PHANS awards the Public Health Champion Award each year at the PHANS AGM. This is an honour intended to recognize an individual or organization who has demonstrated excellence in leadership, innovation and commitment to improving the health of Nova Scotians.

  • 2016 Colleen Cameron

    Colleen embodies the principles of developmental leadership, always seeking to work with others and build capacity for collective leadership. She shows exemplary commitment to improving community health, as demonstrated in her 40+ years in the areas of community development for health, adult education, and social justice initiatives. She sees her role as a facilitator and agent of change; always believing in the power of community in determining one’s own health. As chair of the Antigonish Affordable Housing Society, and co-chair of Voices Antigonish, she has enacted change through the development of affordable housing units, the Good Food Box program, and installation of over 30 raised beds for community gardening.

  • 2015: Mainline Needle Exchange

    Mainline Needle Exchange was established in 1992, and since that time has been an outstanding, exemplary leader in providing health promotion services to people currently or formerly using drugs. Through educational activities Mainline is also committed to raising awareness of addictions as a health issue, and to educating the public about the importance of needle exchanges. They also assist with access to food, help clients navigate complex health and legal systems, and provide ongoing support.

  • 2014: Janet Braunstein Moody

    Janet's dedication to widespread growth of the public health profession is evident through her work with various Canadian Public Health Association and American Public Health Association initiatives; federal, territorial, and provincial projects; academic partner strategy alliances; and her continuous support of learning and development of public health professionals.

  • 2013: Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed

    Described as a "dedicated leader and passionate advocate for the role public health can play in advancing health equity," this is demonstrated through her support of the development of the first population health status report for Capital Health. Dr. Watson-Creed chamioned the use of disparity measures, and worked hard to better understand the data by engaging Community Health Boards.

  • 2012: Karen MacKinnon

    Karen is a founding member of the Antigonish Food Security Coalition where she has taken a leadership role. Colleen Cameron, also a member of the coalition, notes, "Karen has an amazing ability to work across partnerships. She is genuine in her approach, values all people and is able to engage with diverse groups. I know she is a great mentor, taking dietetic interns and involving them in meaningful learning experiences in the community."

  • 2011: Debbie Smith

    Debbie has been working in community development and public health for over 30 years with the majority of that time focused on improving outcomes for families and children. Debbie’s leadership positions include Executive Director of the South Shore Family Resource Association, member of the Minister of Community Services’ Advisory Committee  and Chair of Lunenburg County’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Working Group. Her innovative programming in areas such as injury prevention, prenatal support, embedded health literacy and gender garners accolades across  the province.