AWARE-NS recently held our annual general meeting and it was a great success. We’re pleased to release the annual report reflecting our initiatives, our work, and our accomplishments. Please take the time to read it and share it with others!

Cover of 2014 Annual Report

Earlier this spring WCB NS released a draft policy regarding Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and they asked system stakeholders, such as employers, to comment on the proposed draft changes.

Office of the Employer Association NS (OEA NS) held employer consultation sessions and convened a committee of employers who met between May and July to look at the proposed draft policy, complete a cross jurisdictional scan and review relevant OHS standards from Canada and the USA in workplace noise assessment and adjudication. Jennifer Bullman WCB Specialist was the representative from CDHA on this committee.

AWARE-NS had posted this communication on their website early in April to allow for follow up.

The due date for all stakeholders who wish to comment on the WCB’s proposed policy draft is Thursday July 31, 2014. OEA NS wrote, at the urging of employers, to the Minister of Labour to request additional time for consultation on this policy however this request was denied. Later this fall, employers and OEA NS expect the NS Dept. of Labour and Advanced Education (OHS Div.) to release their draft of phase 2 of Workplace Safety Regulations, of which noise is an important topic.  OEA believes both drafts should have had a consultation period which enabled employers to review both drafts concurrently.  But this did not occur.

As you know it is important for employers to respond to this draft policy and the proposed changes.  It is important for the WCB NS to understand employer’s concerns which arise from the draft policy. Please click here if you would like to access a form letter for response.

They are asking that it be placed on your DHA letterhead, signed and sent back to OES by fax at 902.252.3466 before July 31, 2014 so it can be included in the submission for employers. 

Putting the program elements together –

It’s time for STEP 3
Let’s check in….check out what needs to be completed and check it off the list!

Join us in welcoming Scott Bennett as our new OHS Program Development Coordinator. Scott joined the AWARE-Team on May 26, 2014. Under the direction of Heather Matthews, OHS Specialist, Scott will focus on the development of   OHS program tools, resources and training materials. Through his participation in COSP, Workplace Violence Prevention, and the Soteria Strains Projects, he will facilitate stakeholder engagement through program development.  Scott comes to AWARE-NS with 14 years’ experience with Capital Health, formal education in Occupational and Safety Management and brings his passion and his knowledge to help build a work-safe culture.
To reach Scott by phone 832-7441 or by email [email protected]

To Our Valued Stakeholders and Partners
Please take note and mark our new date in your calendars:
Over the past few weeks, AWARE-NS has undertaken a formal Membership drive for the Association and Board Recruitment/nomination process. It has been our plan to invite our Membership to the AGM where the new slate of directors will be presented for approval in keeping with the reduced Board size and with the composition outlined in the stakeholder review recommendations.
We recognize the importance of member contribution to our success as an organization and therefore have decided to defer the AGM to September to allow for a broader response to our campaign for membership.
Please note that the AGM will now be held on September,25, 2014 at Ivany Place in Bedford. Further details will follow over the summer.
If would like to attend our AGM on September 25th, please contact [email protected] or by phone 832-3868.

Health and Wellness

June 3, 2014 10:14 AM

Government will continue focusing on quality care and patient safety, and accessibility to services so Nova Scotians can get the care they need, when they need it.
Those are some of the many themes in the province’s report, Putting Patients First, What We Heard, part of Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine’s listening and learning tour of Nova Scotia’s 10 district health authorities.
“I thank Nova Scotia’s health-care workers, volunteers, and community members for sharing their expertise and experience with us,” said Mr. Glavine. “Their insights are helping to build a better health-care system, one that enhances our culture of patient safety and quality.”
Mr. Glavine said the report will help guide the Transition and Design team work currently underway. The team, recently announced, is responsible for recommending a new design structure for a provincial health authority.
Government is streamlining Nova Scotia’s health-care system, reducing 10 health authorities to two by April 1, 2015, with one provincial board and the IWK remaining as a separate authority.
Mr. Glavine visited each health authority during his listening tour and spoke with health professionals, administrators, front-line workers, physicians, community leaders, volunteers, union representatives, and others.
“A new, streamlined health authority will still need strong, community-based leadership,” said Mr. Glavine. “Community health boards, foundations, and auxiliaries will continue to be vital supports to their local areas, hospitals, services, and communities.”
The public can provide feedback at / . The full report is available under publications.

