The Council is the governing board of the College. Its authority is provided for in the Nova Scotia Medical Act. It is responsible for setting strategic direction, developing policies, and providing oversight of the College’s performance.
The Council includes physician members elected by physicians and public members appointed by the College through a nominations process. Nova Scotia’s medical school holds a Council seat, and medical learners are represented as observers. Council meets four times per year. Under the legislation, the College has committees made up of Council members, medical professionals, and public representatives who provide oversight and guidance on relevant issues. The College’s Council and committees aim to provide a well-balanced and equitable approach to the regulation of medicine.
Members of Council 2019-2020
Dr. Martin J. Gardner – President & Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine Appointee
Dr. Martin J. Gardner practices general cardiology with a specialty in cardiac rhythm disorders, electrophysiology studies, catheter ablation, and genetic heart disorders. He has practiced at the QEII Health Sciences Centre (previously at the Victoria General Hospital) since 1981 and is a professor of medicine at Dalhousie University.
He received his Medical Doctorate from Dalhousie University in 1976 and did two fellowships: one in cardiology at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) in 1980 and an electrophysiology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Philadelphia in 1981. In 2003, he completed a sabbatical in genetic heart disorders with Dr. William McKenna in London, England.
Dr. Gardner has four children, one of whom is a pediatrician, and eight grandchildren.
Dr. Gardner has been a Council member since 2014 and is currently the College’s President and serves as the member appointed by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. Dr. Gardner is a member of the College’s Executive, Finance and Audit, Professional Standards, Nominating, Registrar Review, Reinstatement, Registration, and Registration Policy committees.
Dr. Alyson Holland
Dr. Alyson Holland is a Pediatrician, practicing since 2017. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree at Dalhousie University in 2006, and a Masters in International Relations at the University of Cambridge in 2007. She obtained her MD from Dalhousie University in 2011, and completed her residency in Pediatrics with a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine in 2017. Her primary practice is in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the IWK Health Centre. She also has Community Pediatrics practices at the North and East Preston Community Health Centres, and the Newcomer Clinic in Halifax.
Dr. Holland’s clinical and advocacy interests focus on vulnerable and marginalized populations, including children who arrive in Canada as refugees, children in foster care, and children experiencing complex trauma, including maltreatment. The intersection of comprehensive care and acute, emergency care for these priority populations is a specific focus for Dr. Holland.
Dr. Holland has been involved in medication education, including teaching clinical skills to undergraduate medical students at Dalhousie University and serving on the Residency Progress Committee for the Pediatric Emergency Fellowship program. She was the grateful recipient of the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Teacher of the Year in 2018 for outstanding commitment to teaching Emergency Medicine Residents, and the Stacey Schwartz Award in 2018 and 2019 for excellence in undergraduate pediatric emergency medical education. She teaches and presents provincially and nationally in her areas of expertise, including global health, pediatric refugee health, and child maltreatment.
Dr. Holland served on the Executive of the Canadian Pediatric Society Section on Global Child and Youth Health from 2014 until 2017, and the Doctors Nova Scotia Policy and Health Issues Committee from 2014 until 2018.
Dr. Holland is mom to a vibrant pre-schooler and two dogs. She and her husband are imminently expecting another child. Together, they hike, camp, kayak, ski, and travel, experiencing as much of their home province of Nova Scotia, and the wider world, as they possibly can.
Dr. Holland was elected to council in 2019, and currently sits on the Investigation Committee.
Dr. Andria MacAulay
Dr. Andria MacAulay is a family physician practising in Truro with a particular interest women’s, children’s and adolescent healthcare. Dr. MacAulay graduated from Mount Allison University with a BSc (Honours with Distinction) in 1997 and attended Dalhousie University Medical School where she graduated with her MD (with Distinction) in 2001. She completed a Rural Family Medicine Residency through McMaster University in Northern Ontario and obtained her Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) in 2003. She was awarded her Fellowship in the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2014.
Dr. MacAulay has an interest in medical education and continuing medical education. Since 2006, she has worked as a Regional Coordinator of the Dalhousie Community Hospital Program. She also serves as a local coordinator of the Colchester East Hants Health Authority Grand Rounds program. Previously, Dr. MacAulay was involved with the Medical Education Cabinet at the Colchester Regional Hospital and was their Coordinator for Undergraduate Family Medicine.
