You are here

Join us for a speaker event and panel, featuring six change makers representing stakeholders working toward health equity in rural Nova Scotia.

This Public Speaker Event and Panel will feature six change makers representing different stakeholders working towards health equity in rural NS. The overall goal of the event is to bring the local Antigonish and StFX communities together to learn about the gaps in health equity in rural NS and how different stakeholders are creating innovative solutions to complex problems. We believe this event will start an important conversation. Raising awareness of gaps in health equity helps to further understanding, reduce stigma, and break down barriers by encouraging citizen engagement.

The learning goals of this event are to:

1. Identify key problems and challenges associated with achieving health equity in rural NS

2. Consider current gaps in rural health

3. Describe current innovation, impact, and role of creative solutions in achieving health equity

4. Continue the discussion into the community Rural settings present unique challenges in achieving health equity; therefore, innovative approaches with multiple stakeholder engagement are necessary to improve health for all.

This Public Speaker Event and Panel will feature six change makers representing different stakeholders working towards health equity in rural NS.

Format: This event will include six focused presentations (~12 minutes each) followed by a panel (~40 minutes) moderated by


Dr. Megan MacGillivray is a faculty member at StFX in the Interdisciplinary Health program where she teaches about social determinants of health, disability, and aging. Her research focuses on improving health among underrepresented groups including those with disabilities, rare health conditions, and the aging population. Dr. MacGillivray has previously planned conferences hosted by the Disability Health Research Network. As the Health faculty liaison, she is supported by two StFX students in organizing this event, to ensure that interests of students are kept in mind while planning the content, speakers, and the format.

Sophie Bezanson is pursuing a BASc in Health at StFX. She is a member of the StFX Health Society and is Co-VP of conferences and events. Sophie is passionate about health equity and has a keen interest in global health governance, as well as international human rights law. Her career goal is to work in the international public health sector for the United Nations. Sophie has been busy inviting and corresponding with speakers.

Bridget Keedwell is pursuing a BASc in Health at StFX majoring in Biomedical Health. She is a member of the StFX Health Society and is Co-VP of conferences and events. Bridget hopes to pursue a Master of Public Health with the goal of working in Health Promotion. She is passionate about healthy living and mental health & addictions. Bridget has been working hard on the speaker panel.


Dr. Ajantha Jayabarthan is a family physician and the Director of Coral Shared-Care Health Center (Halifax). Her work involves virtual community health data analysis with a virtual mapping tool called “Health Geo-View”, which she created to help physicians access socioeconomic data and other patient information to customize treatment plans and healthcare.

Dr. Amy Grant is a Senior Health Policy Researcher at the Maritime SPOR Support Unit (Halifax). She leads and supports mixed-methods research into all facets of patient-oriented health service and policy, working closely with partners in health research across the Maritimes.

Dianne Oickle is the Knowledge Translation Specialist at the National Collaborating Centre for the Determinants of Health (Antigonish). She is a registered dietician with a background in reproductive and children’s health in rural communities. Dianne also has a depth of experience working with community engagement and mental health promotion.

Nnamdi Chiekwe is the Team Lead at the Nova Scotia Brotherhood, Nova Scotia Sisterhood, and Community Health and Wellness Centre in North Preston, East Preston, and Dartmouth. His work involves providing culturally appropriate primary medical care, as well as health and wellness services for men and women of African descent in NS.

Sarah O’Toole is a Community Navigator with the ‘Community Navigator and Physician Retention Services Association’. She works closely with St. Martha’s Regional Hospital (Antigonish) to support physician attraction and recruitment, and develops integration and retention strategies for physicians and their families in Antigonish.

Sharon Rudderham is the Director of Health Transformation at Tajikeimɨk Mi'kmaw Health and Wellness (Halifax). Her work focuses on providing high-quality, culturally appropriate, and holistic health care for Mi'kmaw people living in NS.

Open to all members of the Antigonish community.

No Registration Required. Refreshments will be provided.

Social Media Image: