Samantha Hodder

Senior Director
Young Executive Leaders 2019

Nova Scotia Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Programme, Canada


Sam Hodder is the Senior Director of Nova Scotia Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Program.

She hails from Nova Scotia, Canada where she lives with her Husband Ryan and their daughter Luci- Jai.

Sam’s commitment to health care is evident. She holds a BSc in Nursing from CBU/ StFX and a Master’s Degree in Health Promotion from Dalhousie. She is also a member of the Canadian College for Health Leaders and has her Certified Health Executive designation. Her career in health care, particularly Mental Health and Addictions spans many years. It began in direct patient care as an RN, evolved to include supervisor, management and director roles in Eastern and Northern Zones, and has led to her current role as Senior Director. Sam’s dedication and experience is across the health continuum from ‘upstream’ health promotion/ prevention strategies, brief/ early intervention, to specialized treatment/ recovery supports.

Today, together with her co-lead Dr. Andrew Harris, Senior Medical Director of MHA, and her provincial program management team, she provides focus, leadership and guidance to Transform Mental Health and Addictions in Nova Scotia. Together, they are committed to enabling people with mental health disorders, including addictions, to manage their conditions and work toward recovery, and they share a vision in which Nova Scotians who need mental health and addictions care receive the right care, from the right provider, at the right time and place.

Bringing that vision to life is no mean feat, but Sam, her team and her Program have a focus and are implementing a five-year plan to do just that – they call it Direction 2025.

The results so far are encouraging. A Intake Service has been established that provides assessment, brief intervention, and “matching” services to Nova Scotians in need; on line self-assessment and self-management tools have been made available to all Nova Scotians, and MHA wait times have been reduced to the point where they are now are among the best in the country for both children and adults.

Sam will be the first to say that this has been a team effort, and that the “team” includes every member of NS Health, the MHAP, government stakeholders, and our community partners. Her role though, has been critical, as has her passion for improving the lives of the people we serve, and her ability to bring people together around a common goal.