Dr. MacAulay has been an examiner and marker for the College of Family Physicians. In 2014, she began writing objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) cases for the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination Part II and has since contributed to the National Assessment Collaboration’s Practice Ready Assessment (NAC PRA). She currently sits on the NAC PRA Therapeutics Decision Making Test Committee.
Dr. MacAulay first became involved with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia in 2005 working as an examiner and later a case writer for the Clinician Assessment for Practice Program (CAPP). She later became one of the Chief Examiners for this program until its discontinuation in 2015. In 2013, Dr. MacAulay began working as a Physician Advisor on the College’s Practice Improvement Committee. She has also acted as a Practice Assessor for the College and has been actively involved in the development of the College’s new Physician Peer Review – Nova Scotia program (PPR-NS).
Dr. MacAulay resides outside of Truro with her husband and three busy children in their woodlot with a dog, cat, rabbit, fish and chickens. She volunteers with many of her children’s activities including at school, the swim team and Girl Guides. Dr. MacAulay enjoys hiking, traveling and camping with her family.
Dr. MacAulay was elected to Council in 2017. She currently sits on the Professional Standards committee.
Dr. Minoli Amit
Dr. Amit received her MD from Dalhousie University in 1977 and her Royal College certification in in 1981. After a year spent working at the IWK in Halifax, she moved to Antigonish where she continues to practise as a consultant pediatrician.
Dr. Amit has had a long-established interest in the provision of specialty medical services to the regional/rural parts of this province. With colleagues in Antigonish, she established a Section of Regional/Rural Specialists within Doctors Nova Scotia which she continues to Chair. Over the years, she has brought the perspective of Rural Specialist services to many tables including the Board and many committees for Doctors Nova Scotia; the Board and Executive of the Canadian Pediatric Society; and the National Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, where she also served on the Executive as VP Fellowship Affairs. She has always engaged actively with multiple local and provincial groups as well, including in areas of community health, reproductive/NB care and pediatric services. For 3.5 years she also served as the Site Medical Lead for NSHA at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, which is her home base. With over 37 years of practise in Antigonish, she has participated in numerous committees, working groups, hospital/district and now Zone-based MAC/Credentials committees. In these roles, she had numerous interactions with other players regarding credentialing, licensing needs, and medical staff support issues.
At this time she continues a full-time clinical pediatric practice based in Antigonish with outreach to many clinics in the district served by St. Martha’s. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Pediatric Operational Group for NSHA. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie and provides supervision for Core Pediatric Rotations for Dalhousie’s medical undergraduates, as well as electives for residents and students.
Dr. Amit has been an active volunteer within her community with assorted organizations over the years. Her interests have included the arts, community beautification, various youth groups, and healthcare-based services. She is married to Dr. John Hamilton, Ophthalmologist, and has three adult children. One has just returned to her hometown as a newly-minted Ophthalmologist. She enjoys music, travelling the world, gardening and her two grandchildren.
Dr. John Ross
Dr. John Ross is an emergency physician at the Halifax Infirmary working to develop a focused practice in changing how emergency care of the frail and elderly is delivered. He serves as medical director of Praxes Medical Group, a private sector telemedicine provider to remote sites around the world, and as a provincial advisor on emergency care to the Deputy Minister of Health.
Dr. Ross completed medical school at the University of Western Ontario in 1986, a rotating internship at North York General Hospital in 1987 and his residency in emergency medicine at Queens University from 1987 to 1990. He also received his Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC) in emergency medicine.
Dr. Ross is also a professor of emergency medicine at Dalhousie University with a focus in acute airway management and was a visiting professor in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for one to two months a year from 2011 to 2014 as part of a capacity-building emergency medicine training program. He also works as a trauma team leader, teaching rural trauma team development courses throughout the Maritimes.
Married for nearly 30 years, Dr. Ross has two sons. In his free time, he is involved in a number of sports, enjoys travel and escaping to his cottage at the mouth of the LaHave River.
Dr. Ross has been a Council member since 2015. He currently sits on the Assessment and Investigation committees.
