PRESS RELEASEJuly 30, 2015

Dr. Paula Rochon named inaugural RTO/ERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto

  • July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015  |  Download Release

UofT Dept Medicine

Dr. Paula Rochon, Professor of Geriatric Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Vice President of Research at Women's College Hospital, has been named the inaugural RTO/ERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto.

"I am honoured to be appointed as the inaugural RTO/ERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine. I truly look forward to working with the University, The Retired Teachers of Ontario / Les enseignantes et enseignants retraités de l'Ontario (RTO/ERO) and its members on this important initiative that will advance the care of our aging population and ensure that all Canadians enjoy the quality of life that they deserve," says Dr. Rochon.

Dr. Rochon's research is focused on understanding the unique needs of older adults, particularly women, who make up the majority. Her research explores the complex challenges of managing the health of vulnerable older adults with multiple complex and chronic conditions. She examines the benefits and risks of drug therapies commonly prescribed to older adults, and she develops practical and innovative strategies to improve prescribing practices among this group.

"At Women's College Hospital we focus on delivering solutions for the most pressing issues facing our health system. Developing innovative treatments to help our increasing elderly population manage their chronic conditions is extremely important," said Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, Women's College Hospital. "Dr. Rochon's dedication to this health system challenge makes her a very worthy recipient of this research chair."

With the country's elderly population estimated to grow to 10.4 million by 2036 — accounting for almost one quarter of Canada's total population — it is important for health care research and clinical care in geriatric medicine to keep pace.

Through an extensive fundraising campaign that engaged business partners and members across Ontario, The Retired Teachers of Ontario / Les enseignantes et enseignants retraités de l'Ontario RTO/ERO Foundation raised $2.5 million to support the Chair, research, and programs that contribute to quality of life of seniors in Canada.

"The 2009 Senate Report on Canada's Aging Population urged not only governments, but NGOs and organizations to take urgent action to address the shortage of professionals in the fields of geriatrics and gerontology and RTO/ERO stepped up to the plate," says RTO/ERO Executive Director, Harold Brathwaite. "Fundraising was not without its challenges but it was the generosity of our business partners and 1100 individual donors, the commitment of the Provincial Executives, as well as the prevailing wisdom of the RTO/ERO Senate that made the RTO/ERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine possible."

"We are indeed excited about the endless possibilities of this partnership with Dr. Rochon and our membership," says Valerie Mah, President of the RTO/ERO Foundation.

Dr. Gillian Hawker, Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine at the University of Toronto, is looking forward to building a cadre of committed physicians and researchers within the Department of Medicine. "We are so very grateful to the RTO/ERO for their generosity in funding the new Chair in Geriatric Medicine. The Chair will support the training of specialists in Geriatric Medicine who will advance our knowledge and provide the evidence that guides the care of this aging population."

Dr. Rochon was appointed for a five-year term starting July 1, 2015.



About Women’s College Hospital 

For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of health equity, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. The WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) is developing new, scalable models of care that deliver improved outcomes for patients and sustainable solutions for the health system as a whole. 

For more information about how WCH is transforming patient care and leading health system solutions, visit

Fully affiliated with

A member of