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Dr. Sarah Cook

Dr. Sarah Cook

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Current Director-at-Large
Nominee for second term 2023–2026 Director-at-Large

Dr. Sarah Cook was elected by CFPC members in 2020 for a three-year Director-at-Large term. She is completing her term.

Dr. Cook’s contributions to the Board are many, including:
  • Demonstrating energy, curiosity, and a genuine passion for the CFPC and serving its members and the patients of Canada
  • Contributing invaluable experiences having lived and worked in Yellowknife for 14 years (until 2022)
  • Offering a Nova Scotia perspective, which helps the geographic diversity of our Board and focusing her leadership on maternity care
  • Sharing important perspectives on many topics including ensuring member relevance, anti-racism, Indigenous health, the distinct experience of practising in the Northwest Territories, and balancing leadership roles and a busy family at this stage of her professional career
  • Contributing thoughtfully and meaningfully and often providing different and important perspectives for the Board to consider
  • Providing continuity to the Board in a year that there are two vacancies for Directors-at-Large
Dr. Sarah Cook is a family physician in the Dalhousie Department of Family Medicine in Halifax and the IWK Chief of Family Medicine-Maternal Newborn Care. She has recently moved “home” to Nova Scotia after 17 years away, 14 of which were in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, as a community-based family physician and physician leader.

After completing medical school at Dalhousie University and her family medicine residency at the University of Ottawa, she was awarded Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2008 and Fellowship in 2018.

The opportunity to live in Canada’s north, work with and learn from Indigenous communities, and practice full-scope family medicine inspired Dr. Cook to move to Yellowknife in 2008. Enhancing access to culturally safe care for patients close to their home communities and helping physicians find innovative solutions to health care challenges are driving forces in her work.

Her clinical work in the Northwest Territories included primary care both in Yellowknife and for a remote Indigenous community, reproductive health, maternity care, and general practitioner oncology, working as part of a cancer care team to enable patients in the Northwest Territories to receive chemotherapy closer to home.

Her clinical work now in Halifax includes providing and teaching primary care both at an urban Indigenous health clinic (Wije’winen, part of the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre) and at one of Dalhousie University’s Department of Family Medicine’s teaching clinics. She also provides maternal and newborn care at the IWK Health Centre, she teaches at the medical school, and works at the Nova Scotia Women’s Choice Clinic.

Over the past decade Dr. Cook has advanced her leadership skills with formal training through the Canadian Medical Association’s Physician Leadership Institute, the University of Toronto, and the University of Alberta. She served as medical director of the Yellowknife Region from 2015 to 2016 and as the inaugural Territorial Medical Director of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority from July 2016 to November 2020—a tenure that saw her become a key figure in the Northwest Territories’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also held the role of Clinical Lead of Choosing Wisely NWT and MAID in the NWT. She started in her leadership role in Halifax in November 2022, leading the Department of Family Medicine-Maternal Newborn Care at the IWK Health Centre. In addition to her clinical and leadership roles, she holds academic appointments in the faculties of medicine at Dalhousie University, the University of Calgary, and the University of Alberta.

Before being elected to the Board of Directors, Dr. Cook’s involvement with the CFPC included participating on the Patient’s Medical Home Steering Committee and as the Northwest Territories representative on the Advisory Committee on Family Practice.

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