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Spotlight on: Cathy Chenhall, MHSc, PDt

Cathy Chenhall has been a licensed dietitian for over 20 years, practicing predominantly in public health and public health policy for the first decade of her career.  For the past 12 years, Cathy has worked as a public health nutrition research consultant, completing projects on topics including public health nutrition competencies, food policy, food skills and literacy, healthy eating policy in public settings, and undergraduate dietetic education, among others, for a variety of government and non-government organizations.  Cathy’s passions include food policy, food security and growing food and nutrition literacy among youth and families. Cathy is a skilled communicator and has embraced participatory leadership, integrating principles in volunteer and employment opportunities.  Cathy is past co-chair and current member of the Dietitians of Canada Regulatory Affairs Advisory Group and is currently a member of the Communications Committee of the Nova Scotia Dietetic Association.  Cathy is a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University (Bachelor of Science, Human Ecology), Victoria General Hospital Dietetic Internship Program and the University of Toronto (Masters of Health Science, Community Nutrition). Cathy lives in Dartmouth with her husband, three children, and dog.

What one food is always in your fridge/pantry/freezer?

Almonds/almond butter – I love it!

Where is your favourite food place in Nova Scotia?

My favourite food places in Nova Scotia are local farmers markets.  I most often go to the Dartmouth Alderney Landing Market but also enjoy the Halifax Seaport Market and the Wolfville Market.  I love buying, preparing and eating all of the delicious, quality produce grown in Nova Scotia in the early fall.  I also love the buzz of the market; being amongst friends and community members who also appreciate and support local food!

Finish the sentence: I feel happiest when…

…. my family members are happy and when I am on top of my game from a ‘life’ and work perspective.  Like all of us, I do feel a great sense of satisfaction completing work that meets and hopefully exceeds the expectations.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? 

I’ve had several ‘biggest challenges’ in my career, as I am sure we all have.  The first would have been when given the opportunity to assume, and then be awarded the role of the Provincial Nutritionist with the then, NS Department of Health, just 4 years after having worked as a Public Health Nutritionist for both the Northern and Central Regional Health Boards.  It was a huge growth experience and an opportunity that I could not be more thankful for.  The second significant challenge in my career was making the decision to  transition my practice to that of an independent consultant role following the birth of  my first child – who is now 13!  I was excited by the challenge as I had so many policy and program-related interests that I hoped would be marketable to others, but I was also nervous about the ‘sole accountability’ of going on my own.


What do you love most about your job

I have learned and love the flexibility of working as a consultant; the importance of being a stealth time manager (an ongoing, life-long learning!), a collaborative client-centered communicator, a creative thinker and a very focused ‘producer’.

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