Conference speaker bios

The Tides of Change: Moving Primary Care Nursing Forward

May 2 nd , 2020
Marriott Hotel, Halifax, NS
Speaker, Biography and Presentation Title

Keynote Speaker:
Jonathon Fowles, PhD, FCSEP, CSEP-CEP, CSCS
Fellow of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Chair, National Advisory Council Exercise is Medicine Canada
Scientific Lead, Exercise is Medicine Nova Scotia
Clifford Shand Chair in Physical Education
Director, Centre of Lifestyle Studies,
Professor, School of Kinesiology, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Dr. Jonathon Fowles’ work through the Centre of Lifestyle Studies (CoLS) has focused on
implementation of physical activity guidelines into clinical practice. He has spearheaded
initiatives with many national and regional health organizations to increase capacity for physical
activity counseling by health care providers. Dr. Fowles worked with the Diabetes Care Program
of Nova Scotia in 2008 to develop the “Physical Activity and Exercise Toolkit” and developed
workshops to train diabetes care providers on PA counseling in clinical practice. The resource
was subsequently adopted by Diabetes Canada in 2011 as a required educational component of
quality diabetes care, and he and his colleague (Dr. Chris Shields) completed over 50 workshops
and trained over 1250 diabetes educators nationally in 2012-2014 to improve PA counseling in
diabetes care practice. The results of this initiative have been detailed in the literature (Dillman et
al,.CJD 010, Shields et al. CJD 2013, Fowles et al., CJD 2014a,b; Gray et al., CJD 2017).
Dr. Fowles then applied this learning from the national dissemination with Diabetes Canada to
develop workshops and was the lead faculty presenter for the workshop program “Physical
Activity Counseling and Exercise Prescription in Clinical Care” with Exercise is Medicine
Canada. This nationally accredited workshop program was delivered in every province to more
than 500 physicians and 1200 allied health professionals from 2015-2017. The outcomes of this
work on clinical practice were evaluated and published (O’Brien et al., APNM 2017; Fowles et
al., APNM 2018; O’Brien et al., CJEP, 2018).
Dr. Fowles was also on the Steering Committee for Canada’s PA Guidelines in 2011, and was
the scientific lead for the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology “Physical Activity Training
for Health (PATH) manual” (2013). He is a Master Examiner for CSEP exercise professional
certifications (1 of 8 nationally) and is one of eight fellows nationally for CSEP.
Dr. Fowles is an accomplished researcher and presenter. He has more than 50 scholarly
publications and has delivered over 120 workshop and 130 invited presentations on the areas of
exercise and lifestyle. For example, he was a highlighted symposium speaker at the Primary
Medicine Conference in Toronto Ontario to over 1200 physicians and other health professionals

in each of 2015, 2016 with additional presentations to many national organizations including the
Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine, the Canadian Diabetes Association,
Canadian Rheumatology Association, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, the
Canadian Chiropractic Association and Dietitians of Canada to name a few.
Dr. Fowles has received numerous recognitions for his efforts as a Fellow of the Canadian
Society for Exercise Physiology (2018), the Lawson Foundation 60 th Anniversary Award of
Excellence (2017), the Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia Dedicated Leader Award (2016)
and the CSEP Professional Standards Program Recognition Award (2015).
Dr. Fowles is currently the Chair of the National Advisory Council for Exercise is Medicine
Canada, a multi-disciplinary initiative advocating for physical activity as key component for the
prevention and treatment of chronic disease in the Canadian Health Care system.

Conference Speakers

Cheryl A. Smith RN, MN, NP, DNP
Title #1: RN Prescribing in Nova Scotia
Title #2: Deprescribing-Polypharmacy in The Elderly-The Nurse’s Role

