Shannex Donates $3.5 Million to Support Research on Healthy Aging

May 28, 2024

Dalhousie University, University of New Brunswick and Mount Saint Vincent University receive gifts.

Caption (left to right): Honourable Susan Corkum-Greek, N.S. Minister of Economic Development; Dr. Janice Keefe, MSVU; Dr. Joël Dickinson, President and Vice Chancellor, MSVU; Dr. Christian Blouin, Dalhousie University; Dr. Brenda Merritt, Dalhousie University; Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB President and Vice Chancellor; Jason Shannon, President, Shannex; Joseph Shannon, Founder, Shannex.

Halifax, N.S. – Shannex is leading the way to a healthier future for aging adults with total donations of $3.5 million to three universities in Atlantic Canada. A sector leader for 36 years, this family organization is investing in research, programs and education in the following areas:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies to inform decision-making and policy planning at every level of the healthcare continuum
  • Improved support and care for individuals during transitions as they age
  • Opportunities for specialized nurse and caregiver education
  • Innovations for food and nutrition for seniors
  • Strategies to improve overall wellness and quality of work life for long term care staff

“People are living longer,” said Jason Shannon, president of Shannex. “At Shannex, we embrace the long life, the healthy, engaged and contributing life.  We believe the sector and universities need to work together to find solutions through research that addresses the huge demand for healthy aging support that is ahead of us, to ensure we have a longevity-ready society, one that is inclusive and focused on the opportunities of this wonderful new reality.”

With an aging population in Canada, the time is right to make investments to support aging well. These investments will create living lab opportunities, access to data, and a true collaboration across the health sector to create the best conditions for healthy aging. Three Research Chairs will be established through this $3.5 million investment by Shannex. Details are below.

Dalhousie University: A $2 million donation to create the Shannex Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Healthy Aging as well as to establish the Shannex Research Lab in AI and Healthy Aging within the healthy aging research hub. The Chair will be jointly appointed between the Faculty of Health and the Faculty of Computer Science and will work to develop predictive models to enhance resident safety, wellbeing of seniors and identify and propose other proactive strategies derived from data to improve long term care systems and outcomes. This investment will promote interdisciplinary collaboration and research that allows understanding of healthy aging, the frailty trajectory, and identify areas for improvement. 

University of New Brunswick: A $1 million donation to improve care, decision making and a person’s experience during the transitions of aging and to prepare nurses and other health care professionals for the health care system of the future with early exposure to long term care and older adult care. This investment will establish the Shannex Research Chair in Aging Transitions, the Shannex Aging Lab, the Shannex Long Term Care Summer Institute, and Care of the Older Adult Certificate and scholarships.  Through the Research Chair and related lab and learning opportunities, the changing needs of older adults will be understood as well as the policies, decision making and care environments that affect their lives. UNB will conceptualize and publicize best practices, innovative methodologies and the impact of aging transitions through a variety of lenses with an aim to improve the experiences for older adults. 

Mount Saint Vincent University: A $500,000 donation to establish the Shannex Research Chair in Workforce Wellbeing to be located within a future Shannex licensed long term care home and adjacent to MSVU’s Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. The Chair will focus on ideal working conditions, mental health, resilience and other indicators of quality of work life for those who are called to care in long term care environments and will explore the relationship between quality of work life and its impact on residents.  Shannex’s investment will also support developing and testing innovations that support care and nutritional innovation through the faculty of Applied Human Nutrition. Funding opportunities for learners in these areas will also be established.

Work related to these investments will begin immediately with regular opportunities to collaborate and share findings and outcomes across the health sector, academia and in communities. 


Dalhousie University 

“We’re delighted to partner with Shannex on this critical research chair position in AI and healthy aging. The Chair will help support the health and well-being of older adults by harnessing the power and potential of artificial intelligence. This announcement also lays the groundwork for future collaboration with the Province and other healthcare organizations. We at Dalhousie, alongside our partners, are well positioned to cultivate excellence in this timely and vital area of health.” 

  • Dr. Kim Brooks, President and Vice-Chancellor, Dalhousie University

University of New Brunswick  

“This generous investment affirms Shannex’s position as the industry leader in forward-facing elder care in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada. By combining the strengths of UNB and Shannex, we can address the challenge of providing effective and sustainable care options for older adults during times of transition, and to better coordinate care among different agencies and caregivers. The potential for cross-institutional appointments will help us attract a talented researcher who wants to lead change.” 

  • Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle, UNB President & Vice-Chancellor

Mount Saint Vincent University 

“We share with our partners at Shannex the belief that a healthy workforce is key to providing services that facilitate healthy aging, and we’re sincerely grateful for their support of MSVU researchers and learners whose work will lead the way in promoting workforce wellbeing. As home to the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging and a number of other world-leading experts in related fields like nutrition, MSVU is perfectly positioned to be a key research partner in Shannex’s commitment to helping older adults live long and healthy lives.” 

  • Dr. Joël Dickinson, President & Vice-Chancellor, Mount Saint Vincent University

About Shannex 

Shannex is a family-owned organization with a vision of Leading the Way to Better Living. Beginning in 1988 with a single nursing home, the organization now offers a full continuum of services for seniors through Care at Home, Parkland Retirement Living, Faubourg du Mascaret and Shannex licensed long term care communities. Currently, Shannex has communities in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario. For more information, visit



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