Katherine Ford, Postdoctoral Fellow, PhD MSc RD

Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences
University of Waterloo

Advancing Malnutrition Care: spreading and scaling implementation of evidence-based nutrition care in Canadian hospitals

Up to half of patients admitted to Canadian hospitals are diagnosed with malnutrition. Efforts to improve implementation of nutrition care best practices are needed. The Advancing Malnutrition Care (AMC) program was designed to use a mentor-champion model to sustainably support spread and scale of nutrition care improvements across Canada. AMC engages and trains regional mentors, typically dietitians or managers with experience improving nutrition care, and connects them with hospital champions (e.g., dietitians, nurses, etc.) to implement best nutrition care practices that align with the Integrated Nutrition Pathway for Acute Care (INPAC) and the Malnutrition Prevention, Detection and Treatment Standard (CAN/HSO 5066:2021). The long-term vision for AMC is to build an effective and sustainable pragmatic quality-improvement model for further spread and scale-up of best practices. Objectives of this presentation include: 1) Gain an understanding of a national strategy to prevent, detect, and treat malnutrition in the hospital setting; 2) Consider the mentor-champion model as an alternative for implementing policy-driven practice change; and 3) Learn about key enablers and barriers to implementing malnutrition care initiatives within the AMC program.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Dr. Katherine Ford is a Registered Dietitian and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Mitacs Health System Impact Postdoctoral Fellow with the Canadian Nutrition Society and the University of Waterloo. Her research interests include management of disease-related malnutrition. During her fellowship, Katherine is supporting the Canadian Malnutrition Taskforce with integrating a malnutrition care standard in Canadian hospitals. Prior to this work, Katherine received her PhD in Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Alberta where she investigated the determinants of protein intake and the role of a high protein diet in maintaining muscle mass during chemotherapy treatment for patients with colorectal cancer. 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.