Environment and Health Panel

Crystal Watson

Moderator: Crystal Watson

Crystal Watson is an African Nova Scotian doctoral student in the PhD in Health Program at Dalhousie, a Student Research Scholar with the Healthy Populations Institute and an Adjunct Scholar with the School of Health and Human Performance. She is living out her passion to promote the benefits of recreation, leisure and play as the new Executive Director of Recreation Nova Scotia. Her research interests focus on the health of African Nova Scotians including African Nova Scotian women’s health and leisure who have been involved in the church and more currently the importance of play for African Nova Scotian children’s social and emotional wellbeing. With further development, her research will support the sector in expanding contributions to evidence from the field to improve the health and wellbeing of all racially minoritized groups through recreation. She is the proud mother of Raytesha, a-young-adult-who-just-finished-university-and-still-lives-at-home!

Beau Ahrens

Beau Ahrens obtained his BAH and MSc in Geography from the University of Guelph, where his studies focused on GIS as well as mixture of physical and social studies. He is currently an Interdisciplinary PhD student at Dalhousie University; researching interactions between people and their environment that drive healthy or unhealthy eating behaviours. Beau’s current research interests focus on how we can use the design of the urban environment to promote healthy communities.

Dr. Debbie Martin
Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Peoples Health and Well-Being

Debbie Martin is an Inuk scholar (South Inuit of NunatuKavut). She holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples’ Health and Well-Being in the Faculty of Health Professions, with a cross-appointment in the Faculty of Dentistry at Dalhousie University. She is an Associate Research Scholar of the Healthy Populations Institute. Dr. Martin is an interdisciplinary-trained health researcher, whose research interests focus on addressing key societal and community level structures that influence chronic disease prevention in Indigenous communities. Her research is community-driven and includes a focus on oral health, food security, health research ethics and Indigenous methodologies, and human-environment interactions. A great deal of her research on chronic disease prevention draws upon the concept of Two-Eyed Seeing, which involves bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives to address societal and community-level issues that affect the health of people and the planet. Dr. Martin is the Nominated Principal Investigator of the Atlantic Indigenous Mentorship (AIM) Network. She is the proud momma to two children – Marty (he’s not 5, he’s “almost 6”) and Anna-Rose (who is “almost 2”), who continue to amaze and inspire her everyday. In an alternative universe, she would run, do yoga, read historical fiction, and garden successfully.

Dr. Daniel Rainham

Daniel Rainham is an Associate Professor (Environmental Science) and Senior Research Scholar with the Healthy Populations Institute at Dalhousie University. Working at the interface of population health science, environmental epidemiology and health geography, his research is focused on people-environment interactions and how these interactions affect health and well being. These efforts are supported by innovations in wearable sensors and spatial analytics, and have most recently been applied to patient management strategies, physical activity interventions and empirical research on the role of nature contact in supporting healthy behaviours.

Dr. Ingrid Waldon

Ingrid Waldron was born in Montreal to Trinidadian parents. She is a sociologist, an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University and the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project). Her research focuses on the impacts of racism and other forms of discrimination on health and mental health in Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities in Nova Scotia and Canada; Black women’s health and mental health; the racialization of psychiatric diagnoses; the impacts of gentrification and other structural determinants of health in the Black community in the North End of Halifax; intimate partner violence experienced by racially and culturally diverse women in mid-life; and protective factors for children’s welfare in African Nova Scotian, Indigenous, and immigrant communities.
The ENRICH Project is investigating the social, economic, political and health effects of environmental racism in African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw communities. In 2015 Dr. Waldron collaborated with MLA Lenore Zann to develop the Environmental Racism Prevention Act, the first bill on environmental racism to be introduced in a legislature in Canada. In 2017, she collaborated with the Nova Scotia Environmental Rights Working Group to develop and launch the Nova Scotia Environmental Bill of Rights, the first provincial environmental bill of rights.
Dr. Waldron’s first book, There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities, will be released in April 2018 by Fernwood Publishing.

