Cape Breton University and Nova Scotia Health promote health in Cape Breton through collaborative research and innovation

Cape Breton University and Nova Scotia Health are hosting a virtual health research conference on October 21 and 22, aiming to build capacity for health research and innovation partnerships in the Eastern Zone.

Coordinated by CBU’s Centre for Health Wellness and Extended Learning, the conference will be held over two half-days and feature a keynote presentation from Annette Verschuren, CBU Chancellor and Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NRStor Inc., who will share perspectives on driving innovation in Cape Breton.

Dr. Brian Goldman, emergency department physician and host of CBC’s award winning ‘White Coat, Black Art,’ will headline day two of the conference, introducing delegates to the concept of disruptive innovation and teamwork.

“The Centre for Health, Wellness and Extended learning was created to build health research capacity at CBU and to extend the reach of the university into the community” notes Dr. Jane Lewis, the Centre’s Executive Director. “This conference is an excellent example of doing just that, with stakeholders coming together to achieve more in partnership than either of us could have achieved on our own.”

Dr. Corrine McIsaac works with the Centre for Health, Wellness, and Extended Learning and is the conference chair. She says the event will showcase research initiatives that are underway and inspire new ideas for building research capacity.

“We believe that collaborative health research and driving innovation locally will be key in addressing some of our health care challenges within the Eastern Zone, says Dr. MacIsaac. “It is our goal during this conference to more fully understand health priorities within Eastern Zone and continue building strong research networks between CBU and Nova Scotia Health to focus on these priorities.”

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President of Research, Innovation and Discovery, and Chief Nurse Executive at Nova Scotia Health will speak on Friday morning about the importance of building research and innovation capacity in Nova Scotia.

“Our team is increasing research and innovation activity across the province, with a particular focus on Eastern Zone,” says Dr. Tomblin Murphy. “We have recruited staff to support more clinical trials and there are number of joint projects underway with Cape Breton University, including ones that will be featured during this conference. Increasing capacity and strengthening collaboration through partnerships leads to improvements in health care for patients and families.”

Dr. Kevin Orrell, CEO of the Office of Health Care Professionals Recruitment in Nova Scotia will deliver opening remarks, along with CBU’s Dr. Richard MacKinnon, Vice-President, Academic and Provost.

The line-up of presenters includes Dr. David Anderson, Dean of Medicine, Dalhousie University, and Principal Investigator, Maritime SPOR Unit (MSSU), who will discuss a strategy for patient-oriented research in Cape Breton.

Nova Scotia Health researchers and academics from CBU and other universities from across the province will share their research projects. A total of 18 presentations will be delivered over the two-day conference, including research on healthy and happy aging, clinical trials in Cape Breton, Mi’kmaw health and wellness, and best practices in pressure injury prevention and care.

The conference is free to attend, with the complete agenda and registration available on the conference website at