Dr. Umesh H. Prabhu
Dr. Prabhu has been practising Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology at Yarmouth Regional Hospital since 1992. His areas of medical interest include management of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Dyspepsia.
Dr. Prabhu has previously served in many administrative roles including Chief of Department of Medicine at Yarmouth Regional Hospital and other hospital committees. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Doctors Nova Scotia from 2006 to 2009.
After completing his residency training in Internal Medicine at Dalhousie University and obtaining Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) in Internal Medicine, he began his current staff position at Yarmouth Regional Hospital in 1992.
Dr. Prabhu is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. He is actively engaged in the teaching of family practice residents belonging to Dalhousie University South West Nova family practice residency training program.
Dr. Prabhu has two children, one of whom is currently a medical student at Dalhousie University. His interests include travelling and visiting Europe in particular to enjoy culture, architecture and history.
Dr. Marni Goodman
Dr. Marni Goodman is a family physician in the Annapolis Valley area. Born and raised in New Brunswick, she then completed medical school at University of Toronto and her residency at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario before returning to the Maritimes.
Her family practice has been in New Minas since 2003. She delivered babies for the first 13 years of her career and has worked in after-hours clinics, surgical assisting, and the emergency department in Kentville. Her current clinical work outside of her family practice includes primary care for patients with disabilities living in a long term care facility, as well as hospitalist work at Valley Regional Hospital and Digby General Hospital.
Dr. Goodman teaches elective students and residents as an assistant professor of Dalhousie University. She organizes continuing education and family medicine meetings as NSHA Family Practice Network Lead, to help improve the delivery of primary care and support family doctors in Kings and Annapolis Valley.
Every two years, Dr. Goodman is part of a team of physicians who creates a gala event for charity. The Physician’s Philanthropic Fund has raised over $260,000 since its inception to be donated to many local charities. Dr. Goodman lives with her three children and three laying hens. She enjoys trail walks, runs and bike rides, as well as travelling the world, and tasting food and drinks made all over Nova Scotia.
Dr. Peter MacDougall
Dr. Peter MacDougall is an anesthesiologist at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre where his areas of focus are in safe prescribing of medications especially opioids and other controlled substances, addictions medicine and the development of patient safety initiatives.
Dr. MacDougall completed medical school at McMaster University in 1993 and his residency in family medicine at McMaster University from 1995 to 1997. He returned to residency in 2002 and completed his FRCPC in Anesthesiology in 2005 followed by a dual fellowship in Thoracic Anesthesia and Chronic Pain from 2005 to 2006.
Dr. MacDougall is also a professor with the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine at Dalhousie University and is a member of the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society.
Dr. MacDougall and his much more talented wife have a son and daughter at Carleton University and St. FX respectively. You may occasionally see him running down the streets wearing his large red knee brace. He is doing this for exercise, not because he is being chased. He may also be spotted at St. FX Womens rugby games cheering for his daughter and lugging about a much too large camera.
Dr. MacDougall was elected to Council on May 29, 2020.
Dr. Michael Clory
Bio coming soon.
Dr. Elias Fares – Maritime Resident Doctors Appointee
Dr. Elias (Leo) Fares is a PGY-3 resident doctor in Anesthesiology at the Dalhousie University. He completed his Medical Doctorate (MD), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmacology, and Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Microbiology at Dalhousie University.
Dr. Fares has held several leadership positions at the local and national level. He currently serves as Vice-President at Maritime Resident Doctors, a Board Director representing the Maritimes at Resident Doctors of Canada, and is Co-Chair of the Resident Doctors of Canada Training Committee. He has represented Resident Doctors of Canada on committees of national stakeholder organizations including the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada.
In his spare time, he enjoys exercise, golf, fly-fishing and travel.
Dr. Mary Oxner (PhD) – Past President
Mary Oxner, Doctor of Philosophy (Phd), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is currently an Associate Professor at the Gerald Schwartz School of Business at St. Francis Xavier University. She joined the School of Business in 2000 following PhD studies at the University of Alberta to develop and teach various courses in the accounting and finance disciplines. Dr. Oxner is the President of the STFX Association of University Teachers (StFXAUT), Faculty Coordinator for Service Learning, and a former faculty representative on the Board of Governors of St. Francis Xavier University.
