Cognitive Health Initiative

The Neil and Susan Manning Cognitive Health Initiative is an innovative five-year clinical research program to integrate leading-edge research and care for patients living with cognitive health issues on Vancouver Island.

A Victoria family affected by cognitive health issues inspired and supported the initiative. The Mannings made a generous pledge of $2.5 million to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, inspiring Island Health, the University of Victoria, and the University of British Columbia to partner in developing this visionary project.

The Cognitive Health Initiative seeks to:

  • develop state-of-the-art digital tools for early diagnosis;
  • integrate research evidence into patient care; and
  • follow dementia patients throughout Vancouver Island in a single real-time Dementia Guidance System database that will track and cluster symptoms, treatment plans, and outcomes.

Over time, these tools will be available for use by family physicians to assist with early diagnosis and care across Vancouver Island.

The initiative also aims to expand clinical trial opportunities for patients with dementia, including studies of new drugs that would not be otherwise available to patients in the region.

Learn More

Island Health news release


Medical Director

Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava

Project Director

Kristine Votova, PhD

250-370-8111 ext. 32995

Research Committee Scientific Lead

Scott Hofer, PhD
Director, Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health, University of Victoria

Clinical Integration Committee Co-Leads

Mark Blandford
Director, Victoria General Hospital, Island Health

Dr. Marilyn Malone
Medical Director, Seniors Strategy, Island Health 

Operations Committee Co-Leads

Cindy Trytten
Director, Research and Capacity Building, Island Health

Mike Masson, PhD
Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Victoria

Executive Steering Committee

Dr. David Castle
Vice President Research, University of Victoria

Melanie Mahlman
CEO, Victoria Hospitals Foundation

Dr. Malcolm Ogborn
Executive Medical Director, Medical and Academic Affairs, Island Health

Marko Peljhan
Interim Executive Director, Geography 4, Integrated Health Services, Island Health

Dr. Bruce Wright (Chair)
Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Head, Division of Medical Sciences, University of Victoria