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Susan Stevens

Susan Stevens, BSW, MEd, RSW

Adjunct Professor


Phone: 902-579-7796


Curriculum Vitae - September 2018


I completed my Bachelor of Social Work at Dalhousie University and began my career doing social assistance work. In 1992 I lived for six months in a small village in Ghana, West Africa. As a volunteer with Canada World Youth I taught literacy, numeracy, and health education.  Returning to Canada, I worked first with the Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association and then with the Halifax Association for Community Living supporting families with children of all ages with cognitive disabilities. I then completed a Master of Education with a concentration in adult learning at Dalhousie University.

In 1996 I became a care coordinator in the provincial government home care program. I worked as a senior policy analyst from 2001-2004 in the Department of Health and from 2004-2015 was the director of policy and planning in continuing care with responsibilities for home care, long term care, protection for persons in care, and adult protection. 

I joined the Nova Scotia Health Authority in April 2015 in the role of senior director of continuing care with responsibility for over 400 staff and the delivery of home care and long term care services ($830M annually).  Continuing care is my passion and has been the focus of my career for over 20 years. I am a licensed social worker in Nova Scotia, a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders, a Canadian Foundation for Health Improvement Fellow, a motorcycle enthusiast, and an amateur photographer. I am also mad about dogs. 

I have taught part-time at MSVU since 1999 first in the Graduate Adult Education Program (1999-2002) and since 2004 in the Department of Family Studies and Gerontology. I have taught policy courses on families, aging and long term care, introduction to gerontology, and strategies for planned change. I have also been a member of two masters students thesis committees involving a comparative study of Nova Scotias Caregiver Benefit and an examination of design standards for adult day programs for people with dementia.


Research Interests

I have participated as a subject matter expert and policy decision maker on a number of continuing care research projects over the years.  I am currently building a program of continuing care research within the Nova Scotia Health Authority.  My research interests include:


·         Home care and long term care policy

·         Family/friend caregiving

·         Person centred care

·         First Nations continuing care

Research Projects

Principal Knowledge User: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). (April 2018 - March 2022). Project Grant: How Approaches to Care Shape the Pathways of Older Adult Home Care Clients. ($860,000). (PI: Keefe, J.). 

Co-knowledge User: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). (April 2016 - March 2020). Team Grant: Seniors Adding Life to Years (SALTY). ($1,397,931). (PI Estabrooks, C.; Keefe, J.).

Co-applicant: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). (September 2017 - August 2019). Health System Impact Fellowship:  What Does A Person And Family Centred Approach to Challenging Behaviours in Dementia Look Like In Practice At The Service Delivery Level? A Partnership To Support Research Informed Continuing Care Policy in Nova Scotia. ($155,000) (Principal Applicant: Aubrecht, K.; Co-applicant: Keefe, J.).

Co-investigator: Dalhousie Nursing Research Fund. (July 2017 - June 2018). Operating Grant: The Experiences And Perceptions Of Unpaid Caregivers Providing Care For Community Dwelling Adults With Dementia: A Qualitative Systematic Review Protocol. ($5,000).  (PI: MacDonald, M.).

Co-investigator: Nova Scotia Health Research Fund (NSHRF). (July 2017 - June 2018).  Development/Innovative Grant:  The Experiences And Perceptions of Unpaid Caregivers Providing Care For Community Dwelling Adults With A Dementia: A Qualitative Systematic Review. ($15,000). (PI: MacDonald, M.). 


Stevens, S. J. (2016).  Reversing the Tide: How the NSHA is using evidence to reduce waitlists for long term care. Presentation at the 45th Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology. 

Stevens, S. J. (2016).  Reversing the Tide: Reducing Long Term Care Waitlists in Nova Scotia. Presentation at the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging Our Future is Aging Conference. 

Keefe, J., Ogilvie, R., Stevens, S.J., MacPherson, D., & Stoddart, N. (2014). Provincial/regional variation in availability, cost of delivery and wait times for accessing home care services to address avoidable admissions to long term care, alternate level of care bed days and hospitalization. Report prepared for Health Canada

Stevens, S.J. (2012). Personal Alert Assistance Program: Does it prolong stay at home? Presentation at the Canadian Home Care Association Annual Conference.

Stevens, S.J., & Etter, L. (2010). Working together works: Nova Scotia's Home Care on Reserves Project. Presentation at the Canadian Home Care Association Annual Conference.

Stevens, S.J. (2004). Quality Improvement in Continuing Care. Presentation given at the Canadian Home Care Association Annual Conference.

Stevens, S.J. (2002). Knowledge Management: A Critical View. Presentation given at the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education Atlantic Region Annual Conference on Organizational Learning.

Stevens, S.J. (1999). Social Work and New Technology. Presentation given at the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers  Annual  Conference.

 Department of Family Studies and Gerontology

    Mount Saint Vincent University 
    166 Bedford Highway 
    Halifax, Nova Scotia 
    Canada B3M 2J6

    Department telephone (902) 457-6321 
    Department fax (902) 457-6134 
    Main office: Evaristus Hall, room 331