Summer Student Scholarship Call for Applications

February 21, 2024

Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF)'s Summer Student Scholarship is not being offered for 2024. Check back here in early 2025 for news about the applications for Summer 2025.

Canadian Malnutrition Task Force (CMTF) offered a Summer Student Scholarship for nutrition, medical, or allied health undergraduate students to conduct a malnutrition-related research project over a 4 month period in 2023. See details below.

May 10, 2023

The recipient of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force Summer Student Scholarship Award 2023 is Julianna Charles from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Windsor, ON. Julianna and her Supervisor, Dr. Ross Lepera, Adjunct Professor will be working on the research project titled, “Determining the Prevalence of Malnutrition Risk in Older Adults Ages 65 Years and Above in Primary Care Physician’s Practices in Windsor-Essex County: A Multi-Centre Cross-Sectional Study”.  READ PROJECT DETAILS BELOW.

Julianna Charles is a first-year medical student at the Windsor Campus of Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. She was introduced to public health policy and strategy during her masters in Health Informatics at the University of Toronto, and she has since developed a keen interest in integrating nutrition into primary care medicine. Julianna has over three years of work experience in project management, quality improvement and she is excited to be the successful candidate as she leads a team of fellow medical students on the research project.

Dr. Ross Lepera, MD, CFPC
Adjunct Professor, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry 
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Windsor

Dr. Lepera is a family physician who was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He graduated from Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and now operates an independent family practice in the city. Dr. Lepera works in the Erie Shores HealthCare hospital system and is part of the Shelter Health Network initiative working at the Salvation Army. As adjunct professor with Schulich, Dr. Lepera is a preceptor for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. His interest in nutrition stems from his personal experience, his work in the hospital system, and through collaboration with colleagues in dietetics. He has specific interests in nutrition related to sports medicine and geriatrics.

Project Details

It has been more than 10 years since a national survey on malnutrition prevalence in older adults has been performed, and as of now, the prevalence of malnutrition risk in the Windsor-Essex County’s community is unknown. Primary care provides preventative care for patients, making it an optimal setting to integrate malnutrition screening. Through this project we will be collaborating with Registered Dietitian, Chris Wellington to provide primary care physicians and their older adult patients with awareness and education around malnutrition. Participants will be community-dwelling older adults (≥ 65 years) registered with pre-specified primary care physicians across Windsor-Essex County. Researchers will be administering SCREEN-8© to eligible patients and demonstrating to physicians how they could incorporate malnutrition screening into their practice with the aim to foster physician champions for nutrition care integration. Prevalence of malnutrition risk will be compared to the national average and subgroup analyses will be performed to investigate differences across factors such as sex and living alone. Physicians will be provided with their patients' scores to promote care continuity and participants will be provided with their scores and credible nutrition resources to promote well-being. It is hoped that the findings from this project will provide local leverage to request government funding for community resources to help patients at risk of malnutrition receive timely support.

This $8000 scholarship award is aimed at nutrition, medical, or allied health undergraduate students to conduct a malnutrition-related research project over a 4 month period in 2023.  

Through this opportunity, CMTF aims to generate capacity for the next generation of nutrition researchers and leaders across Canada, while advancing its malnutrition research agenda.

CMTF and CNS would like to thank our partners who have made this scholarship possible!

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