Mini-Course Leaders

Engaging Stakeholders in Program Evaluation

This session will offer insights into the importance of engaging stakeholders in various stages of program evaluation. The session will consider various types of stakeholders, their roles in program planning and evaluation, and approaches to meaningfully and appropriately engaging them in the evaluation process. Participants will learn to distinguish between program theory and evaluation theory, to anticipate and address challenges to stakeholder engagement and to consider the needs of multiple stakeholders during evaluation planning, implementation and reporting.

Dr. Nancy Carter

Dr. Nancy Carter is the Director, REAL Evaluation Services at the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. She has been awarded the professional designation of Credentialed Evaluator by the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES). She is actively involved in evaluation both nationally and as a volunteer on CES working groups and provincially through her role as president of the Nova Scotia chapter of CES. Nancy’s work provides guidance and advice to support evaluation across all sectors. She is particularly interested in evaluation of innovative and complex programs such as partnerships, networks and collaborative interventions.

Dorian Watts

Dorian Watts is the REAL Evaluation Fellow with the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. Building on her formal education and previous work experience, Dorian is gaining key theoretical and practical evaluation experience through the Fellowship. As part of the Fellowship Dorian is working across public, private and non-profit sectors on many topics. Health, diversity and equity are her key areas of interest. She is currently working on her application to become a Credentialed Evaluator through the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES).

Cultivating your policy-relevant research program: A workshop on policy from the bottom up

In this workshop session, Dr. Mah will facilitate a theory-informed skill-building session on what it means to influence policy from the bottom up. Participants will apply ideas from interpretive policy analysis to consider diverse linkages to policy in health research and practice. Participants will have an opportunity to map their research area and identify opportunities for building policy relevance and engagement throughout the research process.

Dr. Catherine L. Mah

Catherine L. Mah MD FRCPC PhD is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University and Associate Research Scholar with the Healthy Populations Institute. She is also appointed at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mah directs the Food Policy Lab, a multidisciplinary program of research on the determinants of healthier consumption, with a focus on health-promoting innovations in the food system. Her current research focuses on negotiating dual aims in community nutrition and economic development, supported by CIHR, the SSHRC-funded FLEdGE research partnership led by Wilfrid Laurier University, and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council-funded Healthy Stores 2020 project in remote Indigenous Australia. Dr. Mah promotes trainee opportunities for community-engaged scholarship as well as citizen leadership. She has mentored current and former students to implement citizen science and healthy cities initiatives, as well as advising on municipal food and nutrition policy in jurisdictions across Canada.

Applying an Ethics Lens to Health Care

Health care often involves making hard choices for the right reasons. Applying an “ethics lens” to health care practice helps to make explicit the role that values play in challenging situations as well as in everyday interactions and can reduce the burdens of decision making for patients/clients, families, and health care providers.

In this session, polling technology will give participants the opportunity to weigh in on commonly-encountered ethical questions as we explore the range of values relevant to health care decisions, differences in situations that change our ethical assessments, and why it can be difficult to live up to our ideals.
Topics to be discussed include:

  • End of life care
  • Conflict of interest
  • Resource allocation
  • Use of deception
  • Stigmatized conditions
  • Disagreement between patient/client and health care team
  • Disagreement between family members about care decisions
  • Moral distress for health care providers
  • Organizational policy
  • Conscientious objection
Dr. Marika Warren

Dr. Marika Warren is an Assistant Professor in the Dalhousie Department of Bioethics and Network Ethicist for the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network.
Marika has a longstanding interest in the intersection of values and science and in how we translate values into practice, alongside a strong commitment to social justice. Marika’s current work focuses on developing innovative ways to ensure that ethical commitments and values are reflected in healthcare practice, supporting providers in the challenging work of closing gaps that sometimes arise between how we believe we should behave and how we actually do act. Areas of particular interest include addressing stigma, promoting equity, and supporting decision making. Current projects include work on a public health ethics framework, policy regarding human milk sharing, medical assistance in dying, and simulating ethics consultations.

