Howard Bergman MD, FCFP, FRCPC is Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Professor of Family Medicine, Medicine, and Oncology, and the first Dr. Joseph Kaufmann Professor of Geriatric Medicine at McGill University.
From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Bergman served as Vice-President, Scientific Affairs of the Fonds de la recherche en Santé du Québec (FRSQ), Quebec’s health research funding agency. From 1993 to 2009, he was Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at McGill University and the Jewish General Hospital. In 2001-2002, he was interim Physician-in-Chief and Chief of the Department of Medicine of the Jewish General Hospital. He is an investigator at Solidage: the McGill University/Université de Montréal Research Group on Frailty and Aging, as well as at the Bloomfield Centre for Research on Aging at the Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital. He is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Administration, Université de Montréal, and Invited Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Université de Lausanne in Switzerland. He is also adjunct full Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel, where he was recently appointed to the International Academic Review Committee.
Dr. Bergman is a fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS). He is a past President of the Canadian Geriatrics Society which awarded him the Ronald Cape Distinguished Service Award, a past Scientific Director of the FRSQ Quebec Network for Research in Aging, a Past President of the Consortium of Canadian Centers for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R) and a past Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Ageing of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He is a fellow of the American Geriatrics Society. He is internationally recognized for his research on integrated care, frailty and chronic disease with over 150 publications.
From 1970 to 1990, Dr. Bergman worked as a family physician. In 1968, as a medical student, he was one of the founders of the first community clinic (clinique populaire) in Quebec, precursor of the CLSC’s and the Family Medicine Groups. The main thrust of his work in health services research and policy has been the promotion of primary care in general, and primary medical care in particular. He was the PI of the SIPA project based in primary community and medical care; author of the recommendation creating the Family Medicine Groups (GMF) as a member of the Clair Commission; author of the Bergman Report proposing the Quebec Alzheimer Plan with the central role for primary medical care; Member of the Expert Committee of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences on chronic disease recommending a central role for primary care; as vice-president, scientific affairs of the FRSQ, he promoted research in primary care as a priority in the strategic plan and working together with the university chairs and research directors of family medicine.
In the fields of aging, chronic disease, frailty and health services, Dr. Bergman was, from 1999 to 2009, co-founder and co-Director of Solidage. From 1999 to 2002, he was one of the principal investigators in the development and evaluation of a randomized controlled trial - the SIPA model of integrated care for the frail elderly population. As well, Dr. Bergman led a group of Canadian and international investigators in the Canadian Initiative on Frailty and Ageing, and leads the International Database Inquiry on Frailty. In the area of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, Dr. Bergman was co-founder and co-director of the Jewish General Hospital/McGill University Memory Clinic and Research Program. He is a past president of the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R) and was a member of the Steering Committee of the Second (1999) and Third (2006) Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia.
In 2000-2001, Dr. Bergman was a member of the “Clair Commission,” an independent commission set up by the Quebec government to propose reforms to the health care system. His work in that commission was instrumental in the recommendation on primary care reform and the creation of Family Medicine Groups (GMF). Appointed by the Quebec Minister of Health in 2007, Dr. Bergman tabled, in 2009, a proposal for the Quebec Alzheimer Plan, from prevention to end of life care, including the research agenda. In 2010, Dr. Bergman was a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Expert Panel on improving chronic disease outcomes through health system transformation which, in 2010, tabled its report: Transforming Care for Canadians with Chronic Health Conditions: Put People First, Expect the Best and Manage for Results. In 2010, he chaired the Initiative for the Development of a Personalized Health Care Strategy for Quebec, bringing together university researchers, industry, health system managers and government. He co-authored the report ensuring that Québec capitalizes on the development of personalized health care, A Business proposal by the Quebec Network for Personalized Healthcare, which led to an initial Quebec government commitment of $20 million to be matched by industry. He co-chaired the interim Steering Committee.
Dr. Bergman was recently elected Chair of the Board of Directors of AllerGen, the Canadian Allergy, Genes and Environment Network and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He is co-honorary president of the Société francophone d’oncogériatrie. He serves as consultant to Regional Health Boards and ministries of health in Canada and other countries as well as to industry.
Major Research Activities
Dr. Bergman is an investigator with the LDI-based Solidage Research Group on Frailty and Aging, which he co-founded and co-led up until recently with Professor François Béland from the Université de Montréal. With Professor Béland, Dr. Bergman developed the SIPA model of integrated care for very frail older persons, which was evaluated as a randomized control trial. The paper published in 2006 was cited as a landmark in its field.
Dr. Bergman has developed an evaluative research program, in collaboration with Dr. Isabelle Vedel, on Alzheimer’s Disease and multi-morbidity in primary care.
Dr. Bergman led the Canadian Initiative on Frailty and Aging which brought together Canadian and international investigators with the objective of elucidating the characteristics of frailty as markers of vulnerability in apparently healthy, older persons. This, in turn, led to work on understanding chronic disease and vulnerability in older persons with cancer and other chronic diseases.
Béland F, Bergman H, Lebel P, et al. A System of Integrated Care for Frail Older Persons (SIPA) with disabilities in Canada: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J of Gerontol A Biol Sc, Med Sci. 2006; vol 61A, no 4: 367–373 (Béland and Bergman contributed equally to this article).
Bergman H, Ferrucci L, Guralnik J, Hogan D, Hummel S, Karunananthan S, Wolfson C. Frailty, an Emerging Research and Clinical Paradigm: Issues and Controversies. J of Gerontol: Med Sci. 2007; vol. 62A, no 7: 731–737.
Massoud F, Lysy P, Bergman H. Care of Dementia in Canada: A Collaborative Care Approach with a Central Role for the Primary Care Physician. Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging 2010; 14 (2): 105-106.