About me



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Charlene Chu is a Registered Nurse (RN) and holds a PhD from the collaborative Doctoral program between the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Institute of Aging, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is also certified in Gerontological Nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association.

Content expertise

Gerontology and topics related to aging and dementia care across the healthcare continuum are a passion for Charlene.  Her thesis work blends person-centered care and the provision of physical activity to nursing home residents with dementia who have been in the home for less than 6 months to maintain functional mobility, function in activity of daily living, and quality of life. As such, she is well versed in the clinical assessment and outcome measurement of cognitively impaired individuals.

Research interests

Gerontology and topics related to aging and dementia care across the healthcare continuum.

Person-centered care and person-centered interventions

Clinical assessment and outcome measurement

Use of mobile technology in healthcare and new technological devices and ubiquitous technologies in the home

She’s also interested in the use of technology in healthcare, including research examining how a mobile interface influences the performance of clinicians and the impact of technology in austere clinical settings. Ethical and feasibility issues of using new technological devices and ubiquitous technologies within the home to enhance monitoring, monitor symptoms, and patient’s quality of life are also of interest.

She has published and presented her work on a diverse number of interests:

  • The role of the Registered Nurse (RN) in long-term care homes (LTCH)
  • The role of the RN across the continuum to meet the care needs of older adults
  • Nursing leadership and effective supervisory preformances
  • Models of care in LTCH; Evaluation of new roles in LTC; Supervision in LTC
  • Models of care and interventions for stroke patients with communication impairments in active stroke rehabilitation
  • Community rehabilitation post-hip fracture rehabilitation for older adults with cognitive impairment
  • Ethical research practices during recruitment and intervention research when participants have dementia or cognitive impairment
  • Technological innovations in electronic medical records in austere settings
  • Use of clinical guidelines by healthcare professional on medical brigades
  • Gerontological care considerations during medical brigades
  • Ageism in nursing

Methodological expertise

Charlene’s methodological expertise is in designing evidence based interventions, implementation and testing the interventions, and finally, evaluation of the effectiveness of the intervention in clinical practice settings. This includes determining the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of evaluations; intervention refinement; and, measurement of quality indicators and nurse sensitive outcomes.

Charlene specializes in embedding person-centered care and patient preference into interventions (whether they be technological or not) to facilitate acceptability and intervention uptake.


The issues we engage in within healthcare are wildly disparate, but they share the characteristics of being deeply rooted, dynamic, and complex. None will be solved easily and quickly, and none will be solved through one’s efforts alone.

I firmly believe that collaboration between disciplines, research teams, and private and public sectors is required to create a shift in how we provide care. Especially in the development of new innovations across the healthcare continuum (long-term care, community care) for the rapidly aging population.

A broader lens is required to address complex problems in a comprehensive way, engaging the end user, professional associations and regulatory bodies, and policy makers.


Educational preparation

She attended the University of Toronto for a Hon. Bachelor of science with a double major in neuroscience and psychology.

She was accepted to the Faculty of Nursing and graduated with Honors in 2006. As an RN, she has worked in the community (homecare, palliative home care) and in the hospital (general internal medicine unit and high acuity care unit).

She entered the Masters of Nursing program in 2010 at the University of Toronto and accelerated into the PhD program under the supervision of Dr. Katherine McGilton, a senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network.

She is currently completing her Postdoctoral training at the University of Toronto and Toronto Rehabilitation looking at technology and its role in functional decline of the older adult.


Charlene grew up in Toronto with her two younger brothers.  Her mother immigrated to Canada from Kolkutta, India and her father immigrated from China. She was the first person in her extended family to complete post-secondary education. As a proud foodie, she fervently supports local businesses and artisans and is a self-proclaimed charcutterie board enthusiast and tea aficionado. Her hobbies include travelling and exploring the world, snorkeling, reading copious amounts of literature, and yoga.


I believe that the way we currently service and provide care for older adults should be improved from the status quo, and that individualized and tailored care will lead to the best results.

My expertise is in design, implementation and evaluation of interventions/services/programs using evidence-based knowledge that effectively impact relevant metrics to achieve the best outcome possible.

My goal is to disrupt the way in which we currently service and care for older adults by designing person-centered services that can be tailored to fit the individual thereby raising the expectations of care for the older adult.