Health and Wellness

May 28, 2014 1:22 PM

Senior leaders within Nova Scotia’s health-care system are coming together to continue designing a new health authority for the province.
Leaders from district health authorities will join provincial staff to recommend a detailed plan for the merger of Nova Scotia’s health authorities.
“Moving to one provincial health authority is key to our vision of putting patients first,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “This team will help us plan, engage stakeholders and co-ordinate all the pieces needed to create a model that promotes health and wellness, and provides safe, effective, quality front-line care.”
Nova Scotia’s nine district health authorities will be consolidated by April 1, 2015. The IWK will remain a separate authority.
The province has been working on the consolidation for months. Mr. Glavine toured provincial health authorities early this year and recently appointed Pat Lee, CEO of the Pictou County Health Authority, and Carmelle d’Entremont, of the Department of Health and Wellness, as team leads. The transition team will report to Dr. Peter Vaughan, deputy minister of Health and Wellness.
The following staff have been seconded to the Department of Health and Wellness as part of the transition team:
— Dr. Lynne Harrigan, vice-president medicine at Annapolis Valley Health
— Dr. Steven Soroka, vice-president medicine at Capital Health
— Kathy MacNeil, vice-president people at Capital Health
— Allan Horsburgh, chief financial officer, vice-president, operations and support services, IWK Health Centre
— Colin Stevenson, general manager Merged Services, formerly Colchester East Hants Health Authority
— Krista Wood, director of public relations, Colchester East Hants Health Authority
The team will work closely with government staff to recommend a new design for the health authority and plan for the transition process.
Transition team members will lead specialized working groups and gather input from health care workers, including clinical and community health professionals.
The team will recommend a new management structure for the provincial authority and its four management zones, working closely with the IWK and district health authorities. It will make recommendations to help the IWK and new authority share a vision of provincial health services for all Nova Scotians.
For more information, go to .

Health and Wellness

May 15, 2014 1:49 PM
Members of an advisory committee have been chosen to help develop the province’s first comprehensive strategy for people with dementia and their families. The members include a Nova Scotian who is living with dementia, a family caregiver, service providers, and health-care professionals.
“This is an important step towards our goal to enhance delivery of dementia care and treatment in this province,” said Health and Wellness minister Leo Glavine. “The dementia strategy will make the best use of support for those living with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers.”
Lloyd Brown, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, and Ruby Knowles, executive director of Continuing Care at the Department of Health and Wellness, are the committee co-chairs. Other committee members named today are:

  • Dr. Melissa Andrew, geriatrician, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax
  • Angus Campbell, executive director, Caregivers Nova Scotia
  • Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, clinical academic director, Geriatric Psychiatry and Seniors Mental Health Program, QEII Health Sciences Centre
  • Janice Chalmers, registered nurse, Northwood Home Care, Halifax
  • Krista Connell, CEO, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation
  • Sharon Davis-Murdoch, special advisor on Diversity and Social Inclusion, Department of Health and Wellness
  • Heather Fifield, member at large
  • Rev. Faye Forbes, member at large who is living with dementia
  • Patricia Harrington, manager, Continuing Care, Cumberland Health Authority
  • Lorna MacPherson, director, Services for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Community Services
  • Brenda Nicholson, director of resident care, Alderwood Nursing Home, Baddeck
  • Tony Prime, co-ordinator, Adult Mental Health, Mental Health, Children’s Services and Addictions, Department of Health and Wellness
  • Dr. Celina White, chair, Nova Scotia Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team, Amherst
  • Faizal Nanji, Department of Seniors
  • Bill VanGorder, Group of IX

“We’re off to a great start,” said Mr. Brown. “With the advisory committee in place, we are well-positioned to produce a meaningful strategy that will support persons with the disease and their care-givers.”
The dementia strategy, which was announced in January, aims to improve timely access to services, provide support for caregivers, and ensure people affected by dementia can remain independent for as long as possible.
Nova Scotia has the oldest population per capita in the country. Each month, about 1,000 Nova Scotians turn 65. As of July 1, 2013, Statistics Canada reports 166,519 Nova Scotians or 17.7 per cent of the province’s total population are 65 or older. The provincial dementia strategy will be delivered to the minister next spring.