Dr. Oxner’s research interests are corporate governance, instructional strategies, financial literacy, and labour force readiness of First Nations populations. Prior to joining the business faculty, she was the Senior Vice President of Quorum Funding Corporation, a strategic management company, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Quorum Growth Inc., a TSX publicly traded closed-end investment fund. Dr. Oxner also worked in Ernst & Young’s International audit group.
Dr. Oxner volunteers in her community by serving as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Creative Wellness Project which organizes the Friendship Corner, mental health workshops, and peer support groups in Antigonish. She is also the Chair of the East Coast Credit Union, the largest Credit Union in Atlantic Canada, and is Chair of the Finance Council of the Diocese of Antigonish. Her volunteer efforts have been recognized through the STFX University’s Outreach Award, as the CA of the Year for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, and as the (inaugural) Terry Milne Volunteer of the Year for the Chartered Financial Analysts’ Atlantic Canada Society.
Her interest in Council is advocating for the public especially those from vulnerable populations.
Dr. Oxner has been a Council member since 2014 and is currently the College’s Past President. She is a member of the Executive, Finance and Audit, Professional Standards, Nominating, Registrar Review, Registration and Assessment committees.
Ms. Sandra Aylward
Ms. Sandra Aylward has extensive experience in healthcare, professional accountability and governance.
Ms. Aylward graduated cum laude from the Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy. A licensed pharmacist, she has served as a practitioner, operational manager, corporate executive and advocacy leader in the pharmacy profession. From 1994 to 2015 she worked with Sobeys Inc., most recently as the Vice-president, Professional and Regulatory Affairs. In this role, she provided strategic direction and leadership, including responsibility for continuous quality improvement of professional standards to support medication safety, error prevention and optimal patient care.
She is a past Chair of the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists, the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia, the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, and the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada. Within these organizations, she led renewals of complaints and discipline processes, supported the expansion of the scope of practice, and represented the profession to governments, other professions and the public.
Her personal and professional interests include legal aspects of healthcare, effective public participation in policy and governance, public health and health promotion. Ms. Aylward currently operates an independent consulting practice.
Ms. Aylward is a volunteer with the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, Atlantic Film Festival, and the MS Society of Canada (Atlantic Division).
Ms. Aylward sees the College’s role in monitoring and supporting physician performance as a critical part of a healthy and evolving health care system in Nova Scotia. Ms. Aylward was appointed to Council in 2017. She currently sits on the Peer Review, Registration and Reinstatement committees.
Ms. Michele Brennan
Ms. Michele Brennan has had a lengthy career in nursing education, administration and regulation.
A graduate of St Martha’s Hospital School of Nursing (RN), St. Francis Xavier University (BSCN) and Dalhousie University (MN), Ms. Brennan was an educator and manager in the registered nurse education program at the Victoria General Hospital from 1976 until 1999. She also taught in the Dalhousie University collaborative Bachelor of Nursing program from 1995 to 1999.
Most recently she was director of professional practice, policy and legislation for the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRRNS) until her retirement in 2013.
While at CRRNS, she was called upon to give a number of presentations to various groups on nursing and regulatory issues. She provided the Council orientation and education on the policy governance model of board leadership from 2002 until 2012. She has also served as a board member for the College of Licensed Practical Nurses and the Midwifery Regulatory Council.
Since her retirement, she has been hired on a number of short term projects for the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia, the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Regulated Health Professions Network.
Ms. Brennan’s interest in the College stems from an interest and commitment to the health care system and the regulation of health care professionals.
Ms. Brennan has been a Council member since 2014. She currently sits on the Executive, Professional Standards and Investigation committees.
Mr. Mark Rosen
Mark recently retired as a partner of BDO Canada Limited following 33 years of practise as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) with a number of firms including Collins Barrow, Coopers & Lybrand, PwC, Goodman Rosen and BDO. Prior to entering the insolvency field, Mark practised law in the early ‘80’s with the firm of Paton & Paton.
A graduate of Loyola College of Montreal (CEGEP Diploma), McGill University (BA – Honours) and Dalhousie University (LLB), Mark is also a fellow of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals (FCIRP).
