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avatar for Krista Connell

Krista Connell

Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation
Chief Executive Officer

Krista is responsible for providing the leadership and professional guidance necessary for the NSHRF to attain its mandate of improving the health of Nova Scotians through health research.

Krista works collaboratively with the NSHRF Board of Directors and its many stakeholders to support increased research activity and capacity in Nova Scotia. She acts as a knowledge broker in facilitating the use of health research results in health-system decision making and is the NSHRF key spokesperson with many audiences including the media. She leads and is responsible for outreach to the research community and users of health research in the broadest sense.

In addition to working within Nova Scotia, Krista also champions health research initiatives nationally and internationally. Krista regularly serves on external review committees for other health research-related organizations and is a member of various boards and working groups including the Canadian Cochrane Network Centre Advisory Board (Chair); the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, Advisory Council (Chair) and serves on the Canadian Arrhythmia Network's (CANet) Board of Directors. Krista is also a founding member of the National Alliance of Provincial Health Research Organizations and served as a co-chair from 2004 to 2006 and from 2008 to 2009.

Due to her extensive experience working in the many facets of health, Krista is regularly called upon to speak at national and international events regarding the role of health research in supporting evidence-informed decision making and the many benefits of health research. She was awarded a Canadian Progress Club of Halifax Women of Excellence Award in the Management and Professions Category in 2012; a 2013 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award in the Public Sector Category; and was named one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs by Atlantic Business Magazine in 2014. 

Before progressing to her current role as CEO, Krista held various positions in the health sector evolving from a practicing Physiotherapist in a clinical setting in Alberta and Nova Scotia to a program manager responsible for administering health care benefits at the Workers’ Compensation Board in Nova Scotia. Krista has also taught at the university level and currently enjoys an Adjunct Appointment in the Faculty of Health Professions at Dalhousie University.

Krista holds a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy from Dalhousie University. She has also completed the Province of Nova Scotia’s Executive Leadership Development Program.