Board of Directors

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Dr. Jane Henderson, Chair

A Dalhousie Medicine graduate, Jane completed postgraduate specialty training in Anesthesia in Ottawa and then worked with McGill University at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Presently she is an Associate Professor with Dalhousie and a Staff Anesthesiologist at the QEII where she also heads the Fellowship Program, chairs the Department HR Committee, is a member of the Department’s BOD and Executive Committees and serves on the Central Zone Drugs and Therapeutics Committee.

During her years of practicing hospital-based specialty medicine Jane recognized that not all patients are best served in an acute care setting. A few years ago when her much loved aunt in Ontario became ill she was moved to a hospice where she died peacefully and pain free surrounded by her family. Seeing how different and comforting her aunt’s experience was compared to many of those dying in hospital, Jane made it her goal to do what she could to help bring hospice facilities to Nova Scotia.

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Dr. Rob Horton, Interim Vice-Chair

A palliative care physician with the QEII Integrated Palliative Care Service and Associate Professor with the Division of Palliative Medicine, Dalhousie University, Rob Horton has 20 years’ experience as a front-line provider of hospice and palliative care in hospitals and in people’s homes.

Upon graduating from Dalhousie medical school in 1992, he worked as a rural family doctor prior to completing additional training in palliative medicine in 2003. A member of the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine, he has introduced palliative care content throughout the medical education curriculum and continues to teach palliative care to medical students, resident doctors and other health professionals. He served previously on the board of directors from 2008-2013.

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Paul Bent, Treasurer

Paul is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) with over 37 years’ experience delivering professional services to a wide variety of businesses, charitable organizations and individuals. Paul obtained an Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D) from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business to supplement his professional practice expertise and leadership responsibilities. Outside of Grant Thornton Paul has a served in a number of charitable capacities beginning in the early 1980s.

Paul is an active member of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce where he has chaired the Provincial Relations committee and he currently heads up the Taxation sub-committee. Paul became affiliated with the Hospice Halifax Steering Committee in February 2015 and joined the Board in September 2015.

Paul is married to Margaret and they have three grown children and a growing list of grandchildren. Paul and Margaret live alternately between their home in Dartmouth and seasonal property in Cavendish. Paul announced his retirement from Grant Thornton in 2015.

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Liz Crocker, Secretary

Liz Crocker, MEd, is a businesswoman, teacher and writer. She is especially passionate about improving the quality and safety of all health care interactions.

Liz has served as Chair of the Canadian Institute of Child Health, and President of the Association for the Care of Children’s Health. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC), an Honorary Trustee of the IWK Hospital Foundation, and a Board Member of the Health Quality Council for the Province of Saskatchewan. She has worked as a Simulated Patient and Clinical Teaching Associate with the Dalhousie School of Medicine. Liz established the Child Life Program at the IWK Children’s Hospital and was the first chair of the IWK Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.

As a businesswoman, Liz is one of the founding owners of Woozles, the oldest children’s bookstore in North America, co-founder of Frog Hollow Books (sold in 1987) and co-founder of a number of environmental stores called P’lovers (sold in 2014).

In 2006, Liz co-authored Privileged Presence, is a collection of stories about experiences in health care with a focus on communication, collaboration, and compassion. A second edition was published in 2014. She also edited a book entitled, The Healing Circle: Reclaiming Wholeness on the Cancer Journey, Integrating Science, Wisdom and Compassion, which was published in May 2010.

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Gina Brown

A graduate of Mount St. Vincent University, Gina Brown has worked for 28 years as a marketing and communications professional in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Birmingham, England. She’s held senior leadership roles in the fields of health and wellness, film, music, museums and education.

Following the last two years as the Executive Director of Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon, she recently launched her own consulting firm Brainstorm Communications.

A life-long learner and fitness enthusiast, she participates in numerous athletic activities. In addition to her board role with Hospice Halifax, she volunteers with Red Cross. She also provides mentorship to students and immigrating professionals.

