Planting the seed for hip health

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Centre for Hip Health receives provincial grant to prevent hip fractures in older adults

Peter Wall Faculty Associate, Heather McKay, Director of UBC’s Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, recently received a $4.5 million grant through the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) to help prevent falls and hip fractures in older adults and enhance mobility though early intervention.

The seeds for Mckay's research into fall prevention began during her tenure as an 2001-2002 Early Career Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute and continued during a 2002 Exploratory Workshop, Transdisciplinary Research to Prevent the Epidemic of Hip Fracture, led by Karim Khan, founder of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, and 2001-2002 Peter Wall Early Career Scholar

“Our Exploratory Workshop helped build substantial relationships that led to collaborations across Canada and internationally,” says Khan.

Two years later in 2004, Khan and others received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation program to build the Centre. The Centre subsequently opened in 2011.

"The important relationships we created during our tenure as Scholars at the Institute shaped the course of the workshop and later studies," adds McKay.

McKay is also the Principal Investigator of the Wall Solutions Initiative project, Active Streets Active People, which focuses on the intersections between physical mobility, the neighbourhood built environment, social interactions— and ultimately, how these things impact health. The goal is to better identify those built environment features that help individuals across the lifespan (1 to 100 yrs) live healthy, active lives in their neighbourhoods.

Part of the recent $4.5 million grant from PHSA will enable the Centre for Hip Health to expand programming that increases the mobility of less active seniors through education and awareness, tailored programs, and the development of tools to create safe and healthy communities.