Capital Health looks back on 14 years

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 10:19am

By Brooke Stephen

Capital Health has gone from being an organization facing difficult questions about itself and its service to a world leader in many areas of care.

Since its formation in 2001 due to provincial health district reorganization, the health authority has taken steps to create a more diverse workforce, developed a healthier environment for patients and employees and focused on innovations that will continue to benefit patients, clients, community and staff long into the future.  

Capital Health’s final leaders’ meeting was held recently in Halifax. Senior executives as well as directors and managers from various departments took the regularly scheduled meeting time to celebrate accomplishments over the past several years.

Former president and CEO Chris Power, who completed her tenure as CEO on Feb. 28, opened the meeting by acknowledging the challenges she faced when she first accepted the position in 2006 and the tough questions she and her team asked of patients, the public and staff, which uncovered the “inconvenient truths” about its status at the time.

The meeting was an opportunity to recognize how far Capital Health has come. Spokespeople from Rehabilitation, Human Resources, Emergency and the Core Lab, among others, each spoke for a few minutes about the achievements of they are most proud.

Focusing on patients was a common theme shared among those who spoke at the meeting. Randi Munroe, director of Supportive Care and Rehabilitation Services, spoke about the construction that has recently begun on a therapeutic pool at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre, which will be completed within a year. This initiative was a result of working groups that were created with former and future patients and families in the department’s quest to improve patient care.

Jane Pryor, director of Operations Support, described the partnership between Food and Nutrition Services and Healthy Workplace, which led to healthier offerings at restaurants and retail outlets at Capital Health. She also noted the partnership between Efficiency Nova Scotia and the Department of Health, which resulted in a reduction in the organization’s annual utilities costs by $1.5 million.

Capital Health has received three international awards for citizen engagement in recent years. Geoff Wilson, director of Patient and Public Engagement, described how other health organizations now look to Capital Health for guidance.

Bruce English, director of People Services, spoke about efforts to match the organization’s workforce profile with that of the diverse patient and public population we serve. Capital Health hired about 215 people from diverse groups last year, and continues to strive for a workforce that is more representative of our community. Lynn Edwards, director of Primary Care, described several  initiatives, including an upcoming refugee clinic and Project Brotherhood, a free program that aims to improve access to health care for African Nova Scotian men.

Chris Power thanked everyone who has  worked hard to make Capital Health a place she is proud to have led and worked.

Power, known for her love of music, ended the meeting by saying, “Never stop singing your story or song, and I will always love you.”

What has made you proud to work at Capital Health in your time at the organization? We want to hear from you. Send your stories to