2016 Speakers

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To see the titles and abstracts of the speakers’ presentation, check out the conference Schedule.

Opening Keynote

Gail Crook, CHE, CHIM

IWB 2016_Speakers_Gail Crook_PhotoGail has been a certified member of the Canadian College of Health Information Management since 1982. She is also been a certified member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders since 1999. Gail has an extensive background in developing and applying the principles of privacy and security of patient records; the collection, dissemination and quality of health information; and work experiences regarding the transition to the Electronic Health Record. Gail sits on many National and Provincial committees and has published and presented both nationally and internationally on these subjects.

Gail became the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar for the Canadian Health Information Management Association in March of 2001. In this role she works with the CHIMA Board of Directors, CHIMA members and external stakeholders to ensure the quality of Health Information submitted to numerous Provincial and National databases, polices and position statements for the privacy of patient information, and the development of a sound e-HIM strategy to ensure the successful transition of records management principles from the paper to the Electronic Health Record in Canada.

To listen to the recording of Gail Crook’s opening keynote presentation, click here.

Closing Keynote

Dr. Robert Strang

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Dr. Robert Strang is Chief Public Health Officer in Nova Scotia, appointed in August 2007.  He received his medical degree from University of British Columbia and completed Family Practice and Community Medicine residencies at UBC.

Dr. Strang was an Associate Medical Officer of Health in British Columbia from 1997-1999 and in 1999, he moved to Halifax to become Medical Officer of Health for Capital District Health Authority. He was Acting provincial Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health prior to his CPHO appointment.

As CPHO, he has provided leadership around the renewal of the public health system in Nova Scotia as well as raising awareness around the importance of creating policies and environments that support better health for Nova Scotian families and communities.

He is passionate about public health and has worked with non-government organizations such as Smoke Free Nova Scotia, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Public Health Association of Nova Scotia.

Dr. Strang has an adjunct appointment with Dalhousie University, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology.

To listen to the recording of Dr. Robert Strang’s closing keynote presentation, click here.

Health Informatics & Emerging Information Technologies

Dr. Tara Sampalli

IWB 2016_Speakers_Tara Sampalli_PhotoDr. Tara Sampalli is Assistant Director for Research in Primary Healthcare, at the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Assistant Professor of Medical Informatics at Dalhousie University. Holding a Ph.D. degree in Health Informatics, Tara effectively blends research with practice bringing the novel concept of “embedded research” into healthcare. Tara’s research interests include care models for chronic disease management, patient centered care and multimorbidities, integrated models of care, knowledge management, and application of innovative IT solutions in healthcare.

Dr. Samina Abidi

Samina_Abidi2Samina Abidi is a faculty member in Medical Informatics Program at Faculty of Medicine. She holds a PhD degree in Health Informatics Masters in Information Technology and an MD. She has a unique skill-set where she is a clinician with an expertise in health informatics. She is program director for Research in Medicine (RIM) program in Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She is PI for a number of CIHR and industry-funded research projects and has developed and evaluated many health information systems. She is the recipient of the prestigious Steven Huesing Award (2007) from COACH (Canada’s Health Informatics Association). She is the recipient of the CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral Award (Sept. 2006 – Sept. 2009) to support her PhD program. Samina Abidi has research interests in Health Knowledge Management, Clinical Decision Support, Health Knowledge Modeling and Computerization, Patient Centred Care, Comorbid Care Planning, Knowledge Translation, Health Information Systems Design and Health Systems Evaluation. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. She routinely serves as a reviewer for international health informatics Journals and conferences. She teaches health informatics topics in the Master of Health Informatics (MHI) program and supervises a number of medical informatics graduate theses.

Information Managers & Evidence-Based Health Decisions

Dr. Annette Elliott Rose

AElliott RoseAnnette Elliott Rose, RN PhD is a Research Associate, World Health Organization/Pan-American Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research in the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University. Her research interests focus on how integrated care delivery systems support sustainable, accessible health care based upon a broad understanding of health and based upon population health needs. Annette recently completed her doctoral studies focused on determining perinatal health needs in an effort to create responsive and collaborative models of primary maternity health care. Annette is also a Perinatal Nurse Consultant with a provincial program, the Reproductive Care Program of Nova Scotia, which supports maternal-newborn care throughout the province through education, research and policy.

