News release

Health Leadership Team Named, New Office to Focus on Recruitment

Premier Tim Houston and Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson announced a new health system leadership team today, Sept. 1, to take immediate action to improve health care in the province.

“I’ve said all along that transformational change was needed to improve health care and it starts today,” said Premier Houston. “We’ve put an experienced team in place with a mandate to listen, make decisions and take quick action. They will remove the barriers that are getting in the way of change and providing better health care to Nova Scotians.”

The four-person leadership team will be led by Karen Oldfield, who has been appointed interim CEO of the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA). Ms. Oldfield previously served in the office of former premier John Hamm and was CEO of the Halifax Port Authority.

Working with her will be:

  • Jeannine Lagasse, appointed deputy minister of the Department of Health and Wellness after serving as associate deputy minister
  • Dr. Kevin Orrell, appointed CEO of the newly created Office of Health Care Professionals Recruitment; he is the former deputy minister of Health and Wellness
  • Janet Davidson, appointed as the administrator of the Nova Scotia Health Authority; she is the former chair of the NSHA board of directors and was interim CEO of the NSHA in 2019; her previous roles include deputy minister of Health in Alberta, CEO of Toronto East General Hospital and other leadership positions in several health organizations

The Office of Health Care Professionals Recruitment will focus on recruiting and retaining doctors, nurses, continuing care assistants, paramedics and other professionals. It reports directly to Ms. Thompson.

From Sept. 20 to 23, the premier, minister and the leadership team will tour the province to hear from frontline health-care professionals.

The current CEO of the NSHA, Brendan Carr, will leave his post. As well, Ms. Thompson has dismissed the board of directors under the minister’s authority in the Health Authorities Act. The administrator replaces the board.

“I want to thank Dr. Carr and the board of directors at the Nova Scotia Health Authority for their service,” said Premier Houston. “This new team will work with the frontline health-care workers and system leaders to drive the changes that Nova Scotians asked for.”

Replacing Ms. Lagasse as associate deputy minister at Health and Wellness will be Craig Beaton, a former senior executive director at the department.

Additional Resources:

The Health Authorities Act is available at:


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