School of Nursing director to lead research and innovation for Nova Scotia Health Authority

- July 26, 2018

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy. (File photo)
Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy. (File photo)

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, currently assistant dean of research in Dal’s Faculty of Health and professor and director of the School of Nursing, has accepted a senior leadership position with the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) as vice-president of research and innovation.

“Gail’s award-winning leadership in health has been recognized, and she is embarking on this exciting, new opportunity where she will have a significant impact on the health and health-care landscape in Nova Scotia,” said Cheryl Kozey, acting dean of the Faculty of Health, in a memo to faculty and staff.

“Dr. Tomblin Murphy joins NSHA as an internationally-recognized leader in health systems strengthening, health workforce planning and global health, with a strong record of policy-relevant research,” said Janet Knox, NSHA president and CEO, in a release.

“She has worked with researchers and decision-makers from around the world to advance systematic, rigorous needs-based planning methodologies. Her work has been widely published and garnered extensive interest from governments and other stakeholders because of its potential to impact health policy in Canada and abroad.”

In addition to her roles with the Faculty of Health and School of Nursing, Dr. Tomblin Murphy is also a professor in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine and director of the World Health Organization / Pan American Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research, based at Dalhousie.

An international leader

An internationally recognized expert in population needs-based approaches to health systems and workforce planning, evaluation and research, her work with Drs. Doug McMillan and Marsha Campbell-Yeo in providing health-care training to reduce infant mortality in Jamaica is internationally known and respected. She has done international health-care work for over 10 years, on projects in Africa, Brazil and other Caribbean countries such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.

She leads and co-leads national and international research teams consisting of clinicians, health care leaders, senior policy-makers, and researchers from government, universities and health care organizations and has been an Expert Advisor on health workforce to the WHO and PAHO since 2005. Dr. Tomblin Murphy’s research has been widely published and she has attracted extensive interest from governments and other stakeholders because of her work’s potential to significantly impact health policy in Canada and abroad.

Among her many awards and distinctions, she recently received two special honours. She was invited by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to serve on the Population and Public Health Institute Advisory Board (IAB), and was accepted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing, a very high honour for a nurse leader. She was also recognized in 2017 as one of the Canadian Nurses Association's 150 Nurses for Canada.

In her new role, Dr. Tomblin Murphy will provide leadership within NSHA on all matters pertaining to research, innovation and translation of knowledge into learning and practice. It’s a key leadership role in envisioning and coordinating research efforts throughout NSHA — including within the QEII Health Sciences Centre, the largest teaching and academic health sciences centre in Atlantic Canada.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Dr. Tomblin Murphy, a two-time Dal alum (Bachelor of Nursing, 1981; Master of Nursing, 1989). “My career has been built on partnerships and this is a brilliant opportunity for me to work with NSHA stakeholders on what I am passionate about – research and innovation to enhance health outcomes and to advance quality care for Nova Scotians.”


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