Leslie Hill wins Urram Award

Leslie Hill (right) is presented with her award by Darlene Gilby of the NSCMLT

Congratulations to Leslie Hill of the School of Health Sciences who is the winner of the 2012 Urram Award presented by the Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists (NSCMLT). Urram is Gaelic for “high respect that has been earned,” and the award is in recognition of excellence through outstanding contributions to the field of Medical Laboratory Technology.

QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal for Excellence in the Field of HIV/AIDS

Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan

Congratulations to Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan (School of Health and Human Performance) on being honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her exemplary work and service in the field of HIV/AIDS in Canada.  Dr. Gahagan will receive her award at the 2012 World AIDS Day Gala in Ottawa on November 27, 2012.  To read more about Dr. Gahagan and her work, read the DalNews story.

Welcome – Dr. Kathleen MacMillan

Dr. Kathleen MacMillan

Welcome to Dr. Kathleen MacMillan, who recently joined Dalhousie as Director of the School of Nursing. Dr. MacMillan is a graduate of the Toronto East Hospital School of Nursing (diploma) and the University of Toronto (BSc 1980; MA 1983, MSc 1992 and PhD 2005). She has experience in clinical nursing practice, administration, research, education and health policy and is the author of numerous publications and invited presentations. She has been recognized as a distinguished alumna of the Faculty of Nursing at the U of T and received a Centennial Achievement Award from the Canadian Nurses’ Association in 2008. Dr. MacMillan was the first Provincial Chief Nursing Officer for the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long Term Care (1999 – 2001) and Executive Director, Office of Nursing Services for First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada (2001 – 2004). Most recently she was Dean, School of Health Sciences at Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning in Toronto. She holds graduate faculty appointments at both the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of New Brunswick Schools of Nursing. Her research interests are in patient safety, nursing human resources, nursing history and interprofessional collaboration.

In Memoriam – Susan Jurczak

Russell Sampson, Dave Jurczak, Robin Stadnyk, Elaine Jurczak and Joe Jurczak (holding Susan's thesis) attended a graduation reception at the School of Occupational Therapy.

Susan Jurczak, an MSc(OT -Post-professional) student in Occupational Therapy at Dalhousie University, died on December 30, 2010.  Susan had a strong interest in designing environments of long term care facilities that foster residents’ social connections and occupational lives.  She got the most out of her master’s studies by focusing her practicum work, electives and thesis research on this interest area.  Her thesis work was supervised by Robin Stadnyk and Anne Carswell.

Susan lived about 8 months of each year in Connecticut, where her husband Russ had an academic position, and the other 4 months in Edmonton, where she practiced and conducted her research.  Her life circumstances made her a good candidate for the School of Occupational Therapy’s distance education program, which she began in 2003.  Susan was a hard-working student.  She immersed herself in academic life, taking every opportunity to learn and to push herself out of her “comfort zone” of clinical work.  She presented papers and posters for many Alberta-based organizations and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy annual conferences.  She received scholarships from the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation and the Alberta Association on Gerontology.  She also received a peer-reviewed grant from the Capital Care Foundation in Edmonton to conduct her thesis.  Susan sought mentorship beyond the occupational therapy program she was enrolled in through her involvement with the Canadian Association on Gerontology and a longstanding connection with Edmonton researcher Doris Milke.  She fostered many connections with policy makers in Alberta.

Susan Jurczak

In 2008-2009, Susan was on leave from her studies because she had a life-threatening illness.  Despite ongoing struggles with treatments, she described her illness as a “chronic disease” and her “new normal.”  Even in her final months of life her usual hope and optimism prevailed.  She completed her data analysis in 2010 and had plans to defend her thesis in the summer of 2011.

With the help of her husband Russell, who located her research files, and research assistants Haley Augustine (MSc(OT) 2011, now a Dalhousie Medical student) and Vanessa Johnson (MSc(OT) 2011), the manuscript for Susan’s thesis was completed by Robin Stadnyk.  Susan’s Master of Science degree was awarded posthumously on October 1, 2012.  Russell received Susan’s degree at the convocation ceremony.  Her thesis was entitled “Maintaining family relationships within assisted living facilities for clients with dementia:  Effects of the physical and social environment.”

Mary and John Eldon Green Scholarship

John Eldon Green presents scholarships to Danya O'Malley (left) and Alicia Rose

At the recent OT Atlantic Conference, the Mary and John Eldon Green Scholarship was awarded for the first time.  Named for John Eldon Green, former deputy minister of social services for PEI and longtime supporter of combining occupational therapy and social work, and his wife Mary – the award was presented to Dalhousie students Alicia Rose (Occupational Therapy) and Dayna O’Malley (Social Work).

