Halifax physician Ken Rockwood wins international award for dementia work


HALIFAX – A Halifax physician and advocate for people with dementia has won a prestigious international award for his three decades of research and clinical care involving older Canadians.

Dr. Kenneth Rockwood was presented with the Ryman Prize Tuesday night by Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, in a virtual ceremony.

The $215,000 award recognizes Rockwood’s clinical work and his research on older adults living with frailty and dementia as well as his long-term campaign to battle ageism in the health sector.

Ryman Prize director David King cited Rockwood’s development of what’s referred to as a “clinical frailty scale,” which is used internationally to track people’s dementia and respond accordingly.

The prize was also awarded in recognition of Rockwood’s work debunking common myths that symptoms such as delirium and frailty were simply a result of aging and treatment options were limited.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston congratulated Rockwood for the award, calling his work to improve the quality of life for older people “truly inspiring.”

Rockwood is a professor of geriatric medicine and neurology and the Kathryn Allen Weldon professor of Alzheimer research at Dalhousie University in Halifax.