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5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

Executive Leadership Team

Dr. Krista Jangaard - President & CEO

Krista Jangaard Dr. Krista Jangaard is the IWK Health Centre's President & CEO. Krista first joined the IWK in 1996 in the division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. In 2008, she assumed the role of Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and in 2010 became the Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Division Head. In addition, Krista is an associate professor at Dalhousie University in the department of pediatrics and the department of obstetrics and gynecology.

Krista completed her medical training at Dalhousie University where she also later earned a Masters of Health Administration and was awarded the Glenn Moore Memorial Award and the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations Award for Academic Excellence. Krista is a mother of two, lives in Halifax with her husband and dog, and is an avid gardener.


Steve Ashton

Steve Ashton Steve Ashton is the Vice President of People and Organization Development at the IWK Health Centre. Prior to joining the IWK in September 2008, he spent seven years in human resources leadership roles with Bell Aliant, and twelve years as a partner and executive search consultant with one of Canada's leading HR consulting firms. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Hon.) in Psychology and a Masters of Business Administration from Dalhousie University. He also completed Harvard University's program on Leading Change and Organizational Renewal in 2007.

As a volunteer and supporter of his profession, Steve has held leadership roles on regional and national HR associations, taught graduate-level courses at Dalhousie University, and is a frequent public speaker on HR issues. He is also an active community volunteer, working with Discovery Centre, Shad Valley and other organizations focused on youth, innovation, science and technology. Steve and his wife Jennifer are proud parents of daughter, Maya (who arrived at the IWK two weeks before he did).


Dr. Doug Sinclair 

Dr. Doug Sinclair

Dr. Doug Sinclair is the IWK's Vice President, Medicine, Quality & Safety. Doug has over 30 years of experience working in academic health sciences centres as a clinician, teacher and leader. Previously, he was chief of emergency medicine at the IWK as well as chief of emergency medicine at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre. Most recently, Doug held the role of Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer at St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto. 

A graduate of the University of Toronto, Doug has received numerous distinction and research awards including: Fellow with the International Federation of Emergency Medicine and the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians President's Award in 2013. He is involved with multiple boards and professional associations and is currently chair, Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK), part of a National Centre for Excellence program dedicated to improving pediatric emergency care for patients and families who live outside tertiary care pediatric centres.  

Originally from Burlington, Ontario, Doug has spent 25 years working and living in Nova Scotia. He and his wife, Paula, have three children, and they are now proud grandparents. He is also an avid cyclist and kayaker.

Dr. Frank MacMaster 

Dr. Frank MacMaster

Frank MacMaster, PhD is the IWK's Vice President, Research and Innovation and a Professor of Psychiatry at the Dalhousie School of Medicine. Dr. MacMaster joins us from the University of Calgary where he was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine and was also the Scientific Director for the Provincial Addictions and Mental Health for Alberta Health Services.

Originally from Nova Scotia, MacMaster studied at Saint Mary's and Dalhousie universities and did his training at the IWK in mental health. He holds a PhD in neurobiology and anatomy and was a postdoctoral fellow in brain imaging in child psychiatry at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. His research focuses on using brain imaging to better understand and apply brain stimulation in pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders.

Frank and his wife, Jacqueline, along with their youngest of three children are thrilled to be back in Halifax. Frank is also an avid musician.

Gina Connell

Gina Connell Gina Connell is the IWK Health Centre's Chief, Communications, Engagement & Change. Gina graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University's public relations program and is an Accredited Business Communicator. Before joining the IWK team in September 2015, she held the role of Senior Vice President at m5 Marketing Communications. A seasoned, award-winning communications professional, Gina's previous roles include directing communications teams at Dalhousie Medical School, m5pr, Extreme Group, the Greater Halifax Partnership, and the Halifax International Airport Authority where she oversaw communications during the 9-11 crisis. Outside of her career, Gina is on-going supporter of her community and is currently Co-Chair of 100 Women Who Care Halifax. Gina lives in Halifax with her husband, Craig, their son, Cole, and their dog, Charlie

Jen Feron

Jen Feron Jen Feron is the IWK's General Counsel. Jen attended Dalhousie University, completing a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelors of Laws and a Masters of Health Services Administration. Additionally, she has expanded her skills through several certificate and designation programs, including the Canadian Corporate Counsel Certified In-House Counsel Designation. During her studies, Jen was the recipient of awards recognizing her academic achievement and community involvement and she continues to stay involved with Dalhousie through teaching and student advisor roles. Through her studies, Jen first joined the IWK as an administrative resident in 1995. Prior to joining the IWK in 2006, Jen was in-house legal counsel for an energy company and in private practice.




