IWK Annual Report 2017/2018

Better Together

Leadership Message

The past year has been one of challenge and change at the IWK Health Centre, but also one of resiliency, accomplishment and celebration. Our 2017-18 annual report, Better Together, is a recognition of our employees, physicians, volunteers and partners who always put patient care and experiences at the centre of everything they do.

Working together with these vital stakeholders, we will lead the way in building a better future for those we serve. With the support of our patients and families, we have continued to focus on ways to integrate our clinical research expertise with patient care at the bedside to achieve better health outcomes that we all know are possible.

From engaging our patient partners in co-designing care and care spaces, to seeking their advice on quality improvement projects, we have committed to view our services and redevelopment projects through the eyes of patients and their families.

Our staff and physicians have played an active role in improving access to care and the processes in which we deliver our services through an enhanced quality improvement program and the implementation of our Solutions for Patient Safety agenda.

Together with our staff, patients, families, redevelopment teams and donors, we researched and designed the IWK’s new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The first phase of this world-class facility opened in April. This unit’s leading-edge technology and private rooms, allowing families to stay with their babies, is proof that we are better together.

In the year ahead, we will be working hard to strengthen awareness of the IWK’s work throughout the region, particularity our expertise in women’s health services. We are inspired by our patients, families and health care partners who have challenged us to take an even more active role in women’s and pediatric services in communities throughout the region.

By believing in being “Better Together” and working with our community, we will continue to deliver on our mission to passionately pursue a healthy future for women, children, youth and families.

Our Highlights

Milestone Moments

Nurses Leading Nurses: It Starts with Me

The IWK Nursing Professional Practice Strategy rolls out across the organization with a focus on engaging front line nurses. Nurses Leading Nurses: It Starts with Me incorporates input from a broad array of sources including more than 150 front line nurses.

First Phase of Critical Care Redevelopment

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) North, the first phase of the full NICU redevelopment is completed. The largest and most complex redevelopment project ever undertaken at the IWK, features leading-edge technology and 19 private rooms, allowing families to stay with their babies.

New Spectrum App

The IWK Spectrum App was developed to provide clinicians in the IWK community with local guidelines for management of common infectious syndromes. Developed by the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, Pharmacy, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, it provides better patient outcomes, including fewer adverse events and decrease in antimicrobial resistance related to antimicrobials.


Dr. Jason Berman and Dr. Conrad Fernandez of the IWK join PROFYLE with other top scientists, clinicians, research centres, cancer charities and foundations from children’s hospitals across the country to create new hope for young people who need it most. Terry Fox PROFYLE is a pan-Canadian project to give children, adolescents and young adults who are out of conventional treatment options another chance to beat their cancer.

Early Labour Assessment Unit

The renovated Early Labour Assessment Unit (ELAU) opens providing exceptional care and services during labour and delivery. The new unit is located near the main women's entrance and consists of a triage area, private rooms and a common comfortable lounge area for pregnant women and their support person.

Ronald MacDonald Family Room

The Ronald McDonald Family Room relocates to the Goldbloom Pavillion allowing families to enjoy some of the familiar comforts of home while being just steps away from their child receiving medical care. At over 2000 square feet, the Halifax Family Room includes three overnight sleeping rooms, kitchen and laundry facilities, a play area, a wellness room, and a comfortable lounge with TV and Internet access.

Pharmacy Residency Program

IWK announces its pharmacy residency program, one of only three to be offered in a Canadian standalone children's hospital. The residency program allows specialized pharmacists to focus on women and children patient populations.

Proudly Raising the Mi’kmaq Flag

The IWK becomes the first health centre in Nova Scotia to permanently raise the Mi’kmaq flag, honouring the culture and traditions of Indigenous populations and partnering with them to improve health.

By the Numbers

  • 4635 Babies Delivered

    Babies Delivered

  • 30,578 Emergency Visits

    Visits to Children's Emergency Department

  • 1000 LifeFlight Transfers

    LifeFlight Transfers

  • 1000 Outpatient Clinic Visits

    Outpatient Clinic Visits

  • 1000 Pediatric Surgeries

    Pediatric Surgeries

  • 1000 Women's Health Surgeries

    Women's Health Surgeries

  • 1000 Mammograms


  • 1000 Acute Inpatient Admissions

    Acute Inpatient Admissions

  • 1000 Learners


  • 715 Approximate Staff, Volunteers and Learners

    Approximate Staff, Volunteers and Learners Involved in Research Initiatives

Our Team

IWK Staff and Physicians

We are proud of the work we do and of each other. Our teams include employees, researchers, learners and contractors, working in conjunction with physicians, scientific and affiliated staff. With over 3,000 staff and 326 physicians, our strong team supports patients and family needs in four provinces, through multiple sites as we extend our reach into our communities.

IWK Foundation

As the fundraising partner of the IWK Health Centre, the IWK Foundation and its donors are champions of excellence in women’s and children’s health. Maritimers have helped build the IWK and through their continued generosity it has evolved as a world-class facility for our region’s women, children, youth and families. Last year, donors contributed over $15 million to the IWK’s most urgent care priorities.

