Newsletter Winter 2023 | Issue 4

Leadership Message

What was a very busy summer has continued into the fall and winter months for Trauma Nova Scotia, with more projects (and people) being added to our program in late 2022 and early 2023.

On October 17th, we officially launched our Inpatient Trauma Consult Service at the QEII. Trauma RNs and Physicians have been working with inpatient teams to optimize and standardize trauma patients' care across many units at the Halifax Infirmary and the Victoria General Hospital. In this edition of our newsletter, we share initial feedback from practitioners, families, and patients about our service. We have initiated a longitudinal 2-minute survey and successfully collected hundreds of responses in the first three months of the service. We are also closely tracking trauma patient outcomes and will share this with stakeholders to ensure everyone is updated on our progress.

Our Trauma Program Webinar Series is once again up and running, with almost 200 practitioners joining us monthly as we have local and national experts update us on best trauma care practices. Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses are in full swing with multiple offerings this year. Our Provincial Education Lead, Breanne Gillis, and our Medical Director of Education, Dr. Adam Harris, have been very busy planning a new Provincial Education Program. Dates will be announced later this month for Regional sites in the province, with the aim to visit them all in the next year.

Site visits in the Western Zone were finished prior to the Christmas break, and we will be traveling to other zones once we hit the spring weather. The perspectives that we receive from visiting regional and community hospitals are helping to capture what the current Trauma System in Nova Scotia needs on a provincial scope. We anticipate there will be many opportunities to standardize and improve care in all centers, and we look forward to hearing from local experts.

2023 will be an exciting year for our team, and we are happy to have our partners in Nova Scotia alongside us, dedicated to improving Trauma Care in Nova Scotia.


Dan Cashen, Director/Co-Lead

Robert Green, Senior Medical Director

NS Health Trauma Program            



We are happy to announce that Dr. Adam Harris has joined the NSH Trauma Program as our new Medical Director of Education. Dr. Harris has been an Emergency Medicine Physician since 2018 and joined the NSH Trauma Program as a Trauma Team Leader in 2022. He is passionate about medical education. He works as PIER Unit Head for third-year medical students, is an ATLS and AIME instructor, and has been previously involved with the Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC). 

Having worked at IWK and in rural Nova Scotia, Dr. Harris is familiar with the challenges of caring for trauma patients outside the QEII and looks forward to strengthening relationships across the province while providing new and innovative trauma education – including the relaunch of the Provincial Trauma Course.  

Joining Dr. Harris is our new Provincial Education Lead, Breanne (Bree) Gillis. Bree comes to us from the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Department, where she worked most recently as the Clinical Lead. Bree brings a wealth of experience working as part of an interdisciplinary team caring for trauma patients. Her passion for knowledge sharing and focus on best practices make her an excellent addition to the Trauma Program.

Bree has quickly started working with rural sites across the province to identify education needs and has begun developing our new Provincial Trauma Course. We are so excited to have her join our team.

In preparation for our upcoming Virtual Follow-up Clinic, launching in the spring, we are happy to have Emily Tucker join the program as the clinic's Booking Clerk. Emily is also joining us from the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Department, where she will remain as a part-time Booking Clerk, in addition to her new role with Trauma Nova Scotia.

Emily brings over 5 years of leadership experience and over 10 years of customer service experience, having worked/volunteered in various departments within the IWK Health Centre and with Nova Scotia Health. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading and watching baseball.

Welcome to the team, Emily!

Trauma Team Leaders

Welcome to our New TTLs

o Ryan Henneberry: Dr. Henneberry has been an emergency medicine (EM) physician in Halifax since 2004. He is the founder and director of Emergency and Critical Care Ultrasound (ECCU) Halifax, as well as the CCFP(EM) Program Director for Dalhousie Family Medicine.

o Laura Wade: Dr. Wade is an emergency medicine (EM) physician who joins us from Ontario and brings experience in trauma care from when she held the role of Resident Trauma Team Leader (rTTL) as part of her EM training. She is also an advocate for physician wellness and has experience working in not only Halifax, but also at the Valley Regional and Hants Community hospitals.

Special Thanks to Outgoing TTLs

o Chad Coles: Dr. Coles is a recognized national leader in orthopedic trauma care and has been a TTL since 2004. Although he is stepping away from the TTL role, Dr. Coles will continue to be an integral member of our team, managing complex orthopedic trauma care.

o Janet MacIntyre: Dr. MacIntyre joined our group in 2011 but is stepping away from the TTL role after 11 successful years. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with her to optimize care for our major trauma patients at the QEII.

Trauma Education

Nova Scotia Health continues to provide trauma-related educational opportunities for healthcare professionals across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI.

The interdisciplinary trauma webinar series continues to provide monthly virtual education. Webinars in November and January were attended by hundreds of healthcare providers from a variety of disciplines across the province, including NB and PEI. A recording of all webinars is posted on the TNS website for viewing as well.

ATLS Courses continue to be offered and are well-attended. Upcoming courses in March and May are full. An upcoming course in June does have available seats. These ATLS courses have drawn attendance from Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes. Fall ATLS dates will be announced soon.

Trauma Nova Scotia is currently in the beginning stages of developing a provincial trauma course to offer to healthcare providers of multiple disciplines across the province, in regional and community hospitals. Trauma Nova Scotia identifies and recognizes that there has been a gap in the availability and accessibility of in-person simulated learning over the past 4 years. We are excited to bring an interactive, and simulation-based Trauma Course to healthcare providers across the province.

