The Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario (RGPEO) is a coordinated network that includes a broad range of specialized geriatric services, from hospital to home. It was established in 1985 as Ontario’s first specialized health services network for seniors.

The RGPEO aims to be a leader in the provision of:

  • Comprehensive, interdisciplinary geriatric assessment and treatment services in partnership with older adults, their families and the community;
  • Education in geriatrics/gerontology to practitioners, students and community members;
  • Research into appropriate treatment and service delivery to older adults; evaluation, advocacy and planning in the development of community services which promote older adult health.

Our Mission

All older adults and their caregivers must have equitable and timely access to high quality services and resources that are part of a coordinated system of care designed to optimize their health and support their independence and quality of life.

As a recognized leader and partner in a collaborative decision-making forum, the Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario (RGPEO) brings leaders of organizations and groups who are passionate about issues related to the care of seniors together to provide a strong and clear voice on older adult health issues across the Champlain Region.

Our Program Goals

Clinical Care

  • To provide older adults and their families with thorough comprehensive Geriatric assessments and interventions.
  • To provide opportunities for older adults to maximize their functioning through the provision of excellent and appropriate treatment, together with rehabilitation.


  • To enable professionals who work with older adults to use the most effective methods in their practices by providing them with accessible, relevant, and state-of-the-art educational experiences.
  • To provide older adults, their families, and the community/general public with education regarding health and aging.


  • To ensure effective, high quality, and efficient delivery of geriatric services through program evaluation.
  • To advance knowledge of geriatrics/gerontology through the stimulation, facilitation, and completion of broad-based clinical, epidemiological, and health service delivery research


  • To promote the development of an appropriate continuum of services for older adults in the Champlain region through the provision of planning, program development, and consultation services to other health and community services and to planning bodies
  • To promote the development of an appropriate continuum of services for seniors in the Champlain region through advocacy in partnership with older adults for an improved health care system.

Our Vision for Care

Independence for older adults through partnership, clinical excellence, and compassionate care

Older adults with complex needs can expect to optimize their independence and quality of life, through timely access to specialized geriatric services when required. These innovative services are fully integrated as a fundamental component of the healthcare system of the Champlain region.

The acute, primary and continuing care sectors are predominantly responsible for providing care and treatment for the elderly in need. Specialized geriatric services will therefore work in partnership with primary care physicians and other providers in an accountable, responsive, and coordinated system of care. This system will be characterized by simplified access and continuity of care. Available resources will be optimized by offering care at the point most likely to offer the greatest benefit.

Seniors and their caregivers will be able to make informed decisions regarding their treatment and quality of life, as a result of comprehensive multi-dimensional assessment and consultation. A full range of geriatric screening, assessment, consultation and treatment services will be provided in a variety of settings appropriate to peoples needs. These will include in-homes, hospital and long-term care settings.

Specialized geriatric services will provide leadership in research, program planning, evaluation, and education that will develop more effective treatments, and provide state-of-the art educational opportunities for current and future practitioners.

Our History

In the mid 1980s, the provincial government developed a strategic plan for a comprehensive system of health services for older adults (A NewAGEnda). Part of the plan was to use the expertise developed by the academic health sciences centres to help improve the quality of geriatric services provided by Ontario’s acute and chronic hospitals. Over a period of five or six years, the Minister of Health established regional geriatric programs in each of the province’s five academic health sciences centres.

In its Guidelines for the Establishment of Regional Geriatric Programs in Teaching Hospitals, the Ministry of Health defined a regional geriatric program as: “a comprehensive, coordinated system of health services for the elderly within a region” with the objective of: “assisting the elderly to live Independently in their own communities thereby preventing unnecessary and inappropriate institutionalization.”

According to the guidelines, each academic health science centre would develop a “regional geriatric medicine unit” and an array of associated clinical services.

The original guidelines saw regional geriatric programs as the clinical service arm of academic geriatrics in health sciences centres. At the time that these “service” programs were established, the academic health sciences centres were promised additional provincial resources to support their broader role in geriatric education and training. However, apart from the 10-year grant to McMaster University to establish the Educational Centre for Aging and Health, the centres received no funding to enhance geriatric education. As a result, the regional programs had to stretch their budgets to provide clinical service, and professional education, training, capacity building, research evaluation and advocacy.