News & Events


Two Dal anesthesiologists part of first all-female transplant team (October 2020)

Two members of the Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management & Perioperative Medicine made a bit of history as part of Nova Scotia’s first all-female transplant surgery team.

A CBC News item reported on the milestone: all seven members of a transplant team were women, including anesthesiologists Drs. Adrienne Carr and Dolores McKeen. The only man in the operating room was the patient.

Nova Scotia Health said the all-female team was a first for the province – and perhaps a first for the country.

“To my knowledge, there’s either two or three female liver transplant surgeons in Canada,” said surgeon Dr. Stephanie Hiebert. “If it (all-female transplant team) has happened, it's been recent, for sure.”

Dr. Carr noted the number of women in medical school is making a big difference in creating a more diverse staff. In the article, she pointed to a new study that showed men are seen as more authoritative than women in situations when someone is being resuscitated, regardless of their job and qualifications.

“This is 2020, and I feel like we should be better,” she said. 

Dr. Dolores McKeen to lead national anesthesiologists’ group (June 2020)

Dr. Dolores McKeen has been confirmed as the next president of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society.

Dr. McKeen, Chief of IWK Women’s and Obstetric Anesthesia, officially takes the helm Sept. 1 to guide the 3,000-member national organization. In the elected position, she will lead the 22-member board for the next two years.

The position was confirmed during the society’s annual meeting in June, held virtually this year. The AGM was originally scheduled for Halifax this year; the organization will now look to return to the city in 2022.

Dr. Patricia Livingston, recipient of the CAS Humanitarian Award (January 2020)

Dr. Patricia Livingston is being honoured this year by the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society for her work in global health.

In naming her recipient of its Humanitarian Award, the CAS praised Dr. Livingston for the tremendous impact she has had, with her counterparts in Rwanda, on the development of a residency training program and continuing professional development activities.

“With her support, the program … is now one of the most competitive medical residencies in Rwanda, attracting the best and brightest doctors wishing to pursue a career in anesthesiology,” the CAS noted in its citation.

“By working hard to recruit international volunteers and providing training locally, Dr. Livingston has ensured that the bulk of these academic activities are innovative simulation and problem-based learning, rather than traditional didactic teaching.”

The CAS noted that in 2017, she co-created the Vital Anesthesia Simulation Training (VAST) course with Dr. Adam Mossenson, a global health fellow at Dalhousie University, and Dr. Christian Mukwesi, a Rwandan anesthesiologist.

“Dr Livingston's devotion to her trainees both here in Canada and globally is inspiring,” the CAS said.

Dr. Livingston is medical director of global health for the Dalhousie Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management & Perioperative Medicine. The Humanitarian Award recognizes excellence in global anesthesiology; it is among the CAS Honour Awards that will be given out when the organization holds its annual meeting in June.

For a full list of the awards:

Dr. Christine Chambers named scientific director of CIHR institute (August 2019)

A Dalhousie researcher and recognized leader in managing children’s pain has landed a prestigious new role with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Dr. Christine Chambers, a clinical psychologist and a member of the Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, has been appointed as the scientific director for the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health.

Effective Jan. 1, the new role will see her working to identify research priorities, develop funding opportunities, build partnerships, and translate research evidence in policy and practice to improve the health of Canadians and people around the world. Also, as a member of CIHR’s leadership team, she will participate in implementing the organization’s strategic direction.

“I’m a passionate believer in the power of health research to improve the lives of children and their families,” she said.

Dr. Chambers is a Canada Research Chair in Children’s Pain and a Killam professor in Dalhousie’s Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology and Neuroscience. Her research program examines the role of developmental, psychological and social factors in children’s health, with a focus on children’s pain. She is the scientific director of Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP), a not-for-profit organization funded by the Networks of Centres of Excellence. She also spearheads the #ItDoesntHaveToHurt initiative for parents.

For more of the story:

Drs. John Fraser, Sherry Litz honoured by Doctors NS (June 2019)

Anesthesiologists John Fraser and Sherry Litz were among the physicians recognized by Doctors Nova Scotia at its annual conference for making a significant difference for patients and their communities. The awards celebrated some of the most dedicated, innovative and caring doctors in the province.

Physician Health Promotion Award: Dr. John Fraser

A family physician specializing in in addiction and pain management, Dr. John Fraser was awarded the Physician Health Promotion Award for his dedication to serving marginalized Nova Scotians. Practising for 40 years at the North End Community Health Centre in Halifax, Dr. Fraser has devoted his career to building programs that bring crucial services to marginalized people. He was instrumental in developing a number of community-based programs, including Phoenix House, Direction 180 and Shared Mental Health Care. He also works at the Pain Management Unit at the QEII and enjoys educating medical learners and colleagues about chronic pain, addiction and harm reduction.


CMA Honorary Membership Award: Dr. Sherry Litz

Dr. Sherry Litz received the CMA Honorary Membership Award for her contributions in pediatric anesthesiology. Over her more than 30 years in practice, Dr. Litz was instrumental in developing best practices for pediatric cardiac surgery and pediatric critical care in the Maritimes. She is a go-to colleague for managing care of the sickest patients and providing compassionate support to their families. While chief of pediatric anesthesia at the IWK for 12 years, Dr. Litz enjoyed recruiting new physicians into the fold. She retired from full-time practice this past March but continues to do locum work at the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, N.S., and fills in occasionally at the IWK.




  • Atlantic Pain Conference | Doctors Nova Scotia
  • Blood & Beyond - Annual Blood Management Workshop
  • CAS Atlantic Regional Meeting | Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS) & Nova Scotia Anesthesiologists’ Society (NSAS)
  • CAS Annual General Meeting | Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS)
  • Global Health Discussion Series
  • Anesthesia for Global Outreach (AGO) Course
  • Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia Workshop
  • Valley Pain Day