Regularly scheduled Trauma Simulation at the QEII ED has resumed. rTTL Bootcamps are available for Residents specializing in Emergency Medicine and General Surgery.

Upcoming Education Opportunities

2023 Course Dates

Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS®) teaches participants the basic skills necessary for timely management of traumatic injury.


March 3-4, 2023 *Full

May 5-6, 2023 *Full, except for very limited refresher and auditor spaces.

Jun 16-17, 2023

Fall 2023 - Dates TBD

To register or add your name to the waitlist, please follow the link below:

ATLS Registration


Coming in 2023

Trauma Nova Scotia is working on developing a simulation-based, provincial trauma course that will be offered to healthcare providers of multiple disciplines across the province, in regional and community hospitals.

2023 Trauma Webinars

Trauma Webinars are CME accredited presentations for multidisciplinary groups involved in the care of the trauma patient.


March 28, 2023

April 25, 2023

May 30, 2023


Currently offered via GoToWebinar.

To register please contact Bree Gillis.

Additional dates and topics will be posted on the NSH Trauma Program Website.

For any inquiries regarding trauma education, please contact Bree Gillis at:

Nova Scotia Trauma Registry

Our Nova Scotia Trauma Registry (NSTR) captures data on all major traumas from hospitals across the province and from the NS Medical Examiner Service. 

The information gathered in the registry is used for surveillance, research, and to improve the quality of patient care.

For more information or to submit a data request, contact NSTR Coordinator Karen Ssebazza at

Trauma Team Activations - Fall & Winter 2022/23

Criteria for Trauma Team Activation (TTA) include physiologic, anatomic, mechanistic, and logistic considerations. Patients who meet TTA criteria are managed by a multidisciplinary team led by a Trauma Team Leader (TTL) and Resident TTL (rTTL). Separate trauma teams manage adult (age 17+) and pediatric trauma patients at the QEII HSC and the IWK Health Centre, respectively.

Trauma Team Activations by mechanism of injury

(September 2022 - January 2023)

Trauma Research

Ongoing Research Activities

Trauma Nova Scotia will be presenting 7 research studies at the Trauma Association of Canada (TAC) 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting and Conference to be held at the Westin Edmonton Hotel on April 20-21. These studies include epidemiological research involving data collected from the Nova Scotia Trauma Registry on burn-related major trauma, pediatric major trauma, and rural trauma in Nova Scotia. We are also presenting research on the newly implemented Trauma Consult Service at the QEII, injury outcomes across Canadian trauma systems, and definitions for sex, gender, race and ethnicity in Canadian trauma registries.

Other research activities currently in progress include a survey of burnout among Trauma Team Leaders and members of the Trauma Consult Service following implementation of the QEII Trauma Consult Service, as well as a quality survey of satisfaction with the care provided by the Trauma Consult Service. Later this year, we will start evaluating the outcomes of trauma patients admitted to the QEII before and after implementation of the Trauma Consult Service.

We are continuing to work on local research projects investigating pediatric major trauma, traumatic cardiac arrest, ATV-related trauma, and rural trauma in Nova Scotia. We are also collaborating with Dr. Alexa Yakubovich from the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University on a health system study of the Interprovincial Violence Against Women (IPV) Project.

Trauma Spotlight - Program Updates

Congratulations to Bree Gillis on receiving the Making Waves Award!

Bree Gillis is the 2022 recipient of the Making Waves Award of Distinction for her work as Clinical Leader and Registered Nurse in the Halifax Infirmary emergency department.

The Making Waves Award of Distinction recognizes an exceptional Nova Scotia Health team member in their consistent and focused delivery of outstanding service to patients, families and their colleagues. This award is presented in recognition of the highest level of contribution and achievement to an individual who is highly regarded by their peers and patients.

Read full article here

TNS Trauma Care Distinction Awards

Mobilization Champions

This award is presented to healthcare providers who go above and beyond to help with difficult-to-mobilize trauma patients.

  • Glen Dani
  • Morgan Hawkes
  • Erin Piercy
  • Brigid Werle

Resuscitation Champions

This award is presented to healthcare providers who help with difficult resuscitations and/or handling multiple resuscitations of our trauma patients simultaneously, in a professional, calm manner.

  • Beth Bourque
  • Shashwat Desai
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Patricia Marks
  • James Nunn
  • Adam Southcott

Community Trauma Heroes

This award is presented to individuals from the community who provide exceptional, life-saving, medical care while waiting for paramedics to arrive on scene.

  • Cst. Charles Baribeau
  • Cst. Dana Fraser
  • Cst. Neil MacKenzie
  • Cpl. Holly Murphy
  • Cst. Madeleine White

Teamwork Champions

This award is presented to healthcare providers that effectively liaise with the Trauma Consult Service to provide excellent care to trauma patients.

  • Jess Ells

Inpatient Trauma Consult Service - Quality Survey

We launched our inpatient Trauma Consult (TC) Service at the QEII Health Sciences Center on October 17, 2022, to facilitate dedicated acute care for major trauma patients who require hospital admission. The TC Service consists of a Physician and Nurse who assess and coordinate with inpatient services on the care of trauma patients.

Since being launched, the TC Service has coordinated with inpatient services to provide comprehensive care to 97 major trauma patients. During this time, we have asked patients, families, and healthcare providers to complete a quality survey to evaluate how we are doing and provide feedback. Thus far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive (see below).

Nova Scotia Health

Trauma Program

Room 1-026B, Centennial Building

1276 South Park St., Halifax NS B3H 2Y9

Tel: (902) 473-7157

Fax: (902) 473-5835


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