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Cynthia Dorrington

Cynthia Dorrington is the owner of Vale & Associates Human Resource Management and Consulting Inc. Established in 2004, Vale & Associates is a boutique consulting firm specializing in providing strategy and advisory services as well as training and development for organizations. As President Cynthia does consulting work with small to medium-sized organizations across various industry sectors with companies experiencing such things as challenges with mergers/acquisitions, business growth, culture change and/or succession planning. Working in areas such as organizational strategy, people strategy, diversity and inclusion, change management, governance, organizational assessments, supplier diversity, performance management, project management, HR advisory services, training and development as well as team building and effectiveness, Vale & Associates has been able to provide consulting services to a number of clients locally, nationally and internationally.

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Robert Hanf, LL.B., M.Div.

Bob Hanf was appointed Executive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and Regulatory Affairs, Emera Inc., effective August 2016. In this role, Bob is responsible for leading the strategy and alignment for teams across Emera in the areas of stakeholder and regulatory relations, safety, environment, communications and government relations.
Since joining in 2002, Bob has held progressively senior roles within the Emera group of companies, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Nova Scotia Power Inc. Prior to that, Bob served as Chief Legal Officer for Emera in Halifax, Executive Chairman of Light & Power Holdings in Barbados and President and COO at Bangor Hydro Electric Company in Maine.

Bob grew up in Yarmouth and earned his law degree at Dalhousie University. He worked in Western Canada’s energy sector before returning to Nova Scotia in 2002. Bob serves as Chair of the IWK Health Centre Board and sits on the Dalhousie University Board of Governors. He is a member of the Canadian Electricity Association, the Energy Council of Canada, the Institute of Corporate Directors (Atlantic Chapter) and recently completed his Masters of Divinity at the Atlantic School of Theology.

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Marilyn Hicks

Marilyn was born in rural Nova Scotia but spent most of her early working years as a registered nurse in various hospitals across the country, primarily working with children. She returned to Nova Scotia in the early 1980s and received an MBA from Dalhousie University.

After graduating from Dal, Marilyn started a new career in Human Resources and has over 16 years of experience at all levels and in all areas of HR. Marilyn took early retirement in 2007 and has been volunteering with not-for-profit organizations since. She started volunteering with Feed Nova Scotia late in 2007 and also volunteered on the HR committee of the Red Cross’ Disaster Response Team for two years. Marilyn joined the board of directors for SHYM (Supportive Housing for Young Mothers) in 2009 and chaired the board during its 2013 transition to a program of the YWCA.

Hospice is important to Marilyn because she lost a loved one to cancer a few years ago. It would have made his last days so much better to be in a place “like home” rather than a hospital bed in an acute care facility. She became a member of the HR committee of Hospice Halifax in 2014 and is looking forward to the exciting times ahead as the Hospice dream becomes a reality.

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Betty Lacas

A graduate of St. FX, Betty worked in education as a teacher, guidance counsellor and consultant. She helped create and then became the artistic director of the Nova Scotia International Theatre Festival in the early 80’s. Betty’s theatre life included acting, directing and producing. She has been a Board member for Symphony Nova Scotia, the YMCA, Neptune Theatre, Nova Scotia Drama League and was on the national Board of the Canadian Child and Youth Drama Association. Theatre and Culture have always been a huge part of Betty’s life and she continues to support local groups as a mentor and volunteer. For many years she has worked as a Clinical Teaching Associate at the Dalhousie Medical School which melds her education and theatre interests. Betty has been fortunate to have close relationships with a mother and a father-in-law who lived to be 97 and 101 respectively. Their journeys taught Betty much about aging and dying and she hopes that these lessons will assist her as she works for Hospice Halifax as a Board Member.

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Peter MacDougall

Peter MacDougall is currently the Health Services Director for Clinical Services in the Central Zone of the Nova Scotia. Prior to this appointment Peter was the Health Services Manager for the district palliative care program and thoracic surgery at the QEII. Peter graduated from the city’s Victoria General Hospital school of nursing in 1984. He holds a bachelor of science in nursing from Saint Francis Xavier University and a Master’s in Health Studies from Athabasca University. Having completed many clinical, leadership and managerial courses, he has been able to achieve a high level of excellence within primary and acute care as a staff nurse, educator, supervisor, manager, and Director. His commitment to nursing spans a broad spectrum, from practice to senior administration, as well as regulatory involvement. Peter is a role model to his nursing colleagues and advocates for nurses to advance in clinical and leadership roles. Peter completed his term as President of the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia in June 2014. His continued commitment to the nursing profession is still clearly evident.

