Heather Keller, Professor and Schlegel Research Chair

Kinesiology & Health Sciences
University of Waterloo

Heather Keller RD PhD FDC FCAHS is the Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging at the University of Waterloo. She is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric nutrition, assessment, and treatment. Research areas focus on nutrition risk and malnutrition identification and treatment across care sectors; improving nutrition care processes and implementing screening and other best practices; supporting food intake of diverse groups living in the community, including those living with dementia; and improving hospital and residential food and promoting food intake and the mealtime experience in these settings. Professor Keller has led several national research and knowledge translation projects, including the landmark Nutrition Care in Canadian Hospitals, More-2-Eat and Making the Most of Mealtimes in Long Term Care studies. Professor Keller has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and translates much of this evidence into practice with tools and resources. As a founding member and past chair/co-chair (2009-2018) of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, she is involved in translating research into practice and advocating for improvements in nutrition care. She is currently the co-chair of the primary care working group for CMTF and involved in several national and international expert groups advancing the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition.

Nutrition as a Human Rights- Disease Related Malnutrition- Spreading Leading Practices

Improving nutrition care and specifically the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition in hospital, requires the 'long view'. Not only do clinicians need to know what is best practice, they also need support to implement improved practices. More-2-Eat phase 1 and 2 demonstrated that a mentorship model, audit, and feedback were necessary for improving practices. In addition to grass-roots efforts to change practice, policy based on evidence can accelerate system improvements. A recent Malnutrition Prevention, Detection and Treatment Standard for acute care has been released and provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the longstanding issue of hospital malnutrition. The Canadian Malnutrition Task Force is embarking on a new initiative, Advancing Malnutrition Care, that will develop regional mentors to support hospital champions make change and align their practice with this new standard.