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Dalhousie Research Team


Dr. Tanya Packer

Principal Investigator
(Professor, Dalhousie University School of Occupational Therapy)

Dr. Packer is an occupational therapist by profession and Director of the School of Health Administration (SHA) at Dalhousie University. She is a highly accomplished senior scholar, academic leader, and a tenured full professor. In addition to her leadership at the School of Health Administration, she is the Assistant Dean (International Partnerships) in the Faculty of Health. Dr. Packer brings to her role extensive international scholarship and research networks. Dr. Packer has an active research program focused on “chronic and complex conditions”. Recognized as a world leader in self-management science, she has published over 125 peer-reviewed manuscripts and currently holds more than CAN $3.5M in research funding as either principal or co-investigator. Working with partners and research trainees, her currently funded projects are focused on the design and testing of self-management interventions including fatigue management, development of a patient reported outcome measure, low vision rehabilitation and developing age-friendly communities.

Community Coordinators:


Sheila Schuehlein

Cape Breton Regional Municipality (Gerontologist)

Sheila is a Gerontologist who has developed, facilitated and evaluated health promotion initiatives for over 25 years. Sheila served as VON Canada’s National Seniors Wellness Project's Manager, assisting communities across the country to develop VON SMART (Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together) Programs®.  In 2014, she returned to school, graduating from Duke University, and earning her medical board certification as an Integrative Medicine Health Coach.  As Chair of Rural Health Coaching with Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health, Sheila initiated and is Project Lead for ‘Lonely No More’ and ‘Connectedness Coaching’, successful outreach programs to enhance individual and community resilience. Sheila was honoured to join the Elder Abuse Prevention team in 2016 and continues her role as a Provincial Prevention Consultant. She is leveraging that experience to help implement a new Seniors Safety Program in Cape Breton Regional Municipality, where she resides. Sheila is most passionate about enhancing the well-being of older adults and reducing the social isolation and vulnerabilities often associated with aging. She is excited to be assisting with the ACTing Collectively Project. 


Beverley Lawson (Capacity Development Officer, BRIC NS; Senior Research Associate, Dalhousie University)

Dr. Susan Kirkland (Professor, Dalhousie University)

Dr. Elaine Moody (NSH Affiliate Scientist; Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University)

Dr. Sorayya Askari (NSH Affiliate Scientist; Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University)

Dr. Parisa Ghanouni (Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University)

Dr. Yu-Ting Chen (Assistant Professor, National Cheng Kung University)

Verna McKinnon (Primary Health Care, Nova Scotia Health)

Jacqueline Campbell (Community Development Officer, Home and Community Care, NS DSLTC)

Janet Simm (President and CEO, Northwood Corporate)

Margaret Szabo (Research Coordinator, Dalhousie University; Citizen Partner)

Ron Swan (Chair, CARP Nova Scotia Chapter)

Project Partners:

The project involves a collaborative partnership between:

  • Nova Scotia Health (NSH),

  • Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care (DSLTC),

  • Northwood Corporate,

  • the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) NS Chapter,

  • Dalhousie University researchers, and

  • three Cape Breton communities: Cape Breton Municipality, Victoria County, and Richmond County.



The Team: Image
Partners (website)[86] copy_edited_edited.jpg


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