The mandate of the NSHEN Advisory Council is to oversee and direct the activities of the Network. This includes reviewing requests for ethics support and, as needed, setting priorities for NSHEN.


Lynn Corkum

NSHA Zone 1 Western


Cheryl Smith

Advisory Council Chair

Zone 2 Northern

Dr. Cheryl Smith is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner working for Nova Scotia Health.  Primary focus involves seniors’ health in community and long term care settings.  Actively involved in committee work with the Cumberland Health Care Foundation, College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS), Nurse Practitioner Association of Nova Scotia (NPANS), and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Certification Board (AANPCB).  In addition, as an educator, Cheryl has taught multiple topics to diverse health providers and is currently affiliated with Dalhousie and Athabasca Universities.


Thomas Ashford

Zone 3 Eastern


Gail MacDougall

Zone 4 Central

Gail MacDougall M.S.W., is a recently retired social worker who currently serves as the Coordinator of Organizational and Policy Review Committee, Central Zone NSHA. She is also a member of the Ethics Leads Group, NSHA. During her career, Gail has worked as a clinician and educator in both the Department of Family Medicine and the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University. In addition, she has worked in the areas of child welfare, mental health, organizational consultation and served on many non profit community boards. She has provided leadership to the social work profession at the provincial, national and international levels.


Christy Simpson, PhD

Dalhousie University

Christy Simpson is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University. She is also the department’s Coordinator of the Ethics Collaborations Team which provides ethics support for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the IWK Health Centre, and NSHEN. Her primary responsibilities include ethics education and capacity-building, policy development and review, and support for clinical and organizational ethics consultations.

Christy completed her doctorate in philosophy, specializing in bioethics, at the Department of Philosophy at Dalhousie University in 2001. During her doctoral studies, Christy also undertook two clinical practicums at local health care facilities, which stimulated her interest in the role of hope in health care. Her research in this area continued during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta (2000-2002) and is still strong today. Other research interests include pediatric and organizational ethics, as well as rural health ethics. Christy and her co-author, Fiona McDonald, have recently (2017) published a book, “Rethinking Rural Health Ethics.”


Angela Arra

IWK Health Centre


Farhana Kanth

Department of Health and Wellness

Farhana Kanth is a Senior Policy Advisor working in the corporate policy branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. Farhana’s role involves providing objective advice on critical policy issues facing the health system and the government of Nova Scotia. Over the years, Farhana has gained extensive public policy experience having led and supported the development and implementation of a number of  strategic healthcare and social policy initiatives.  Prior to pursuing the field of health administration, Farhana worked as a dentist in a primary health care setting for seven years.

In addition to her day job, Farhana is an avid volunteer, currently helping run a non-profit organization.  She is also passionate about helping others reach their fullest potential and has dedicated countless hours to formal and informal coaching and mentoring for over fifteen years.

Farhana’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from India, Masters of Health Administration from Dalhousie University and Middle Management Leadership Development program from the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission.  She also holds the Competent Communicator and Advanced Leader Bronze designations from Toastmasters International.

Farhana considers ethical decision-making an essential element of both clinical practice as well as public policy and is excited to be part of the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network Advisory Council.