During his career, Mark has been extremely active in serving both his profession and community. He is a past President of the Nova Scotia Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals. Mark is also a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada (IIC), a national association of leading insolvency lawyers and trustees, and a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Canadian Bar Association.
At the community level, Mark is a past President of the Atlantic Jewish Council and served many roles on its Board. Currently, Mark serves as Chair of the Atlantic Jewish Foundation. He is the immediate past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Shaar Shalom Synagogue and currently serves as Chair if its Finance committee. On a national level, Mark served on the Board of the Canadian Jewish Federation (CJF) for many years and was also chair of CJF’s audit committee.
Mark is an Honorary Trustee of the QEII Hospital Foundation Board following two terms on the Board of Trustees where he served as a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the Nominating Committee.
Ms. Sherry McNeil-Mulak
Ms. Sherry McNeil-Mulak and her family returned to their home province of Nova Scotia in 2019 after living in Iqaluit, Nunavut for 15 years. Before returning to Nova Scotia, Ms. McNeil-Mulak completed a 5-year appointment as the Representative for Children and Youth in Nunavut; an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. In this role, Ms. McNeil-Mulak was responsible to ensure the Government of Nunavut respected and upheld the rights of young people and their families according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. She led a professionally trained advocacy team who worked with young people and their families to identify and remove the barriers they faced when seeking government supports and services. As such, Ms. McNeil-Mulak is well-versed in representing the voice of the public, particularly marginalized and vulnerable populations.
Over the course of Ms. McNeil-Mulak’s career, she has held several senior-level positions, including positions in the health, education, social advocacy, and family services sectors. Prior to her role as Representative of Children and Youth, Ms. McNeil-Mulak held the position of Director of Social Advocacy and led the development of an innovative piece of rights-based legislation in Nunavut, the Representative for Children and Youth Act.
Ms. McNeil-Mulak holds a Master of Health Services Administration Degree and a Diploma in Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Cape Breton, a Diploma in Dental Hygiene from Dalhousie University’s School of Dentistry, and a Child and Human Rights Extension Certificate from Mount Royal University.
Throughout Ms. McNeil-Mulak’s career and personal life she has been a strong proponent of social justice. She served on the Board of the Niqiniq Nuatsivik Nunavut Food Bank for 12 years as well as the inaugural Board for Habitat for Humanity in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She is also a past member of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates. Ms. McNeil-Mulak is eager to make a meaningful contribution to the well-being of Nova Scotians by representing their voice on the Council.
Ms. McNeil-Mulak became a public member of Council on May 29, 2020, and currently sits on the Registration Committee.
Mr. Neetin Prabhu – Dalhousie Medical Students’ Society Appointee
Mr. Neetin Prabhu is a second year medical student at Dalhousie University. Neetin represents the Dalhousie Medical Student Society on the provincial level and sits on the medical governing bodies in Nova Scotia, such as CPSNS.
Neetin, a native of Yarmouth, NS, attended Western University where he completed a Bachelor of Medical Sciences with an Honours Specialization in Physiology in 2018. Since being at Dalhousie, Neetin has been involved as a liaison for the medical admissions office for incoming students, Orientation Week lead, and Surgical Interest Group executive. Medically, his interests have included research work on both the effects of paediatric pre-operative care on patient well-being and various subjects centred around medical education.
While outside of the classroom, Neetin is an avid runner and movie aficionado.
To ensure there is representation from across Nova Scotia on the Council of the College, physicians from the following districts elect members to represent them:
- District #1 – the counties of Antigonish, Guysborough, Inverness, Richmond, Victoria, and Cape Breton
- District #2 – the counties of Pictou, Cumberland, and Colchester
- District #3 – the counties of Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, and Lunenburg
- District #4 – the counties of Hants, Kings, Annapolis, and Digby
- District #5 – the county of Halifax
Council meetings are held four times per year. All members of Council sit on one or more committees of the College. These committees include:
- Executive Committee
- Finance and Audit Committee
- Nominating Committee
- Professional Standards Committee
- Registration Committee
- Registration and Policy Committee
- Investigation Committees
- Peer Review Committee
- Assessment Committee
- Registration Appeal Committee
- Independent Review Committee
- Internal Review Subcommittee
- Reinstatement Committee