Dr. Kristel van Ineveld


Originally from Holland, Geriatrician Dr. Kristel van Ineveld immigrated to Canada only knowing a few words of English when she…

Originally from Holland, Geriatrician Dr. Kristel van Ineveld immigrated to Canada only knowing a few words of English when she was 8 years old. She recently retired from full-time practice but continues to work to support colleagues by filling in for vacations, illnesses and gaps in coverage, which has turned out to be close to full-time but with a bit more holiday and flexibility. She remains the Geriatrics Site Medical Lead for St. Boniface Hospital and provides clinical work varying between outpatient clinics in the Day Hospital, supporting outreach teams, and providing inpatient consults. As the former, longstanding program director, she was instrumental in ensuring the existence of the Geriatric Medicine residency program at the University of Manitoba and helped reinvigorate the Care of the Elderly Family Medicine training program in Manitoba. She was recently named a Fellow of the Canadian Geriatrics Society in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of geriatric medicine.

Listening to patients and families and finding ways to support and improve quality of life are central to why Dr. van Ineveld finds geriatric medicine so rewarding. She calls it slow medicine, where you get to listen carefully” to solve a clinical puzzle. She loves the teamwork aspect required in geriatrics and is inspired by the like-minded individuals who are dedicated to improving the care of older adults”. When working in geriatrics, Dr. van Ineveld says you automatically become an advocate and teacher” and she feels rewarded when programs come to fruition as a result of her advocacy. She adds, watching physicians and learners I have known from undergraduate and residency days develop into dynamic clinicians and leaders and knowing I had a small role to play in that is a source of great pride.”

There is a good reason for Dr. van Ineveld is concerned about the state of geriatric health care in Manitoba. In recent years she has seen a significant erosion in the capacity for home care to provide community support, which creates significant stress for older patients and their families. The pandemic has only exacerbated the long-standing areas of concern in long-term care and Dr. van Ineveld is saddened to see that these known issues have not yet led to measurable change.

When she was 38, Dr. van Ineveld was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a recurrence 2 years ago. She is grateful to have had the support of caring colleagues and for the flexibility that allowed her to deal with her illness and recovery before making a slow re-entry to practice. 

In retirement, Dr. van Ineveld plans to spend more time with her husband, a retired geriatrician. At one time, they were one of only two geriatrician couples in the country. They have a grown daughter and now have 2 cats to fill their empty nest. In her spare time Dr. van Ineveld enjoys gardening and is always excited to see which plants thrive each year. She is currently working on a pollinator garden, incorporating plants that are native to Manitoba and is converting some of her front yard into garden beds. Whenever she needs a quick pick-me-up, she plays the Pentatonix version of Take on Me!