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Bob MacKinnon

Bob MacKinnon is the President & CEO of the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corporation (NSPLCC), and serves on the board of directors of the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) and the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation (ILC). Over his career, Bob has held a variety of roles in operations management, finance, accounting and sales that have positioned him as a strategic and innovative leader, and to become NSPLCC’s CEO in November 2011.

Bob is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), holds a Bachelor of Commerce (B. Comm.) degree and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Saint Mary’s University, completed the Directors Education Program (DEP) through the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the Institute of Corporate Directors, and is an Institute Certified Director (ICD.D). Outside of the office, Bob is active with his young family and in the community.

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Tena Taylor

Tena is a graduate of Dalhousie with a degree in pharmacy and has been a practicing community pharmacist for over 25 years. She is also a certified diabetes educator. Currently Tena owns the Shoppers Drug Mart on Mumford Road in Halifax where she regularly works in the pharmacy. In this environment, she has much experience providing support for families and clients dealing with end of life. In 2016 she experienced the loss of her mother and the challenges of palliative care from a personal perspective. This experience has strengthened her interest in being involved in Halifax Hospice.

Tena has extensive board experience at the national level, as a director and officer of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. She sits on a multidisciplinary committee with ISANS, who work to break down barriers for internationally trained Pharmacists. She also has a special interest in facilitating quality pharmaceutical care for refugees.

Tena lives in Dartmouth with her husband Greg and has two boys in University.

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Glenna Thornhill

Glenna has been a long-time supporter of Hospice Halifax. She has been coordinator of the Angel’s in Memory campaign and the Hike for Hospice in addition to other volunteer roles.

Since 1994 Glenna has been a Community Consult Nurse with the Palliative Care Service in Halifax. In this role she has seen many patients and families who would have benefited from residency in a hospice for their end of life care. Glenna looks forward to being part of the team to move the vision of residential hospice in Halifax to reality.

Glenna graduated from the VGH School of Nursing and later in her career did a post-RN Bachelor of Nursing at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has worked as an RN for over 35 years. Before beginning work on the Palliative Care Unit when it opened in 1989, she worked in both Intensive Care and Labour and Delivery.

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Jim Torbert

In addition to a degree in architecture from Auburn University, Jim holds a Masters of Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University. Jim has worked with architectural firms across North America and has been working specifically in the area of health services since the 1980s. He specializes in master programming, master planning, functional programming, role studies, feasibility studies, program interpretation, site selection and post occupancy evaluations.

Jim has developed master programs, master plans and functional programs for over 75 facilities across the Atlantic Provinces and in Trinidad. He has worked with hospitals, community health centres, collaborative emergency centres and collaborative practice centres. Jim developed the facility programming for the Hospice in Kentville, NS and just completed a feasibility study for the Hospice proposed for Amherst, NS.

Jim is the former chair of the Canadian College of Health Services Executives, Bluenose Chapter and has been a guest lecturer at Dalhousie University (School of Health Care Services Administration), Mount Saint Vincent University (Facility Management), and The Technical University of Nova Scotia (School of Architecture).

Staff members

Wendy Fraser, CEO
Wendy grew up in Montreal and settled in Toronto after attending York University, where she majored in psychology. She has been working in the not-for profit sector for over 25 years.

Wendy moved to Halifax in 2002 and has since held leadership positions at a variety of not-for-profit programs. Wendy was the Program Director at Phoenix Centre for Youth from 2002 to 2006. From 2006 to 2012, she was the Executive Director of Supportive Housing for Young Mothers (SHYM). During that time, Wendy oversaw the building construction and program development of SHYM and eventually oversaw the merger of SHYM with YWCA Halifax.

Erin Raine, Executive Assistant
Erin was born and raised in Nova Scotia and is a graduate of the University of King’s College. In addition to working in the non-profit sector for over 10 years, she spent several years as owner/operator of a small business.