It is our great pleasure to host our 12th Annual Research Symposium: “Research in Aging, Continuing Care, and Beyond” taking place June 7, 2024 at The Atlantica Hotel Halifax!

The symposium will include renowned speakers presenting on ground-breaking research projects that will expand our knowledge of quality of care and work-life. There will be many opportunities to showcase, network and connect with new and old colleagues and friends. Northwood’s Research Symposium brings together leading researchers, academics, and respected individuals working within Continuing Care and Healthcare to look at and discuss critical issues facing our society. Topics will include healthcare in marginalized populations, infection control, building a resilient workforce, mental health, nutrition and dementia, innovative mobility devices, and end of life care. 

Click HERE to visit the Eventbrite online registration page. Take advantage of early bird rates now! Early bird registration ends on April 8, 2024. Please share as appropriate with your colleagues.

2023 Research Symposium

After another successful Research Symposium in June 2023, planning has begun for the 2024 Symposium. Please stay tuned for more information. If you are interested in participating as a speaker or are interested in attending please contact Andrea Mayo at


Rebecca Affoo is a clinically certified speech-language pathologist, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health, and cross-appointed in the School of Dental Hygiene, Faculty of Dentistry. She is the Director of the Oral Health and Swallowing Research Laboratory. She is also a scholar with the Healthy Populations Institute (HPI) at Dalhousie University and a co-lead of the HPI flagship project Putting ‘Oral Health is Health’ into Action. The goal of her program of research is to improve the oral health, and speech and swallowing function of older adults through novel, interprofessional assessment and management practices.

Jackie Carter


Jackie Carter is a mother of two and proud grandmother. She earned her early childhood education degree from Memorial University and went on to work in a daycare. She first developed her interest in technology when her children were young and she would play video games with them, often sneaking to play more after they had gone to bed. Jackie had a spinal cord injury in 1998 and moved into Northwood’s Halifax Campus 7 years ago. Jackie has been a key participant in Northwood’s technology implementation and growth. Northwood considers Jackie a “super user” of the technology and she is always willing to learn more, try new things and share her experiences. Using technology has enabled Jackie to regain independence.

When not soaking up the sun, Jackie enjoys listening to music and playing Candy Crush, at levels that far surpass others that introduced her to the game.


Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President, Research, Innovation & Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive of Nova Scotia Health, is an internationally recognized expert in population needs-based approaches to health systems strengthening and workforce planning, evaluation, capacity-building, and research.

Gail is a champion of innovation in healthcare, leading teams and partners to seek creative solutions to provide high quality and timely access to care for Nova Scotians. Gail has been an Expert Advisor on health workforce planning to the World and Pan American Health Organization since 2005 and is Director of the WHO/PAHO

Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research at Dalhousie University. Gail’s research involves leading/co-leading multi-disciplinary teams and working with national and international partners. Her work has been widely funded and published; garnering extensive interest from governments and other stakeholders because of its signi cant impact on health policy and practice worldwide.

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy
Dr. Jasmine Mah


Dr. Jasmine Mah is a physician and researcher who is passionate about healthcare for older adults. She holds an MD from the University of Ottawa, an MSc from the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is currently a PhD candidate at Dalhousie

University. Jasmine’s research on social vulnerability, frailty and aging has been nationally

recognized as a recipient of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Scholarship, Killam Scholarship, and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Award. Among her honours, she is the elected co-chair of the Canadian Resident Geriatrics Interest Group, the Vice President of the Dalhousie/King’s Figure Skating Club and a past mentor with the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research & Innovation in Long-Term Care.

Jasmine was the winner of Dalhousie University’s Three Minute Thesis Competition and has been featured in several media outlets including CBC,

CTV and Global News as she advocates to bridge science to society through effective communication.


Brian MacLean is the Manager of Information Technology and Telecommunications at Northwood. He has been in various technology roles at Northwood for the past 21 years. Brian and his team runs and the supports the network and technology platform that the SMARTech project runs on.

Brian MacLean
Gail Giffin


Gail Giffin has worked for over 30 years at Northwood, as a clinical Occupational Therapist combined with leadership responsibilities. She has worked extensively with residents in the areas of wheelchair seating and positioning, promoting functional abilities, fall prevention and injury reduction. As part of the SMARTech project Gail leads the rehabilitation support team, providing direct support to participants to facilitate their use of technology.

Kim Parker


Kim Parker is a rehabilitation engineer at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation & Arthritis Centre (NSRAC) and holds a cross appointment in the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She works with individuals with disabilities to enhance their independence using assistive technology as part of the Access to Technology Consultive Service at NSRAC. She also provides technical support to the Assistive Technology Program at NSRAC and collaborates with clinicians and faculty at Dalhousie University on rehabilitation research. Her research interests include the impact of assistive devices and therapeutic interventions on function, mobility and participation. She is passionate about the use of accessible technology to empower all individuals.