Invitation for Applications

Group of business professionalsApplication Deadline: June 2, 2014
The Nominating Committee of the board of AWARE-NS, the Nova Scotia Health & Community Services Safety Association, is seeking applications for the following Board positions that will become available at the Annual General Meeting, June 19, 2014:

  • 1 for the Acute Care Sector;
  • 1 for facility based long term care (Department of Health and Wellness funded);
  • 1 for facility based long term care (Department of Community Service funded);
  • 1 for labour;
  • 1 homecare/home support;
  • 1 for community residential homes
  • 1 for frontline workers; and
  • Up to 2 members-at large

Our Vision is “Safe and healthy people; safe and healthy workplaces”. Our focus is prevention and our mission is to work with stakeholders and partners to promote and improve safety and health in health and community services workplaces.
Do you want to help make a difference by serving on our Board of Directors? We are seeking Directors to foster the growth and development of AWARE-NS and assist the Association in fulfilling its Vision
Specifically, we are looking for people who meet these criteria:

  • Board Governance experience in organizations( public, private, non-profit)
  • Critical, independent thinker with a strategic focus
  • An understanding of the health and community services sectors ;
  • A commitment to a strong workplace safety culture
  • Willing and able to commit the time necessary to prepare for and effectively participate in meetings
  • Demonstrated sense of community and individual responsibility and accountability.

It is anticipated that the Board will meet in person during working hours, at least four times per year and by teleconference as required, and that your commitment to the AWARE-NS Board will span at least two years. The meetings are estimated to require a full day of active participation and are of paramount importance. AWARE-NS will reimburse travel expenses if they are not covered through your sponsoring organization.
Newly appointed Board members will receive an orientation to the Board’s Governance process, the AWARE-NS Strategic Plan, and the Strategic Operational Plan.
If you would like to receive additional information about AWARE-NS please contact Valerie Macleod, Executive and Stakeholder Relations Coordinator via e-mail, or by phone (902) 832-3868, toll free (877) 538-7228.
Completed applications can be submitted to the attention of Valerie Macleod via [email protected]. Download the application.

Voting Members

Membership in AWARE NS consists of voting and non-voting members. Organizations involved in the health care and community services sector are eligible to become voting members and are entitled to have one representative who is the Official Designate of the organization and can attend and vote at any meeting of the members of the Society.


Organizations involved in the health and community services sector are eligible for voting membership provided that the organization:

  • Subscribes to the objects of the society;
  • Undertakes neither to seek nor accept remuneration for services performed as a member or under the auspices of the society;
  • Pays the annual membership fee (if any) prescribed from time to time by the directors

All voting members are eligible to identify one official designate, of legal age, who can attend and vote at any meeting of the members of the society.

Application Process:

  • The application form is completed by each Health or Community Services organization seeking . The application must be authorized by the CEO or Administrator and should include the form below naming the Official Designate of the organization.
  • The application is reviewed by the Board of Directors of AWARE-NS.
  • Organizations are admitted as voting members based on a vote of the AWARE-NS Board of Directors.
  • The names and addresses of approved voting members, along with their official designates, are entered into the register of members.
  • The Secretary maintains a record of official designates and changes thereto.
  • Aware NS notifies the organization of the outcome of the approval process.

Application Form

The application form is accessible through the following link

Key Points

Organizational membership in the Society ceases:

  • Upon the wind-up or termination of existence of the member
  • If the member resigns by written notice to the society
  • If the member ceases to qualify for membership in accordance with by-laws, or
  • If, by a vote of the majority of voting members of the society or a majority vote of the Directors of the Society at a meeting duly called and for which notice of the proposed action has been given, the member’s membership in Aware -NS has been terminated.