The federal government, through the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS), announced new funding of $1 million over five years to York University’s bilingual campus, Glendon, to improve training in French-language health services. The funding was announced June 27.
With this funding, Glendon will establish a new certificate in dementia and cognitive health and a specialized bachelor’s degree in neuropsychology. These programs will provide health professionals in francophone communities in southern Ontario with meaningful access to training focused on recent advances, strategies and treatment modalities for francophone and bilingual people who are vulnerable to the cognitive problems associated with aging.
The new programs, expected to launch this fall, will offer frontline workers access to French-language expertise in cognitive health, thereby maximizing the health-care workforce’s ability to manage the conditions associated with cognitive impairment while expanding the offer of care in French in southern Ontario.
Those who receive this new training will benefit from hands-on experience, developing skills tailored to the unique realities of francophones in Ontario. The certification will enable them to better serve francophone seniors in their mother tongue, regardless of their needs or particular situations.
“This funding will improve access, build capacity and create needed services for Ontario’s French-language community,” said Rhonda L. Lenton, president and vice-chancellor of York University. “Using a collaborative and inclusive approach, York and Glendon can help fill critical gaps in French-language health services and strengthen connections within the francophone community.”
The number of francophones suffering from a degenerative disease in southern Ontario is expected to increase by 34 per cent by 2020, increasing demand for specialized health care in this domain.
“I am pleased to see the offer of initial, continuing education and research in the field of aging and cognitive health expanded through CNFS,” said Dominique Scheffel-Dunand, interim co-principal of York’s Glendon Campus. “These developments in neuropsychology at Glendon will help address the challenges identified in the field of cognitive health in official language minority communities.”
In addition, Glendon Campus will host a CNFS summer school in 2020 to improve and accelerate the mobilization of knowledge and the sharing of resources, and to augment the crucial collaboration between researchers and frontline, French-speaking health-care workers.
“Our government is committed to facing the challenges of francophone minority communities by promoting access to health services in the patient’s preferred official language,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, minister of health. “This funding will strengthen training initiatives and improve access to bilingual health professionals so that members of minority francophone communities can get the best health services possible.”