You are Invited to Attend

AWARE-NS Annual General Meeting

We would like to extend to you an invitation to attend the AWARE-NS AGM

Thursday, September 25th, 9:30-11:30 am

 Being held at Northwood Ivany Place,

123 Gary Martin Drive, Bedford, NS

Guest Speaker: Kevin Kelloway PhD,

Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health Psychology

“Leadership Qualities that Support Safety in the Workplace” 


Register Now Via Email: or

by calling 902 832 3868 ext. 101


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 .

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 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.


Occupational Health Program Development Coordinator, Term Position May 1, 2014- March 31, 2015

AWARE-NS is the safety association for the health and community services sectors in Nova Scotia. There is a broad consensus that as an industry, we must do more to promote workplace safety and well-being. AWARE-NS wants to make a difference by working to engage everyone around this shared agenda for change through leadership, education, training, support and advocacy.
We are seeking an Occupational Health Program Development Coordinator who will be a key contributor in the design, development and implementation of the OHS program and educational course materials. The successful candidate will manage online learning content and support website communication methods and materials for current and future needs. Timely solutions will be identified, developed and delivered that responds to stakeholder needs, as well as assisting and supporting the current work already underway. Data collection, management and analysis are of top priority which will inform our programming needs and our measure of success.
Reporting to the Occupational Health & Safety Specialist, the Occupational Health Program Development Coordinator will work collaboratively with the internal AWARE-NS team and external stakeholders and industry partners in support of establishing programs and services that can make a difference in promoting a culture of safety for health and community services workers.
The position requires someone with a high degree of OHS knowledge and expertise, and practical ‘hands on’ experience and understanding of the front line health/community care work environment. An entrepreneurial spirit, creative mind and the ability to work independently and with a strong team environment to succeed is a must.
The successful candidate will possess a minimum of 1-2 years’ experience in an OHS work context; graduate level education from a relevant program and recognized educational institution; excellent writing skills and knowledge of web based applications, practical work experience in health, continuing care or community services delivery; a clear understanding of occupational health and safety best practices and legislation; and experience incorporating adult learning principles and applications.
If this challenging opportunity meets with your career objectives, please forward your resume in confidence to 835-3445 or send by e-mail to For more information, please contact Heather Matthews @ 832-3537 or by email Completion closes April 11, 2014.

To Our Valued Stakeholders

On Behalf of the AWARE-NS Board of Directors

Susan DempseyThe Board of Directors would like you to join in welcoming Susan Dempsey, into the role of interim Executive Director commencing February 3, 2014. Over the next six months, she will share her passion and commitment to health and safety with the AWARE-NS team.
Susan comes to AWARE-NS from one of our valued stakeholders, Northwood, where she currently holds the position of Senior Director Retirement Living & Commercial Services. In role with AWARE-NS she will assist in implementing the review recommendations and developing a strategic plan for the future using her knowledge of health and safety issues and system needs. She looks forward to developing collaborative partnerships and positive outcomes with our stakeholders while engaging the staff by creating a coaching culture and providing support.

continuous_improvement_iconBy: Millie Colbourne, Vice Chair, AWARE-NS
Over the past few months the Board of Directors of AWARE-NS has been engaged in a review of our organization and its role in serving the needs of the Health and Community Services Sector in Nova Scotia. The Board would like to thank all those who participated in our stakeholder review, your contribution is greatly appreciated.
As a result of the organizational review and stakeholder’s input, AWARE-NS will be undergoing some changes. Over the next six months, we will be:
1. Transitioning to a new service model, shifting to a front-line focus which reflects the needs of our stakeholders
2. Fine tuning our sector focus, specific to health and safety issues faced by home care/home support, long term care and residential care workers.
3. Changing the Governance Model of the Board of Directors.
These changes are part of the natural evolution of a stakeholder-driven organization like AWARE-NS as it builds on its accomplishments to date and continually adjusts to the needs of those it serves. As our plans develop and we have greater detail, we will keep you informed. We look forward to continuing to work with you to address the health and safety needs of this sector.
Just as organizations review their priorities from time to time, so do the people that lead them. Our current – and founding – CEO, Mary-Lou MacDonald has made the decision that the time is now right to move on and make way for someone else to guide the organization through its transition and on to the next phase of its development. Mary-Lou departs after nearly five years of establishing our foundation, building strong strategic relationships, bringing partners and stakeholders together around our shared agenda for change, and building important capacity within the organization. Mary-Lou was an instrumental leader in the development of AWARE-NS and we thank her for her tremendous efforts.
Any questions you may have about the new course we have set for the organization should be directed to the Chair of the Board of Directors of AWARE-NS, Kathy MacNeil.
Millie Colbourne
Vice- Chair, AWARE-NS

Dear AWARE-NS Stakeholders,
As you may know, AWARE-NS was created in 2009 as a provincial not-for-profit registered society. Its mission is to work with industry stakeholders and partners to promote and improve safety and health for workers in health care and community services workplaces. The Department of Health and Wellness has commissioned an operational and stakeholder review of AWARE-NS with Stylus Consulting / Wayfinder Consulting selected as the independent consulting firm to conduct the review. The goal is to inform how to effectively provide quality programs and services to the health and community services workforce that are strategic, sustainable, accountable, and supported by the industry/sector.
Your feedback is critical. You are invited to take a few minutes to complete the following on-line survey.
There are 14 questions, and the survey can be completed in under 10 minutes. Please be sure to press the ‘Submit’ button at the end of the survey. Please note that all responses will remain confidential and individual responses will not be identifiable. The feedback received will be consolidated into an aggregate data file for purposes of analysis and interpretation.
If you wish to provide feedback beyond the survey, please contact me directly at:
phone: 902-457-2433
mobile: 902-233-2306
Thank you for participating. We value your feedback and your time, and look forward to hearing from you.
Susan E. Smith, BSc, MBA, FCCHL, CHSRF EXTRA Fellow
AWARE-NS Project Lead
Stylus Consulting/Wayfinder Consulting Incorporated
86 Main Avenue
Halifax, NS B3M 1A7
tel: 902.457.2433
fax: 902.443-6098

Deadline: Friday September 13, 2013

The Nominating Committee of AWARE-NS, the Nova Scotia Health and Community Services Safety Association, is seeking nominations for the following Board positions that have become available at the Annual General Meeting, on June 20, 2013:

  • 1 District Health Authority representative;
  • 1 Community Care representative; and
  • 1 Front Line Worker representatives

Click To View Board Recruitment Notice
Click To Apply

cosp logo
In an effort to build on the good work currently taking place in the sector, AWARE-NS has designed a strategy which involves the implementation of a standardized health and safety management system (HSMS) for home care/ home support organizations in Nova Scotia. This initiative is being facilitated through a Communities of Safe Practice approach and will include a customized, standardized and progressive Certificate of Recognition (COR) process aligned with the WCB’s proposed rate incentive program.


View Guiding Principles

View Logic Model

JOHS Effectiveness Audit

The Community of Safe Practice (COSP) Program serves to establish formal peer to peer safety support networks and is designed to make prevention an integral part of health and community services workplaces in Nova Scotia. The COSP program recognizes organizations that make the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses a daily habit by building it into their current management systems. It is based on the premise that an integrated workplace health and safety program will promote organizational excellence. A standardized HSMS is an integrated set of organizational elements involved in a continuous cycle of planning, implementation, evaluation and continual improvement, directed toward the reduction of occupational hazards in the workplace.