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SJHH / Health Services/ Senior Care Services/ Geriatric Medicine Services

Geriatric Medicine Services

What this program does…

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Geriatric Medicine Services provide specialized assessment and medical care for older adults with age-related disorders including the following conditions:
• Neurocognitive disorders, memory concerns, dementia
• Mobility changes, gait disorders, falls
• Complex geriatric problems, multiple ER visits, polypharmacy

We provide care across outpatient and inpatient settings including the medical, surgical and rehabilitation wards at St Joseph’s Hospital. We have clinics at both the King and Charlton campuses.

Our Services include:
• Outpatient Geriatric Medicine Clinics
• Support to Family Heath Team Memory Clinics
• Inpatient Geriatric Medicine Consultation
• Orthogeriatrics Care (for patients admitted with a hip fracture)

How this program helps...

Medical care can become very complex for some seniors. Geriatric medicine is a specialty that focuses on how medical conditions and medications impact one another, and how both medical conditions and medications uniquely affect seniors.

The “5Ms” has been used to describe our areas of expertise:

Mind – We diagnose and treat cognitive changes, which may have multiple causes such as dementia, delirium, depression, or medication side effects.

Mobility – We diagnose and treat reasons for mobility loss and falls, which may include balance and gait disorders, leg weakness, medication side effects, blood pressure problems, for example.

Medications – Multiple chronic medical conditions often lead to multiple prescription medications. These can interact and sometimes cause more side effects than benefit in older adults. We review medications thoroughly in our assessments, and provide advice on optimal prescribing.

Multi-complexity – We do not focus on any single organ system but look at how multiple diseases, disabilities, symptoms and the drugs used to treat them interact to cause health problems. We also recognize that poor health often results from a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. Our approach is holistic and considers all of these factors in developing a treatment plan.

Matters most – Every individual patient will have his or her own meaningful health-related goals and care preferences. Our care is guided by the answer to the question “What matters to you?”

Your Care Team

Consulting Physicians

Dr. David Cowan (King)

Dr. Sabina Keen (King)

Dr. Michelle Gagnon (Charlton)

Dr. Heather McLeod (Charlton)

Dr. Joye St. Onge (Charlton)


Geriatric Medicine
St. Joseph’s Healthcare-King Campus
2757 King Street East
Hamilton, ON
L8G 5E4
Tel: 905-573-4818
Fax: 905-573-4820

Geriatric Medicine
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton - Charlton Campus
50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tel: 905-522-1155 x33005
Fax: 905-521-6103 (Dr Gagnon)
905-521-6068 (all others)


Referral Process

The following information is required as part of the referral and helps facilitate the assessment process:
• A valid health card number
• Contact person for the appointment
• Reason for the referral
• Relevant history
• Cumulative patient profile (with med list)
• Relevant consultant reports (e.g. psychiatry, neurology)
• Lab: CBC, glucose, electrolytes, creatinine, TSH, calcium, B12 (within 6 mo)
• Recent diagnostics: CT/MRI, ECG
If you are unsure about a possible referral or feel that urgent assessment is needed, please do not hesitate to contact our program to discuss the scenario with our staff. Referrals are accepted by fax or electronically through Dovetale for providers at SJHH.

Preparing for Your Visit

Please select the site you will be attending to see an information sheet on:
• What to expect
• What to bring
• What to do if you need to re-schedule your appointment
• Directions and parking

King Campus Clinics – Dr. Cowan, Dr. Keen
How to Prepare for the Visit

Charlton Campus Clinics – Dr. Gagnon, Dr. McLeod, Dr. St. Onge
How to Prepare for the Visit

We ask that you do not bring any valuables with you, as the hospital cannot be responsible for lost or stolen personal items.

Maps & Directions

Directions to Charlton and King Campuses

Parking information for Charlton and King Campuses

If you are attending the Geriatric Clinic at King Campus:
Park at front of the building. Enter through front door and ask reception for direction to our clinic: Health for Older Adults Program

If you are attending a Geriatric Clinic at Charlton Campus:
The clinic may be located in the Fontbonne building or the Juravinski Innovation Tower. Refer to this map and your notification letter for detailed directions.

Registration Procedures

Please go to the registration desk upon arrival. Patients will be called in order of appointment. Wait times can vary depending on activity of the clinic that day. Appointments are usually 1-2 hours in duration. Please note patients are required to pay for parking.

After Your Visit

Members of the Geriatric Clinic team will provide further instructions after a patient’s initial assessment.