Dr. Cheryl Smith is a Nurse Practitioner whose primary focus involves seniors’ health both in the
community and long-term care settings.  Work interests include chronic disease management,
wound care, polypharmacy and deprescribing, as well as reducing health risks through clinical
leadership and education.  Professional affiliations include the Canadian Deprescribing Network,
Suggested Optimization of Medications for the frail Elderly (SOME) Polypharmacy, Nova
Scotia College of Nursing, Nurse Practitioner Association of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Health
Ethics Network, American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Certification Board, and member of
the Expert Advisory Panel for Long Term Care reporting to the Nova Scotia Minister of Health
and Wellness.  In her 40-year career, Cheryl has taught multiple topics to diverse health
providers with a concentration on Care of Older Adults, Pharmacotherapeutics for Prescribers,
Polypharmacy, and RN prescribing.
Dr. John R. Fraser
Title #3: Cannabis -Info for Nurses
Dr. Fraser is a family physician at the North End Community Health Centre in inner city
Halifax. He works at the Pain Management Unit at the QE II Health Sciences Centre
treating patients with pain and addiction co-morbidities and Direction 180, a methadone
maintenance treatment facility. His professional interest is providing services to
marginalized populations with concurrent disorders of addiction, chronic pain and mental
illness, and the development of collaborative, inter-disciplinary, community based
models to enhance services for these clients.

Brenda Hewitt MN NP IBCLC
Title #4: Baby Friendly Well Baby Appointments: Assessment, Teaching and Support in
Newborn-Family Care
Brenda Hewitt is a Nurse Practitioner (Family/All Ages). Brenda is originally from Nova Scotia.
She attended Dalhousie University undergraduate nursing program and has worked in a variety
of clinical settings during her 20+ year nursing career. Most recently she practiced for six years
as an EHS Life Flight Nurse and ten years as the Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist at the IWK
Health Centre. She has been a board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) since 2010. In 2016,
Brenda completed the Nurse Practitioner Master of Nursing program at Dalhousie University,
deciding to focus her work in primary care the community. She enjoys working with a wide
variety of patients, but has interests in the areas of infant, children and women’s health. She aims
to provide comprehensive and compassionate care, bringing together medical knowledge and the
values and skills of nursing practice.
Title #5: Nova Scotia Cancer Screening Programs
Panel presentation: Breast, Cervical and Colon Cancer Screening Updates to Nova Scotia
Speakers to be announced closer to conference date
Dr. Christa Mindrum
Title #6: LGBTQ updates
She is a family physician who works at the Red Door Youth Sexual Health Centre in Kentville.
Dr. Mindrum graduated from Memorial Medical School in 2003. She is an advocate for LGBTQ
youth and improved response to sexualized violence.
Janice Knapp RN, Diabetes Nurse Educator
Title #7: Using the Diabetes Clinical Practice Guidelines to Screen and Care for your
Janice has been a Diabetes Nurse Educator for 30 years, starting at the IWK Diabetes Centre in
Halifax and in the last 14 years she has worked at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville. She has
worked with children, adults and pregnant women with diabetes including intensive insulin
management with extensive experience in insulin pumps. Janice has also volunteered with
Diabetes Camps in Nova Scotia for 30 years helping to recruit, educate, supervise and work with
Health Care professionals and Campers who attend these camps to ensure the campers have a fun
and safe experience. Janice has received several Awards nationally from the Canadian Diabetes
Association for Outstanding Dedication and Outstanding Achievement. In 2008 Janice received
An Excellence in Nursing Award from the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia. In 2015
Janice was the Canadian Diabetes Educator of the Year.

Tracy Dempsey RN Nurse Continence Advisor
Title #8: The Role of the Nurse Continence Advisor in Women's Bladder Health Issues
Tracy graduated from nursing school at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario in 2001
before moving back home to Halifax Nova Scotia, where she practiced as an RN on a General
Medicine/Respiratory floor and in long term care. In 2005, Tracy completed her Perioperative
Nursing course through the PONP program at the QE2 Health Sciences Centre Hospital and
worked as a Perioperative Nurse for the QE2 and then moved to the IWK Woman's Site
Operating Room. Tracy then went on to work in the Women's Ambulatory Care Clinic an the
IWK.  In 2015, Tracy completed the Nurse Continence Advisor Program offered through
McMaster University and has since been working as a Nurse Continence Advisor in the
Women's Bladder Health Clinic at the IWK. Outside of work, Tracy enjoys the outdoors;
boating, gardening and kayaking. Most of all, Tracy likes to spend as much time as possible with
her two daughters Stephanie and Fallon and her husband Todd.