversight of the day to day operations for the Geriatric Mental Health (LTC) team.

Nancy joined the NSM SGS program in 2017 as the team lead of the Geriatric Mental Health Community Team. Nancy has held various clinical positions within Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care including the Community Consultation Services - Geriatric Psychiatry team and as an inpatient nurse on the Bayview Dual Diagnosis Program.

Nancy is a Registered Nurse with a BScN from York University. She holds certification in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association, and is a recipient of the 2017 Core Value Award for Leadership at Waypoint.

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Manager, Geriatric Mental Health – Community

Annalee King

Annalee King, Manager, Geriatric Mental Health – Community, brings more than 25 years’ clinical experience and leadership to the NSM SGS program. She provides leadership and oversight of the day to day operations for the Mental Health Services, actively building collaborative relationships with all stakeholders and advocating for person centered care.

Prior to joining the NSM SGS program, Annalee held various positions with Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care including team lead in Central Intake, project coordinator for the development of Central Intake and inpatient nurse on the Horizon Program for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Annalee believes strongly that communication, team work and trust are key to a successful team. While agreeing that standardization and processes are important for high functioning teams, Annalee considers the ability to foster creativity and collaboration amongst the team is of equal or greater value.

Annalee is a Registered Nurse with a BScN from Laurentian University. She has held a certificate in Gerontology since 2001 from the Canadian Nurses Association, and is a recipient of the Core Value Award at Waypoint for Leadership.

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Manager, Geriatric Medicine

Sylvia Naughton

Sylvia Naughton, Manager, Geriatric Medicine, brings more than 25 years of nursing experience including nursing in remote northern settings, emergency and community nursing and research and telemedicine. She provides support for the planning and development of clinical geriatric services, at both regional and local levels.

Prior to joining the NSM SGS program, Sylvia held various positions with Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital interim manager of professional practice, manager for Patient Flow, Utilization, Float Team, Discharge Planners and After Hours Administrators, and Integrated Regional Falls Program, emergency department nurse. In addition, Sylvia was seconded to the Ontario Telemedicine Network as the Regional Program Manager, a position she held until 2009.

Sylvia believes strongly in fostering partnerships and enabling leadership in others. She is detail focused and determined to understand processes to enhance problem solving.

Sylvia is a Registered Nurse having graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing. She has a post degree certificate in Emergency Nursing, CNA Certification in Geriatrics, an Osgoode Health Law Certificate and Osgoode Elder Law Certificate.

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Clinical Manager / Clinical Nurse Specialist

Tamara Nowak-Lennard

Tamara Nowak-Lennard joined North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services in spring 2016 as the Clinical Manager / Clinical Nurse Specialist responsible for professional development, organizational leadership, evidenced-based best practice and educational activities. Tamara has over 30 years of nursing experience and since 2001 has worked in various advanced practice and leadership roles with a focus on providing care to seniors living with frailty.   

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Manager - Clinical Leadership

Kim Simpson

Kim Simpson brings almost 20 years of clinical experience and leadership to the North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services (NSM SGS) program. She is responsible for providing oversight and leadership for advancing clinical practice and knowledge translation. Kim is a strong advocate for knowledge to practice work and inter-professional collaborative care.    

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