Spotlight on: Bonnie Conrad, MAHE BSc PDt CHE
Professional Development Consultant
IWK Health Centre
Bonnie is a Certified Health Executive and Registered Dietitian with a Master of Arts in Human Ecology, specializing in community education and program evaluation. She has worked at the IWK Health Centre since 2014 and in Nova Scotia healthcare for more than 25 years with experience in public health, workplace health, learning and organizational development and program planning, implementation & evaluation. Bonnie is former part-time faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University and former sessional lecturer for Dalhousie Family Medicine. She is also a member of the Communication and Continuing Competency Program committees with the Nova Scotia Dietetic Association. As a former public health nutritionist, Bonnie realized that where we work and how we work is a key determinant of health and decided to pursue a practice to support workplace health and learning & organizational development.
As a Professional Development Consultant at the IWK Health Centre, Bonnie consults with teams to identify and navigate challenges; mobilize resources at the team, unit or departmental level in order to improve professional competencies, team function and/or working relationships. Bonnie is certified in Myers Briggs®, LEADS in a Caring Environment, The Working MindTM and Crucial Conversations®.
Bonnie enjoys outdoor adventures with her family and friends, reading, cooking, music and discovering new challenges. She is a proud supporter and volunteer with the Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre.
Where is your favorite food place in Nova Scotia?
Quite frankly … it is home. I love preparing food with and for my family and friends. Many a conversation has happened around food, pertaining to food and while eating food. I have always believed that a family meal nourishes the soul.
Is there a food or nutrition related book or documentary that really changed the way you think about what you eat?
Mary Sue Waisman’s “From the Heart of The Kitchen: A Daily Journal – 365 Inspirations to Feed Your Soul” - this book is also a daily journal and her quotes made me smile and reflect on why I was drawn to this profession in the first place. I believe food is more than just the nutrients it provides; it nourishes the soul and preparing, talking about food and eating with others provides an opportunity to build relationships.
What is the best adventure you've been on?
Some of my best adventures have been in this province. I have had the privilege over the years to travel Nova Scotia with my husband and my brothers/sisters in-law (it is good when family are also your great friends :) ).
We have explored vineyards, microbreweries, gardens, farms, amazing restaurants, beautiful scenery, local musicians and we have experienced the incredible hospitality of local people. I love this place and I am very Nova Scotia proud!
What has been your proudest moment in your career?
I have so many moments when I look back and they all made me who I am today. It is hard to isolate one moment. I would have to say it started with walking across the stage at Mount Saint Vincent University to receive my undergraduate degree. We all have our stories and mine like so many others, is not unique. I remember being Grade 12 when so many of my classmates were listing the universities they would attend and I was thinking how lucky you are! Albeit I got accepted, I could not afford to go – it would take a few years but I did eventually get there. Humble beginnings, supportive family and drive made me aim for my dream. And here I am with an amazing career, incredible colleagues and lots of stories and experiences to share.
What do you love most about your job?
I am able to work with individuals, teams as well as support my organization at a strategic level. I am fortunate to be able to have such diverse opportunities in my current role – it keeps me interested and challenged. Being a registered dietitian is not a requirement for my current role, however, being in a licensed profession is. I am passionate about supporting a safe and healthy work environment and working with teams in realizing and pursuing their own capacities to learn and grow.