Meet the Speakers

Dr. Ken Rockwood

Kenneth Rockwood is Professor of Medicine (Geriatric Medicine & Neurology) at Dalhousie, an active staff physician at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, and the Senior Medical Director of Frailty and Elder Care Network for Nova Scotia Health. He serves as the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation Kathryn Allen Weldon Professor of Alzheimer Research at Dalhousie University. He is Associate Director of the Canadian Collaboration on Neurodegeneration in Aging. 

A native of Newfoundland, Ken received his MD from Memorial University, completed internal medicine training at the University of Alberta and Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie. 

A leading authority on frailty, he has more than 500 peer-reviewed publications and nine books to his credit, including the eighth edition of Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine & Gerontology. 

Since 2017, facilitating his work with the National Health Service of England and Wales, Ken has held an appointment as Honorary Professor of Population Science and Experimental Medicine, University College London. He is President of Ardea Outcomes, a spin-off company that focuses on individualized outcome measurement in several complex diseases.

Plan to join Kenneth as he elaborates “In 2021 the leading edge of the baby boom began to turn 75. This wave will not crest for two decades. As far reaching as the impact of COVID-19 has been, the pandemic of frailty will be even greater. This arises because age-related deficit accumulation, which gives rise to frailty, is an exponential process. If we have learned anything from COVID-19, it is that exponential processes do not care about whether we are prepared, or how we feel about them. They demand effective, forward-looking responses.

Ambulance offload delay is one of many chickens now coming home to roost. Long forecast, offload delay reflects our difficulty in pivoting from great success in treating patients with single system illness to the challenges that come from people with multiple, interacting, medical and social problems. In this, we are not alone. The challenge now is to both distill the best of what has been learned elsewhere into actionable policies for Nova Scotians, and to add to that inventory of success our own innovations.

For this needed innovation we are well poised. Since the mid-1980s clinician scientists at Dalhousie University and what is now Nova Scotia Health have been international leaders in care of frail older adults. For example, two of the first successful clinical trails of comprehensive of CGA assessments were carried out by Drs Roy Fox and David Hogan. More recently, work on the conceptualizing, measuring, and treating frailty developed here have found wide uptake internationally and changed the global approach to elder care. At Dalhousie, the Faculty of Health has made frailty care a top priority, with a dedicated Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging held by Dr Olga Theou. At Nova Scotia Health the Research & Innovation portfolio is transforming approaches in recognizing that “research is care”. With the welcome support and leadership for the Province of Nova Scotia, we look forward to introducing policies and programmes that can improve preventive, acute, and care for people who live with frailty.”

Honourable Barbara Adams

The Honourable Barbara Adams was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly as MLA for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage in 2017 and was re-elected as the MLA for Eastern Passage in 2021.

Barbara is a physiotherapist who graduated from Dalhousie University in 1984.  She also has a certificate in Business Management.

Barbara worked in the hospital system in Ontario and Nova Scotia before moving into private practice in 2007.  She was the Clinical Director of PhysioCare at Home and a private business owner through the Atlantic Balance and Dizziness Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Barbara started working with children with special needs when she was 12 years old.  She volunterred as a guest speaker with many organizations like the Nova Scotia Arthritis Socieity, Alzheimer Society and Care Givers Nova Scotia.

Barbara served on the Board of Directors for CARP, VON Halifax, Serving Seniors Alliance, Oceanview Continuing Care Centre and the Eastern Passage and Area Business Association.

She is the mother of two sons and two step sons.

Tracey L Barbrick

Tracey’s government career began in 2001 at Nova Scotia Environment, where she led the monitoring and compliance branch and helped to shape department policy. She was a key member of the senior transition team that oversaw a major organizational change at the former Department of Environment and Labour, renewing its mandate and focus on environmental sustainability. 

In 2010, Tracey joined the Department of Health and Wellness, where she has provided leadership in the areas of legislative policy, intergovernmental affairs and project management.

Most recently, Tracey was an instrumental part in ensuring that the new Nova Scotia health delivery system has strong governance design, clear roles and accountabilities, with a focus on quality health services. Tracey believes that working together, communities, health care professionals and government can create a sustainable health care system that focuses not just on caring for Nova Scotians when they are sick, but helping them stay well.