Dr. Jennifer Ingram made her home in the city of Peterborough in 1987, when she relocated from Toronto. She earned her medical degree from Queen’s University, obtained her Fellowship in Internal Medicine (FRCPC) in 1980 and her Certificate of Special Competence in Geriatric Medicine in 1984.
After arriving in Peterborough, she opened a specialized geriatric practice, the first of its kind in the area, focusing on the assessment and care of seniors, particularly those with complex and cognitive issues. Her clinic has evolved over the years to the present-day Kawartha Centre – Redefining Healthy Aging, which is a leading community-based geriatric clinic offering patients and families opportunities to participate in international research trials investigating new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias and other neurologic conditions.
The Kawartha Centre is an accredited member of the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (www.C5R.ca). In 2016 Dr. Ingram was recognized with C5R’s Irma M. Parhad Award for Excellence.
Over the years the clinic has been building capacity to conduct research while continuing to provide specialized geriatric medical services, infusion services, legal and capacity assessments, as well as medical resident and primary care training. A recent building expansion has enabled education and advocacy efforts to take place on site in partnership with non-profit, academic and community organizations.
At the 2009 Canadian Geriatric Society Conference Dr. Ingram presented the results of a training program for Nurse Assessors at family physician offices. The program spanned four years and resulted in 30 sites having access to cognitive assessments within their Family Health Teams. This early development was a pivotal driver in successfully building geriatric community-based programs across the CE LHIN, which continue to evolve with well-formed partnerships and innovative thinking.
Dr. Ingram served for many years as the Division Lead for Geriatric Medicine at Peterborough Regional Health Centre and was recognized for her contributions with a Leadership Award in 2017. Her efforts in this role led to four geriatric medicine physicians relocating to our area, which has greatly enhanced the growth and availability of geriatric and dementia care clinical services in this CE LHIN sub-region.
Policy, Planning and Research
Dr. Ingram’s interest in older adult care was visible early in her career when she worked for Coopers & Lybrand, Bay Consulting, and Agnew Peckham assisting in strategic planning and reorganization efforts in healthcare institutions across Canada. She was also the author of a nationally syndicated column “Speaking of Seniors” for the Thompson newspaper chain for many of these years.
Over a two-year span, starting in 2010, she played an instrumental role as a member of a provincial planning table to address gaps in accessible, older adult healthcare throughout the CE LHIN, which is home to 1.4 million residents living in a mix of urban and rural geographies. The legacy of these efforts is now twelve fully funded Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) teams. They provide comprehensive interdisciplinary geriatric assessments and care planning to rural and urban seniors and represent a transformational change in health care delivery that addresses the often invisible frailty of seniors on many levels – medically, cognitively, functionally, socially and emotionally.
She has served as a Board Chair for the Seniors Care Network, which is responsible for creating an integrated regional system of Specialized Geriatric Services for frail seniors. Dr. Ingram has been invited to participate as an Expert Advisory Panel Member for Health Quality Ontario on the topics related to dementia and, in January 2017, was pleased to accept an appointment as the Seniors Physician Lead for the CE LHIN, where she is able to inform dementia and senior care policy and planning at the provincial level.
Dr. Ingram is one of three Ontario co-investigators with the Canadian Team for Healthcare Services/System Improvement in Dementia Care from the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. This team is part of the national Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) and is assessing dementia care practices implemented in primary health care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders across three provinces over multiple years.
Community Involvement & Leadership
Since settling in Peterborough Dr. Ingram has been actively involved with her community, volunteering time and expertise with many local organizations, including the Victorian Order of Nurses and as a founding member of the Peterborough chapter of the Osteoporosis Society. She has been able to inform age-friendly policies for the City of Peterborough in her role as founder and co-chair of the Peterborough Council on Aging (now known as Age-friendly Peterborough). She is a Board Member at the Trent Centre for Aging & Society at Trent University and a past recipient of their Community Leadership Award for Medicine, Science and Technology. In 2016 the Ontario Medical Association awarded Dr. Ingram the Glenn Sawyer Service Award for her outstanding contributions to the medical profession and the community.
Outside of her clinical work, Dr. Ingram has served as a Geriatric Medicine Peer Assessor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and is a Registered Capacity Assessor. She served for six years on the Board of Trustees at Queen’s University and her fraternity, Alpha Gamma Delta, recognized her with their inaugural Talent of Leadership Award in 2015 for her contributions to Medicine.
In recent years, Dr. Ingram has begun to look beyond the healthcare sector to other areas of interest where she can contribute her leadership talents in service of the community she loves and calls home. An outdoor enthusiast and master canoeist, she’s recently joined the board of the Canadian Canoe Museum to help steward the creation of a world-class museum here in Peterborough. She and her husband are keen travel adventurers, hockey fans and committed volunteers to many causes. They greatly enjoy time with their children and grand-children who all live nearby.