The Victor and Mona Dahdaleh Institute for Innovation in Health addresses the shifting health needs of rural Nova Scotians through collaborative and community-responsive teaching, learning, and research.

The Dahdaleh Institute for Innovation in Health at StFX is at the intersection of research and practice; academia and public health; theory and impact. The Institute is poised to join StFX’s other flagship Institutes as a nation-leading incubator for all those working to ameliorate the health challenges of rural Nova Scotians.

As a key hub within central Nova Scotia for health research and innovation, the Dahdaleh Institute will provide a space in which researchers, patients, community groups, and partners exchange ideas, discover, develop, test, and commercialize new knowledge, technology, products, systems, and solutions that improve health,  healthcare, and people’s lives.

The provincial government has mapped out its objectives in a recent strategic plan, Action for Health, and the Dahdaleh Institute can play a significant role in the achievement of those objectives.


Nova Scotia needs to attract and retain health care professionals; at StFX, more than two thousand of our students are enrolled in health-related disciplines, every year.  

The province must cultivate expertise in a wide range of health and health-related fields; approximately one third of StFX faculty members currently conduct work in such diverse areas as mental health, addictions, cancer, dementia, health informatics, neuroscience, health promotion, the social determinants of health, and infectious diseases.  

Nova Scotia recognizes that even though the next generation of Nova Scotians might not come from here, they need to stay here … more than half of all StFX graduates put down roots here, permanently.

StFX has been actively working in collaborative and community-responsive teaching, learning, and research. The Dahdaleh Institute for Innovation in Health will harness that work, nurture it, and connect with existing health structures to effect long-lasting, positive change in our province.

Center for Innovation in Health Infographic

Our vision: the Dahdaleh Institute for Innovation in Health will be Nova Scotia’s key hub for collaborative health education and research that is oriented towards rural communities and traditionally under-served populations – enhancing health outcomes for all Nova Scotians.


This is but a small sample of the Xaverians who’ve committed themselves to helping others lead healthier lives:

Faculty Research

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Dr. Katie Aubrecht ’05

Dr. Katie Aubrecht ’05 returned to StFX as a Canada Research Chair in Health Equity and Social Justice. A professor of sociology, Dr. Aubrecht conducts research in marginality, mental health, and resilience in rural populations.


Dr. Derrick Lee

Dr. Derrick Lee, a mathematics professor at StFX, uses epidemiological data sets to study breast and colorectal cancer.

StFX Alumni Return as Health Professionals

Headshot of Melissa Hardy

Melissa Hardy ’13, ’14

Melissa Hardy ’13, ’14 is an Indigenous dietician in private practice in Antigonish, where she also advises StFX students and student-athletes on performance nutrition.

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Dr. Allison McGlashan ’12

Dr. Allison McGlashan ’12 won a national championship with the X-Women rugby team before earning her MD at McGill and returning to campus as the university physician.

StFX students who have made an impact

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Cameron Sehl

As a Cansbridge Fellow in India in 2016, Cameron Sehl developed a beta version of the technology that became Symbi Medical, a start-up that connects patients with physicians prior to colorectal procedures


Symbi Medical

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Emma Logan ’19

Sobey’s Scholar Emma Logan ’19 created Hearing for All, an enterprise that retrofits used hearing aids – like her own – to children in developing countries.


Schwartz School of Business - Alumni Profile on Emma Logan News - StFX student Emma Logan on a mission to give the gift of hearing