Health Services Panel

Moderator: Dr. Emily Gard Marshall

Dr. Emily Gard Marshall

Dr. Emily Gard Marshall, BA, MSc, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Dalhousie Department of Family Medicine Primary Care Research Unit, cross-appointed in Community Health and Epidemiology, a Healthy Populations Institute Associate Research Scholar, Nova Scotia Health Authority Affiliated Scientist, McGill Family Medicine Adjunct Professor, Faculty Mentor for the CIHR TUTOR-Primary Health Care Strategic training program and on the Board of the Canadian Association of Health Services and Policy Research. Her mixed methods research examines primary healthcare access, continuity, and comprehensiveness in community and institutional settings with the goals of improving access equity and optimizing patient and provider outcomes. Her research ranges from young people’s healthcare access to studies across the life course involving population data and vulnerable populations such as those with multiple chronic conditions, the elderly, and refugees. She currently leads “MAAP-NS: Models and Access Atlas of Primary Care Providers in Nova Scotia”, the first Canadian study linking census provider and practice survey data to equity and comprehensiveness outcomes from billing data; “The UP study: Unattached Patients in primary care – a mixed methods understanding of causes, consequences and solutions”; and the assessment of “Care by Design”, an innovative long-term care model.

Dr. Frederick Burge

Fred Burge is a Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. His research interests lie in health services research in Primary Healthcare (PHC). He is one of three co-leads on the CIHR funded PHC Innovation team known as “TRANSFORMATION”, a five year project focusing on the science of performance measurement in PHC. Of specific interest is improving primary care of those with advanced illness. Recently he led a large provincial mortality follow back study to examine unmet healthcare needs of the dying and co-leads a study to use EMRs to identify those at risk of dying for better care planning. He is committed to strengthening Primary Healthcare research in Canada by being a founding co-investigator on the team of “TUTOR-PHC” the first CIHR funded interdisciplinary training centre for Primary Healthcare research, as co-lead of the Collaborative on Research in PHC (CoR-PHC), a new interfaculty research initiative at Dalhousie University and as the science lead of BRIC-NS, Building Research for Integrated Primary Healthcare, the NS CIHR SPOR Primary and Integrated Healthcare Innovations Network.

Dr. Leslie Ann Campbell (Photo by Scott Munn)

Dr. Leslie Anne Campbell is the Sobey Family Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes as well as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology and the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University. She completed her BSc in Nursing at the University of Toronto, and both her MSc and PhD at Dalhousie University. Her research interests include patient-centered outcomes research and routine health outcome measurement, primarily in the area of child and youth mental health. Drawing upon her clinical experience and diverse training in research methods, Dr. Campbell is building a program of research that promotes the use of outcomes to inform patient care and service planning. Outside of work, Dr. Campbell enjoys spending time with her family and friends and connecting with the great outdoors.

Kolten MacDonnell

Kolten MacDonell is Health Services Manager, Primary Health Care and Department of Family Practice with Central Zone of Nova Scotia Health Authority. Along with working with the Newcomer Health Clinic, Kolten is responsible for the prideHealth program, Department of Family Practice, and the Eastern Shore-Musquodoboit Family Practice Network. Kolten has worked in a variety of roles across the Primary Health Care portfolio, along with working with Public Health Services, inpatient acute care, and teaching as a part-time faculty member in the Department of Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University.

Kylie Peacock

Kylie Peacock is a patient advisor and a strong advocate in the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and at the IWK Health Centre. Her personal experiences have shaped her interests and she enjoys interacting with providers, researchers, patients, and other stakeholders to work towards improving the healthcare system. Kylie’s research interests include investigating methods to improve overall healthcare delivery to patients, incorporating patient-oriented outcomes into research, chronic disease management, and an additional focus on improving child and adolescent mental health outcomes.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Celina Shirazipour

Dr. Celina Shirazipour is a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University. Her research aims to understand and promote physical activity participation for individuals with disability, particularly military personnel. Dr. Shirazipour’s postdoctoral research is funded by the Toronto 2017 Invictus Games, where she recently presented on stage with Prince Harry! She is currently working with Invictus to explore the psychological and social impact of sport on recovery.