Volunteer Resources

Through Volunteer Resources, more than 800 community members offer their time and passion to a variety of programs throughout the IWK. Our volunteers partner with paid staff in implementing the mission and vision of the health centre while playing a key role in our efforts to passionately pursue a healthy future for women, children, youth and families.

Patient and Family Partners

The Family Leadership Council (FLC) and the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) were established over ten years ago and both have grown to be a driving force in ensuring the IWK is continuously developing our practices related to the principals of Patient and Family Centered Care: respect and dignity, information sharing, participation and collaboration. Today there are over 90 Patient & Family Faculty Partners across the IWK working as co-creators in an effort to ensure we are developing structures and processes that best reflect the principles of patient and family centered care.

IWK Auxiliary

Since its inception in 1946, the Auxiliary has been supporting the IWK Health Centre’s mission. For over 70 years, the Auxiliary has provided funding for research, the purchase of non-medical and medical equipment, and various capital campaigns. Indeed, the Auxiliary’s presence is evident everywhere throughout the IWK Health Centre. Since 1946 the Auxiliary has given over 8.6 million dollars to the IWK Health Centre.

Our Community

Chef Larry Bergeron and the NSCC Boulanger and Baking Art students deliver their 16th year of gingerbread creations.
Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais presented “Leadership in times of Healing”.
As part of African Heritage Month, we held a drumming performance lesson, led by Wayn Hamilton.
Employees of the IWK Tim Hortons pose after another successful Camp Day.
Child Safety Link celebrated 15 years of keeping injury prevention a priority.
The Halifax Mooseheads bring joy to the children every time they visit the IWK.
Nova Scotia Power workers helped the IWK kick off the holiday season at the 38th annual Tree Lighting Celebration.
The IWK Choir performs at tree lighting.
Petting zoo enjoyed by all at the annual IWK Auxiliary Kermesse.
Halloween is one of the best days for our patients at the IWK, as teams put their energy into fantastic decorations and costumes.
Celebrating STARS week (a Special Time to Appreciate and Recognize Staff) with the team from Adolescent Intensive Services.

Governance and

Board of Directors

  • Karen Hutt – Chair
  • Dr. Krista Jangaard
  • Krista Grant
  • Dr. Paul Hong
  • Lynn Clark Irving
  • Dr. Dawn Jutla
  • Catherine Macpherson
  • Jennifer Mills
  • Steven Moore
  • Dr. Gavin Morrison
  • Kara Paul
  • Robbie Shaw
  • Ed Simonds
  • Paul Smith
  • Ronald E. Smith
  • Marsha Sobey
  • Thane Stevens
  • Cheryl Stewart-Walsh
  • Lyne St-Pierre-Ellis
  • Kevin Stoddart
  • Dr. Darrell White

Executive Leadership Team

  • Dr. Krista Jangaard – Interim President & CEO
  • Steve Ashton – Vice President, People and Organization Development
  • Dr. Tony Armson – Interim Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Dr. Jason Berman – Interim Vice President, Research, Innovation & Knowledge Transfer
  • Gina Connell – Chief of Communications & Public Affairs
  • Dr. Gerard Corsten – Interim Vice President Medicine
  • Jen Feron – General Counsel
  • Mary-Ann Hiltz – Vice President, Quality & System Performance
  • Jocelyn Vine – Vice President, Patient Care & Chief Nurse Executive
  • Amanda Whitewood – Chief Operating Officer

Senior Leadership Team

Comprised of members of ELT and the following:

  • Dr. Tony Armson – Chief Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Dr. Alexa Bagnell – Chief Psychiatry
  • Maureen Brennan – Director Mental Health & Addictions Program
  • Stacy Burgess – Director, Children’s Medical, Critical Care & Rehabilitation Services
  • Matt Campbell – Director, Strategy & Performance
  • Dr. Gerard Corsten – Chief Surgery
  • Ryan Embrett-Baboushkin – Director, People & Organization Development
  • Alyson Lamb – Director, Nursing & Professional Practice
  • LeeAnn Larocque – Director Children’s Surgery, Emergency & Critical Care, Children’s Health Program
  • Michelle LeDrew – Director, Women’s & Newborn Health Program
  • Dr. Andrew Lynk – Chief Pediatrics
  • Dr. Shannon MacPhee – Chief Emergency Medicine
  • Dr. Gavin Morrison – Chair Medical Advisory Committee
  • Mary Lynn VanTassel – Director of Finance

The IWK Health Centre wants, encourages and welcomes patients and families to give us feedback, and we are currently working on new ways to make this easier.

Please be advised that the IWK has a dedicated feedback line and e-mail address available for patients and families to submit feedback at anytime. The toll free number is 1.855.495.2273 (IWK CARE) or the Halifax local number is 902.470.7435. The e-mail address is feedback@iwk.nshealth.ca.