Dr. Leslie Anne Campbell


Dr. Campbell is a health services researcher and Assistant Professor with the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University. She is the inaugural Sobey Family Child and Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes Chair. Dr. Campbell’s research interests include population screening and early intervention in resource-constrained settings, primarily in the area of mental health. Drawing upon her clinical experience and diverse quantitative methods, she works in interdisciplinary environments to promote the use of health services research to inform decision making and policy development.

Evolving Health Care Data and Records

Michelle Tougas


Michelle has obtained a Master’s in Community Health and Epidemiology and is currently in her second year of the Clinical Psychology PhD student at Dalhousie University. She has experience working with big data and systematic review methodology. Her research interests are in pediatric pain and pediatric sleep. Michelle is currently involved with Canada-wide research team exploring how pediatric pain and pediatric sleep are communicated over social media. The project, funded by an NSHRF development/innovative grant is translating traditional systematic review methodology to searching Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to better understand how child health is communicated over social media platforms.

Andrea Kampen

Kampen_imageAndrea is a recent graduate from the School of Information Management with a Master in Library and Information Management degree from Dalhousie University. Through her work with the Social Media Lab, located at Ryerson University, Andrea developed an interest in social media analysis and learned how to use the tool Netlytic. She has always been drawn to research involving how people create and share information through different mediums whether it be text or images. Social media analysis, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook provides an amazing opportunity to take a close look at what and how people are sharing and interacting with information. Andrea is excited to be a part of the NSHRF grant team and learning from the research being completed.

Debbie Martin

DIWB 2016_Speakers_Debbie Martin_Photoebbie Martin is a professor in Dalhousie University’s School of Health and Human Performance.

Her program of research is aimed at preventing chronic diseases, which are disproportionately higher among Aboriginal peoples relative to their non-Aboriginal counterparts within Canada. Working directly with communities, she works to identify and address key community and societal level determinants, that are often linked to lifestyle factors, that ultimately cause chronic diseases. For instance, cost and availability of nutritious and culturally appropriate foods, which limits food choices, puts people at risk for debilitating, costly, and preventable, chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers.

A key feature of her work focuses on the importance of community engagement and using Indigenous ‘ways of knowing’ (methodologies) to inform the research process – from design to dissemination.

Panel discussion: Reliable and Accessible Health Information

Panel moderator: Lara Killian

Version 2Lara Killian is a librarian educator at the Nova Scotia Health Authority, with a focus on patient education. She holds an MLIS from Dalhousie University and an MA in literature from Durham University (UK). Lara has a background in health research, including two Cochrane systematic review projects, and publishing, including as Social Media column editor for MLA News from the Medical Library Association and as Editorial Chair of the Dalhousie Journal of Information Management (DJIM) during her studies at Dal. Lara currently leads the team responsible for the management of NSHA’s Halifax-area patient education pamphlet inventory of about 1000 documents used across a wide range of clinical areas and specialties.

Andrea Murphy

IWB 2016_Speakers_Andrea MurpheyDr. Andrea Murphy, Associate Professor, is a pharmacist and has been a Dalhousie faculty member for 13 years. She has the privilege of teaching and working with numerous talented undergraduate pharmacy students as well as other undergraduate and graduate health professional learners. Andrea is passionate about research and program development, implementation, and evaluation. She is particularly interested in mental illness and addictions care and is currently working with many people across Nova Scotia to capitalize on potential and possibilities for community pharmacy-based mental health care service delivery.

Dave MacNeil

DaveMcNeilDave MacNeil, a graduate of Dalhousie University (MLIS, 2009) and Queen’s University (BA-Honours, 2004), has worked with Halifax Pubic Libraries (HPL) for the past 11 years. Beginning in Circulation and Information services, he eventually moved onto several positions within HPL’s Collection Management Department, before taking responsibiliy over that Department in January of 2016 as Manager of Collections & Access. In this role, he oversees collection development, cataloguing, materials processing, RFID infrastructure, as well as many aspects of database functionality/maintenance and regional circulation of the collection. Recently, Dave has sought to build resource-sharing partnerships between HPL and community organizations, the first of which was the successful health education pamphlet sharing project he undertook with Lara Killian in 2014.

