Ontario Announces New Chief Medical Officer Of Health



    Dr. Arlene King Chosen By All-Party Legislative Committee

    TORONTO, April 23 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario announced today the appointment of Dr. Arlene King as the
province's new Chief Medical Officer of Health, effective June 15, 2009.
    Dr. King is currently Director General of the Centre for Immunization and
Respiratory Infectious Diseases at the Public Health Agency of Canada.
    She has been working in the field of public health since 1992 and has
held various positions in communicable disease control at the British Columbia
Centre for Disease Control, and served as a Medical Officer of Health in
Burnaby and Vancouver, B.C.
    Dr. King was selected by a special committee of the Legislature,
comprised of representatives from all three political parties - as specified
in amendments made to the Health Protection and Promotion Act in 2004.
    Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams will reassume
his position as Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health Protection
and Prevention in June.
    Dr. Williams has served as the acting Chief Medical Officer of Health
since November 2007. His skillful leadership of Ontario province's public
health system was clearly evident - particularly during the listeriosis
outbreak in 2008.

    QUOTES

    "As a widely recognized expert in immunization, infectious diseases and
pandemic preparedness, Dr. King is a superb choice to take on the public
health leadership of this province and to continue the crucial work of
safeguarding the health of Ontarians. I'd also like to thank Dr. Williams for
leading the province's public health system with such a steady hand during the
past 16 months."
    - David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

    "It's an honour to be taking on the challenges of heading up the largest
public health system in the country. A number of substantial steps have been
taken in recent years to strengthen public health in the province. I look
forward to building on these initiatives and to further improving the health
and well-being of Ontarians."
    - Dr. King

    
    QUICK FACTS

    - The Chief Medical Officer of Health plays a critical role in leading
      the public health system as a whole - focusing on the legislated
      obligations as outlined in the Health Protection and Promotion Act,
      linking with the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion and
      providing public health advice both within and beyond government.

    - The position of permanent CMOH has been vacant since December 2006 when
      Dr. Sheela Basrur stepped down from the position.

    LEARN MORE

    Read about public health
    (www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/pubhealth/public_mn.html)
    initiatives in the province.

    For public inquires call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)

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    BACKGROUNDER
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                         DR. ARLENE KING'S BIOGRAPHY
    

    Dr. Arlene King - an international expert in immunization, infectious
diseases and pandemic preparedness - has been Director General of the Centre
for Immunization and Respiratory Infections Diseases at the Public Health
Agency of Canada (PHAC) since December 2007.
    This was her latest role at Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada
where she has been since 1999. Prior to this position, Dr. King was Director
General of Pandemic Preparedness at PHAC from March 2006 to December 2007.
    Prior to joining Health Canada, Dr. King held various positions in
communicable disease control at the British Columbia Centre for Disease
Control Society from 1995 to 1999.
    She served as the Medical Officer of Health in Burnaby, B.C. from 1992 to
1994, and a Unit Medical Officer of Health in Vancouver in 1992.
    Dr. King practiced medicine as a family physician in Fairview, Alberta
from 1985 to 1989.
    She received her medical degree from McMaster University in 1981 and
certification in Family Medicine from the University of Calgary in 1984. In
1990, she received a Masters Degree in Health Sciences from the University of
British Columbia and in 1992, became a Fellow of the Royal College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Community Medicine. She continues to be
an Adjunct Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC.
    In 2003, she received Health Canada's Deputy Minister's Award of Merit
for her contribution to Canada's National SARS Response and in 2006, the Chief
Public Health Officer of Canada's Medal for establishing the Pandemic
Preparedness Secretariat as Canada's focal point for health sector pandemic
preparedness.
    Dr. King is on two World Health Organization (WHO) advisory committees on
pandemic preparedness and has been a consultant to the WHO on polio, SARS and
influenza, and to the World Bank and to the Canadian International Development
Agency on Emerging Infectious Diseases. She is a member of the Pan American
Health Organization technical advisory group on immunization and belongs to
the WHO Africa Region Polio Eradication Certification Commission. From 2004 to
2006, she served on the Board of the Global Alliance on Immunization (GAVI).

    
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For further information:

For further information: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, (416) 326-3986;
Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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