Nova Scotia Executive & Advisory Council

Emerging Health Leaders is very excited to announce the inaugural executive  and advisory council for Emerging Health Leaders Nova Scotia. EHL Nova Scotia is the first node to be developed that is taking on a provincial lens. The executive is very excited to provide opportunities for emerging leaders to connect and expand their networks across the province. We look forward to working with you.


Erica Adams – Chair

Advisor: Steve Ashton: IWK, VP People and Organizational Development.

Erica completed her Master degree in Health Promotion from Dalhousie University in 2012 and is currently a Health Promoter with the Nova Scotia Health Authority in the Mental Health and Addiction program. Prior to coming to Nova Scotia, Erica worked in Toronto at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) as a Recreation Therapist in the Addiction Inpatient Residential Program and Medical Withdrawal Unit. She has been involved in the addiction field for the past 10 years working in various capacities at the individual treatment level, as well as prevention and health promotion at a population level. Erica has a keen interest and passion for leadership development, and creating effective change in communities through meaningful engagement. She is an active member with the Health and Wellness team of Fusion Halifax and also a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL).  She is very excited to be part of an energetic, innovative group of emerging leaders and sees this opportunity as a great stepping-stone to a career of life-long learning, growth and development as a leader. 

Laura Toole – Chair Elect

Advisor: Lindsay Peach, NSHA, Vice-President, Integrated Health Services Community Support and Management. Formerly Carla Anglehart – VP Learning and Development, Atlantic Leadership Development Institute.

Laura is a registered social worker who has been working in the healthcare field for the past few years after receiving her Bachelor of Social Work from Dalhousie in 2012. Her passion for better health outcomes and health equity started in her work at the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia as the Support Services Coordinator. In early of 2015, she relocated the Annapolis Valley to start her role as a Social Worker with the Patient Flow team at Valley Regional Hospital and Soldiers Memorial Hospital. In this position, she enjoys working directly with patients and families to work through complex challenges, resource allocation and system navigation. She appreciates the team approach to patient centred care. She is passionate about community work and currently is on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Annapolis Valley. Laura looks forward to inspiring conversations, valuable mentorship and reaching goals set by the team with her involvement with Emerging Health Leaders.

Ashley Ryer – Communications Director

Advisor: Tamara Gilley, Director of Public Relations, Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Ashley graduated in 2012 with her Masters of Health Administration from Dalhousie University. Previous to that, she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University. Ashley is currently employed as a Project Lead with Primary Health Care within the Nova Scotia Health Authority. After graduation, Ashley worked for the Canadian Red Cross and then completed a Postgraduate Fellowship at IWK Health Centre and Capital District Health Authority. In her spare time, Ashley is a member of the Atlantic Community Health Committee (AHAC) and the Provincial Advisory Council (PAC) for the Canadian Red Cross. She is an assistant coach for the Saint Mary’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams and volunteers on the board for the Youth Running Series. Ashley is excited to be apart of EHL Nova Scotia and to provide interprofessional learning opportunities for emerging leaders in Nova Scotia’s health care system.

Ian Westhaver – Events Director

Advisor: Robert Zed, Chair and CEO, Triangle Healthcare Consulting.

Ian was born in Halifax, NS, but spent his formative years in Massachusetts, returning to Canada for university, where he completed his Undergraduate Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and subsequent Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering. Ian now lives with his partner in Dartmouth, and is the Patient Flow System Facilitator for Nova Scotia Health Authority.   With eight years of health care experience, Ian has worked at the front line, managed projects in health information, and now informs patient flow strategy through utilization reporting and analysis.  In his spare time, Ian enjoys hiking, camping, playing his cello, and spending time with his beagle puppy, Milo.  Ian also serves as the Communications Officer with EHL National.

Lindsay Burke – Membership Director

Advisor: Wayne Marsh, Independent Facilitator.

Lindsay is a graduate of Dalhousie University School of Nursing and holds a Masters of Nursing Degree from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. She is currently working at the QEII in Geriatric Restorative Care providing rehabilitation services focusing on returning seniors to the community setting. She also works in the community as a VON Nurse for Victorian Order of Nurses, Greater Halifax. Lindsay has a passion for interprofessional education and became very active in IPE/IPCP as a student and she continues to contribute to the IP community as a professional. She has held many positions within the National Health Science Students’ Association including president and is a member of the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative previously serving on the Steering Committee, Partnerships & Knowledge Exchange sub-committee, a small portion of CIHC Library projects, and Mainstream. Lindsay believes supporting mentoring relationships between Emerging Health Leaders and current health system leaders will foster collaborative practice and produce quality individuals for the next generation of health system leaders.

Mary Akbari – Partnership Director

Advisor: Colin Stevenson, Transformational Executive Lead, Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Mary holds a PhD in Health Education and a Master’s degree in Midwifery Education; she has extensive experience in teaching Midwifery and Nursing programs. Mary is currently pursuing her Masters in Health Administration at Dalhousie University. She is excited to have the opportunity to be part of the EHL team; she believes EHL is crucial in building strong relationships with senior leaders.

Erin Christian – Treasurer

Advisor: Evelyn Barkhouse, Chief Operating Officer, United Way.Formerly Allan Horsburgh, VP Stewardship and Accountability & Chief Financial Officer, Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Erin graduated in 2013 with her Masters of Health Administration (MHA) from Dalhousie University, where she previously completed a Bachelor of Science degree. Erin is currently employed as Manager, Planning and Development with Primary Health Care at Nova Scotia Health Authority where she provides leadership and support to numerous projects to further Primary Health Care and the Department of Family Practice’s strategic priorities. Erin is excited to work with the energetic group of emerging health leaders leading the Nova Scotia chapter.

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