Katherine Ford, Postdoctoral Fellow PhD, MSc, RD

Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences
University of Waterloo

Informing policy and implementation approaches to advance disease-related malnutrition care: global and national insights

Disease-related malnutrition (DRM) significantly impacts individuals, their families, and health systems and presents in up to half of adults and a third of children admitted to Canadian hospitals. Implementation approaches to address DRM exist, though health policy to support prioritization of DRM care is lacking. Creating Alliances Nationally to address Disease Related Malnutrition (CANDReaM) evolved based on a commitment by the Canadian Nutrition Society and the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force to the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition. The CANDReaM initiative positions Canada as a leader in novel malnutrition care strategies and advocates for national and global advancements to DRM care. Key findings from a scoping review and key informant interviews with global experts in DRM and/or health policy suggest that DRM policy content is similar around the globe, enabling synergy of large-scale priorities, however policy is needed at the jurisdictional level to address setting-specific needs. At the hospital-level, Advancing Malnutrition Care (AMC) is a national initiative that uses a mentor-champion approach to implement and advance DRM care. Initial findings suggest that hospital champions are confident and committed to improving DRM care but feel that they lack experience using implementation strategies to make change. Objectives of this presentation are to 1) address the continued need for advocacy and provide tangible actions to address malnutrition at the national and global levels; 2) consider implementation strategies to advance hospital malnutrition care.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Dr. Katherine Ford is a Registered Dietitian and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Health System Impact Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Waterloo. She holds a Mitacs Elevate Fellowship in conjunction with the Canadian Nutrition Society. During her fellowship, Katherine is supporting the Canadian Malnutrition Taskforce with integrating a malnutrition care standard in Canadian hospitals and advancing the health policy landscape for malnutrition. Prior to this work, Katherine completed her PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism at the University of Alberta. Katherine utilizes her experience as Dietitian to bring a clinical perspective to her research and is interested in better understanding the impact of nutritional assessment and interventions on patient-oriented outcomes and how to spread and scale effective interventions focused on improving malnutrition care.