To learn more about this award, read the recent article in the PEI Guardian.



Dr. Jane Gillett Award

LINC study co-investigator Michelle Villeneauve receives the Dr. Jane Gillett award on behalf of Dr. Tanya Packer and Dr. Joan Versnel

Congratulations to Dr. Tanya Packer and Dr. Joan Versnel of the School of Occupational Therapy who are the recipients of the 2012 Dr. Jane Gillett, MD Research Award.  Named for Dr. Jane Gillett – a paediatric neurologist who was a pioneer in programs for children with brain injury and championed programs for community integration across the globe – the award is granted to an individual or organization for their outstanding contribution in research to advance the cause of acquired brain injury in Canada.  Tanya and Joan received the award in recognition of their work on the LINC study, which strives to understand the impact of a neurological condition on everyday life.  Composed of three studies – a population study, a cohort study and a qualitative multiple perspective case study – the results will contribute to the National Populations Study of Neurological Conditions that aims to predict the burden of the disease 5, 10 and 20 years into the future in Canada.

School of Health Administration News and Events


Professionals awarded the Certificate of Disaster Management, pictured with Dr. Joe Byrne and the Director General of Red Cross Atlantic, Mr. John Byrne.

The School of Health Administration partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to offer a Certificate in Disaster Management. Attendees at the annual Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management Conference (October 3-5 2012) were able to enroll in a three module Certificate Program, specifically designed by the School of Health Administration for the Canadian Red Cross.  The Certificate Program covered such topics as Disaster Management and Psychology of Decision Making, Disaster Management and Torte Law, and Disaster Management and Team Performance. Forty professionals completed the full three-modular program and were presented their certificates at the end of the conference. The highly successful and regarded Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management Conference is attended by hundreds of professionals from a multitude of disciplines including search and rescue, law enforcement, firefighting, paramedics to health and public service administrators from around the world. This year featured delegates from Japan, offering lessons learned from the 2011 earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, as well as delegates from Slave Lake, Alberta, offering lessons learned from the destructive 2011 wild fire.

Professional Workshops

This month, the School of Health Administration Alumni Association (SHAAA) is launching a mentorship program for students in the Master of Health Administration program. The mentorship program will see students paired one-on-one with alumni of the School for the duration of their degree completion. “The mentorship program is aimed at connecting School of Health Administration students with Health Leaders involved in all aspects of
healthcare across Canada”, says Reece Bearnes, President, School of Health Administration Alumni Association. “These interactions will create an environment for students to ask questions, and for mentors to share their  experiences working in the profession. It is our hope that the mentorship program can serve as a platform for open and honest discussion about the challenges and rewards of healthcare leadership.” The program will be piloted for the Winter term (January 2013-April 2013), and mentors and students will be asked to meet two or more times during the year at a time that is mutually
convenient. An appreciation event will be held at the end of the school year to give participating mentors and students the opportunity to discuss and provide
input on the program.


Student Congratulations

Congratulations are extended to recent School of Nursing graduate Beth Hudson on receiving the School of Nursing Leadership Award.  Beth will now work toward a career in community health nursing, particularly in Northern Canada, caring for First Nations and Inuit communities.  She has clinical experience in a northern community and has developed a strong attachment to that part of our country.  As a member of the group of “accelerated nursing students” at Dalhousie, she worked very hard to advocate for this small group of 14 students to ensure they were included in social events at the school, and helped with the fundraising for their own graduation banquet which was held on October 6th.  We wish Beth all the best as she starts her career in nursing.

Congratulations are also extended to recent School of Nursing student Juliette Mundra on receiving the IWK Medical, Dental and Scientific Award for Excellence in Children’s Nursing.  Her career will begin with Capital District Health Authority in the Medical-Surgical Intermediate Care Unit.  She hopes to eventually work in perinatal nursing with a Master of Nursing in Midwifery.  All the best to Juliette as she embarks on her new career in nursing.

NSHRF Team Development Award

Dr. Ingrid Waldron (Photo: Ryan Taplin/Metro)

Congratulations to Dr. Ingrid Waldron (Nursing) who was recently given a Team Development Award from NSHRF’s REDI Program in the amount of $10,000 to conduct research examining the epidemiological and health-related effects of toxic industries proximate to Mi’kmaq and Indigenious Black communities in Nova Scotia. Co-Investigators include Dr. Swarna Weerasinge (Community Health and Epidemiology), Dr. Heather Castleden (Resource and Environmental Studies), Dr Daniel Rainham (Science), Dr. Mikiko Terashima (Science), Dr. Elizabeth McGibbon (St. Francis Xavier) and Dr. Afua Cooper (Sociology and Social Anthropology).