Dr. Annette Elliott Rose

Annette Elliot Rose

Dr. Annette Elliott Rose is the IWK's Vice President, Clinical Care & Chief Nurse Executive. Annette holds a Master of Nursing and PhD in Nursing from Dalhousie University and is an adjunct faculty member in the Dalhousie University School of Nursing.

Most recently, Annette served as acting Regional Director, Programs and the Director, Professional Practice Support with Indigenous Services Canada, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Atlantic Region.

With nearly twenty years as a registered nurse, she has practiced in various primary care and community care settings. Annette has been recognized for her work receiving a number of awards and scholarships including a CIHR Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Primary Health Care Research.

She serves on committees and initiatives such as the Canadian Association of Perinatal, Women's Health Nurses, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia. She is also a national Board Director for the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON).

Annette lives in Hammonds Plains with her partner, Chris and their daughter, Georgia.

Amanda Whitewood

Amanda Whitewood

Amanda Whitewood is the IWK's Chief Operating Officer. Amanda is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and a holds the peer-awarded designation of Fellow for her contribution to community and the profession. She is a Chartered Director (C.Dir.), and a Certified Health Executive (CHE) with more than 25 years of leadership experience in healthcare, post-secondary education and government.

Amanda was Vice President of Sustainability and CFO for Capital Health in Halifax from 2008 to 2015. She has also held vice presidential roles with Mount Saint Vincent University and the Nova Scotia Hospital. Amanda earned her CMA (now CPA) designation in 1998 and currently serves as Vice Chair for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA).

An active volunteer, Amanda serves on the Board of ISANS (Immigration Services Association of Nova Scotia) and the Canadian Medical Association's wholly owned subsidiary, Joule Inc., and is their Chair of Audit, Finance and Risk Committee. A native of British Columbia, Amanda grew up in Montreal and currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


LeeAnn Larocque

LeeAnn Larocque is the Director of Children's Surgical, Emergency and Rehabilitation Services at IWK Health, leading the children's Health program health leaders and interprofessional team members to excel in service delivery for children and youth of the Maritime provinces. She has extensive experience in pediatric inpatient and ambulatory surgical, emergency, and perioperative services. Throughout the last 27 years, LeeAnn has held various leadership positions which has provided an extensive knowledge base in health care, including the interim VP of Quality and Patient Safety. 

LeeAnn has over 24 years of clinical, operations and administrative experience in both acute care pediatrics and mental health and addictions portfolios. She has also led various redevelopment projects within IWK Health from concept, to design, to full integration within the organization. From inpatient, ambulatory care, support area spaces, and currently the IWK Emergency Department, projects of all sizes have proven that service delivery improvements, staff, patient, and family voice are the key to success.

LeeAnn holds a Master's in Health Administration from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. LeeAnn is certified through the Canadian College of Health Leaders, and currently is an active member of the Bluenose Chapter Executive. In 2019, LeeAnn received her national certification in pediatrics as well as the Board Award for Leadership from IWK Health. In 2022 LeeAnn also obtained her certification as a surveyor for Accreditation Canada.

She has been intriguingly involved in Pandemic planning, leading the implementation of the Pandemic Assessment Centre as one of the provincial sites in Nova Scotia. Her greatest strengths come from her background in pediatrics, operations, quality/patient safety, and mental health and addictions, as well as her ability to make those around her feel quickly at ease. LeeAnn currently an active representative for IWK Health with Children's Healthcare Canada and has been a member since 2009. With her passion for health care and leadership, you will always find her looking for the next adventure.


Mary Lynn VanTassel

Mary Lynn VanTassel is the IWK's Acting Chief Operating Officer. Mary Lynn is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with 25 years' experience in financial planning, budgeting and reporting.  Prior to joining the IWK in August 2013, she spent 12 years in various financial leadership roles with McInnes Cooper. 

Mary Lynn holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Accounting, from St. Francis Xavier University.  She earned her Chartered Accountancy (now CPA) designation in 1999 while working at Grant Thornton LLP.  It was at Grant Thornton LLP where her love for the IWK began, as she was assigned to the IWK's annual financial statement audit.

Outside of her career, Mary Lynn has supported her community through involvement with minor hockey and at her children's schools.  She is currently a Board Member of the Nova Scotia Chapter of FMI, an association which provides professional development opportunities to members of the public sector.  Mary Lynn and her husband, Bruce, have two sons and a dog.