Janice Keefe is Professor and Chair of the Department Family Studies and Gerontology at Mount Saint Vincent University. She holds the Lena Isabel Jodrey Chair in Gerontology and is Director of the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. Dr. Keefe is an Adjunct Professor with Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine and A liate Scientist with Nova Scotia Health. She is a Senior Researcher with the TREC program which examines the health and well-being of the long-term care workforce and the relationship between quality of work life and resident outcomes.

Specific to Nova Scotia, in 2021 Dr. Keefe implemented the TREC COVID-19 Impact Survey with ten care homes and will be conducting a subsequent survey with sta  in these homes in the fall of 2023. A Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Dr. Keefe is an active member of many Canadian and international initiatives including the Canadian Health Standards Organization Long-Term Care Services Technical Committee, PEI Long Term Care and COVID Review, and Vice-Chair of the European-Canada Scienti c Advisory Board of More Years Better Lives. She was Scientific Director of Seniors: Adding Life to Years (SALTY), pan-Canadian research which examined quality of life for residents in long term care, chaired the Ministerial Expert Panel on Long Term Care for Nova Scotia, and contributed to the Royal Society of Canada’s report on COVID-19 and Long Term Care.


Michael P. Leiter, PhD is a work psychologist with a focus on preventing job burnout and increasing respect and appreciation among colleagues. He consults from Nova Scotia with workplaces around the world on how to employee survey results as a foundation for effective change.


Dr. Sheri Lynn Price is a Professor with the School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, and an Affiliate Scientist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her program of research is focused in the areas of nursing recruitment, health services, interprofessional collaboration and healthcare work environments. Her research has advanced our understanding of how early influences on professional identity formation, including historical stereotypes, can impact not only recruitment but also career satisfaction and retention- issues of critical importance. Her research has also informed the development of strategies to improve the quality of healthcare workplaces and enhance support for mental health among nurses and other health professionals. Dr. Price employs novel knowledge translation strategies using dramatic arts, videos, social media, and innovative curricula. Recognition for her contributions to nursing and interprofessional education scholarship have resulted in numerous prestigious research and leadership awards and invited/keynote speaking engagements at national and international forums. In 2021, Dr. Price was inducted as Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing and in 2022, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.


Dr. Packer is an internationally recognized scholar and researcher who has published over 125 peer reviewed manuscripts. She currently holds more than CAN $3.5M in research funding as either principal or co-investigator from prestigious agencies such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Patient Centred Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in the US and the Princes Beatrix Spierfunds in the Netherlands.

Prof. Packer, an occupational therapist by professional qualification, together with her research trainees work to improve the lives of people with chronic and complex conditions via patient self-management intervention trials, design of patient reported outcome measures, and health services research. An Honorary Professor at Umea University in Sweden, she has supervised over 40 research trainees from around the world.


Dr. Warner is a Professor in the Dalhousie School of Occupational Therapy and an Affiliate Scientist with Nova Scotia Health. She has a PhD in Epidemiology with post-doctoral work in applied health services. She is an implementation scientist experienced in conducting both qualitative and quantitative studies. Her work focuses on understanding how to facilitate the implementation of community-based programs that address the care needs of older adults and their families. She is involved in a range of research projects with health system administrators, provincial policy makers, providers, and patients to inform and facilitate implementation of evidence-based innovations. They include remote monitoring of home care clients, assessing frailty in primary care, self-management strategies for individuals with chronic conditions, implementing a palliative approach to care in primary care practices, and assessing the needs of community-living older adults.


Tabatha Thibault is a Senior Research Associate in the Human Capital division at The Conference Board of Canada. She has 9 years of experience in organizational research and has expertise in quantitative data analysis, survey development, and psychometrics. Much of her research has focused on workplace mental health. Tabatha completed her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Saint Mary’s University.


Shauna Hachey is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Associate Professor at Dalhousie University in the School of Dental Hygiene, Faculty of Dentistry. She is a Healthy Populations Institute scholar (HPI) and co-lead of the HPI flagship project, Putting ‘Oral Health is Health’ into Action. She is a Nova Scotia Health Scientific Affiliate and a Canadian Society of Disability & Oral Health Board Member. Shauna has over a decade of clinical experience providing oral care for aging adults in LTC and her research explores integrative oral health approaches to improve access to oral care for those most in need.

Shauna Hachey

Research Symposium 2022

In our pursuit of excellence, and challenging the status quo, we seek to establish and enhance our understanding of facts, principles, and knowledge, for the betterment of our clients and the betterment of society.

Since 2011, Northwood has hosted an annual Research Symposium. Our topic, “Research in Aging, Continuing Care and Beyond,” explores some of the exciting new initiatives and ground-breaking research projects that are expanding our knowledge of elder care. Join us and gain a new appreciation of the work being done to help seniors live life to the fullest.