About the President

About the President

Dr. Leisha Hawker, of Halifax, was installed as Doctors Nova Scotia’s President in June 2022.

Dr. Leisha Hawker

Dr. Leisha Hawker is passionate about health equity and improving the health-care system and the physician environment in Nova Scotia.

She has broad experience with Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS). She was on the Board of Directors during the 2019 contract negotiations and served as co-chair of the E-health Committee. She appeared in the Nova Scotia legislature to discuss Nova Scotia’s physician shortage in 2020 and to talk about virtual care and the need for a shared vision for primary care in 2022.

Dr. Hawker has also been active in leadership roles outside of DNS. She served as secretary/treasurer on the executive committee of the Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians. She is actively engaged with the CMA and did a term on the board of the CMA Foundation. She has been a member of the CMA’s election readiness campaign since 2019.

Dr. Hawker received her medical training in Halifax at Dalhousie Medical School. She completed her training in family medicine in 2013 and earned a certificate of added competence in addiction medicine in 2019.

Her primary role is at the North End Community Health Center (NECHC) a large collaborative health centre in Halifax with a large team of allied health professionals working alongside physicians. It offers programs outside of primary care, including housing support, dental care, a virtual mental health “walk-in” clinic, a managed alcohol program and the Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH) program. The clinic serves the entire community of north end Halifax, a historically marginalized, low socio-economic and culturally diverse population.

She also works at Regency Park Addiction Clinic. There, she provides care to some of the most marginalized patients in Halifax, who for the most part have only had episodic care from the emergency department or correctional services prior to admission to the clinic. Her work at the clinic is complemented by her work mentoring physicians through the Atlantic Mentorship Network – Pain and Addiction.

Dr. Hawker’s third clinic is the Halifax Newcomer Health Clinic, which she helped establish. The clinic provides primary care for refugees before transitioning them to a community family practice.

Her other interests include gender-affirming care, medical assistance in dying, decriminalizing drugs and harm reduction. Her work has been recognized by the Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians, which awarded her the Award of Excellence in 2016. Doctors Nova Scotia awarded her the Dr. William Grigor Award in 2015. The Medical Post named her one of the Top 20 Physicians to Watch in 2015.

When not working, Dr. Hawker spends time with her husband, Tyler, and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Lilyann. In her limited spare time, Dr. Hawker enjoys hockey, hiking and sailing.