From the Desk of our CEO

Durham Region

This month hear from our CEO, Gillian Barrie, as she speaks about our new Strategic Plan and achieving Accreditation.

From the desk of our CEO April 2023. Gillian Barrie, Forget Me Nots

Greetings from the desk of the CEO! 

When our team told me that they were going to be starting a new blog series, I was thrilled to be able to have a regular platform to share some of my thoughts along with news and updates about exciting initiatives at ASDR.  

To start off my inaugural post, I thought I would talk about the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region (ASDR)’s refreshed strategic plan. 

First, some history: 

Currently there are close to 12,000 people living with dementia in Durham Region and we know that this number is expected to rise. A recent study conducted by the Alzheimer Society of Canada, titled the Landmark Study, project rates of dementia in Canada to double within the next 7 years, and triple by 2050 (Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2022). Along with an increase in diagnoses there will also inevitably be an increase in demand in caregiving hours.  

In 2021, during the COVID-19 global pandemic, ASDR had to consider how our current 5-year strategic plan (designed in 2018) could be adapted and expanded in order to remain nimble and flexible beyond the pandemic. With the help of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, ASDR hired a business consultant to advance the pillars of our strategic plan. We also worked with a fundraising consultant to develop a 4-year fundraising strategy to ensure that quality and growth of our programs was combined with strong fiscal management.   

We needed to be realistic with our refreshed plan. In many ways, how we worked with our clients remained unchanged beyond COVID-19. However, there were also areas where we felt we could do more, including offering more social and recreation programs for people living with dementia, and expanding our training programs for healthcare professionals, students, and care partners.  As a result, a refreshed plan with a sustainable phased approach was developed that would extend our existing strategic plan until 2026. This would ensure clients and care partners remain front and centre and the value of ASDR to our clients, partners and stakeholders evolved accordingly.   

Strategic Plan

Our new strategic business plan is a refreshment of our existing strategic plan and is aligned with the Quintuple Aim framework of Ontario Health (patient experience, population health, system sustainability, professional care team and health equity). It also commits ASDR to partnerships with municipalities and businesses to ensure our communities are inclusive and built around dementia-friendly initiatives. Our new plan also acknowledges that there are deep and unmet needs in our communities for dementia-related supports. Our new strategy aims to expand our reach across Durham Region so that more will benefit from our care, programming, and support.  

We strive to strengthen the local health system through education and capacity building so that together we create client choice, better experience, and effective dementia care and supports.   

Take a look at our refreshed strategic plan here:

2023-2026 Strategic Plan


One of the activities we are currently undertaking at ASDR is achieving Accreditation through the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA). CCA is a national not-for-profit organization offering accreditation specifically tailored to community-based health and social services across Canada. Accreditation is achieved through a set of standards and indicators which may be informed by legislative requirements, risk and safety, quality improvement, and crucial good practice.  

All our staff members and volunteers (including our Board of Directors) are involved in our accreditation process. As we are working through meeting the standards set out for us, there may be some changes to our “normal practice” or the way we have typically done things. We understand these changes may be frustrating for our clients and stakeholders, however we do ask for your patience as we move through the accreditation process. It is a very valuable and important milestone for ASDR over the next year and we are excited to share our progress along the way! 

I look forward to posting new and exciting updates via our new blog series as well as answering any questions you may have. If you do have a question for me or feedback to share, please send it to

All for now,


Gillian Barrie