Andrea Reynolds

AndreaReynolds-Bio-pictureFor over 20 years, Andrea has worked at the IWK Health Centre in the Library and A/V Services team. Since 2002, she has been the consumer health librarian in The Family Resource Library, managing daily operations, selecting quality health information materials for patients/families, and coordinating the complex process of developing staff-authored patient pamphlets to meet IWK criteria. In addition to her experience working in both hospital and public libraries, Andrea also draws on her lifelong interest and continuing education in writing / editing and health literacy issues to help her ensure that IWK patient pamphlets are accurate, reliable and written in plain language. Assisting the health centre teams who create patient materials, she is involved at every stage: from registering the pamphlets’ titles and contributors in a central database; to editing patient pamphlets for plain language/reading level; ensuring they are reviewed by appropriate content experts; coordinating their translation(s), graphic design and printing; and, finally, to posting the final versions to the IWK website. Andrea received her M.L.I.S. degree from Dalhousie University in 1997 after completing a B.A. Hons. (English) there. In her spare time she enjoys ice skating, bicycling, reading, and laughing with her two children.

Student speakers

Nora McGruer

Professional PhotographNoramay McGruer is a first year MLIS student from St. John’s, Newfoundland, currently employed as a circulation desk assistant at the Killam Memorial Library. She received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Memorial University, presenting a paper at the AAUEC in the final year of that degree. Nora is interested in health science librarianship, special libraries and collections, and the role of active engagement in the dissemination and acceptance of information.


Scarlett Kelly

IWB 2016_Speakers_Scarlett Kelly_PhotoCurrently in the joint Master of Library and Information Studies and Master of Public Administration program at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, Scarlett Kelly has a diverse academic and professional background, which includes English literature, consecutive interpretation, science, health, research, administration, finance, budgeting, project management, marketing, and database management. Passionate about health care and fascinated by the positive changes that digital information revolution can bring to Canada, Scarlett believes that information management should play a crucial role in Canadian health care reform. She was one of the paper competition finalists and was selected to present her paper/book “Digital Information Revolution Changes Canada: in E-Government Design, the Battle against Illicit Drugs, and Health Care Reform” in the Atlantic Conference on Public Administration (ACPA) on January 22, 2016. Scarlett currently serves as the Special Projects Chair and Treasurer Exercitatio of the Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management (DJIM) and a member of the programming committee of ACPA.

Leah Boulos

IWB 2016_Speakers_Leah Boulos_Photo_90 percentLeah Boulos is a dynamic future graduate of Dalhousie’s Master of Library and Information Studies Program. She comes to the field with a background in music, having completed her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from Mount Allison University in 2010. Upon entering the Dalhousie School of Information Management, Leah quickly began to develop interests in health sciences librarianship, research support services, and the management of information organisations. Outside of the classroom, she is Co-Chair of the Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management, where she leads a team of students from all programs within the Faculty of Management in the production of an annual open access journal of graduate-level work.

Currently, Leah works as a student intern at the W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library on Dalhousie campus. This excellent introduction to health sciences librarianship has encouraged her to consider a career in the field. In particular, she is interested in the role of librarians as respected leaders in the health sciences research process.

In her spare time, Leah performs with the Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble, which was named the top women’s choir in Canada in 2013 and was recently nominated for an East Coast Music Award. Her other hobbies include cooking, cross stitching, and travelling.

Student poster presenters

Domenic Rosati

IWB 2016_Poster presenters_Domenic RosatiDomenic Rosati is a Master of Library and Information Studies student between his first and second year. He has a bachelor of history (hons) from Carleton University where he studied religious studies and intellectual history. His primary research interests are enabling technologies for description, discovery, and exchange of resource descriptions in libraries and archives, and documentary history in the areas of religious and scholarly community formation and communication networks.

Ghdeer Tashkandi

IWB 2016_Poster presenters_Ghdeer TashkandiGhdeer Tashkandi is an interdisciplinary PhD student at Dalhousie University, majoring in Health Informatics. She is passionate about improving healthcare with new technologies that became very essential for everyone. Her research interests include: human-computer interaction, patients-engagements, personalized patient education systems, mobile health, and data mining.

Zoe Dickinson

IWB 2016_Poster presenters_Zoe DickinsonZoe Dickinson is a second-year Master of Library and Information Studies candidate at Dalhousie University. She is an editorial chair for the Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management, as well as a co-chair of the Dalhousie student chapter of the Canadian Library Association. During her time at Dalhousie, she has pursued innovative research in the form of her graduate thesis, “Public Libraries and Search Engines,” which examines the opportunities and challenges presented by online visibility initiatives in Canadian public libraries.

While pursuing her graduate studies, she continues to pursue a writing career, with publication credits in journals such as Contemporary Verse 2, 50 Haikus, and Existere Magazine. Her forthcoming chapbook, Public Transit, is the 2016 Canadian winner of Leaf Press’ Overleaf Chapbook Competition.