Patterson leaving as chief public health officer, replacement named
Dr. Sean Wachtel will be ‘valuable member of public health team’ says health minister
Nunavut has a new chief public health officer.
Dr. Sean Wachtel has been named to the post, replacing Dr. Michael Patterson who served four years in that job and led the territory through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Nunavut’s Health Department announced Monday.
Wachtel is “well-versed in culturally sensitive and appropriate health services and will be an invaluable member of the Public Health team,” Minister of Health John Main said in a news release.
Wachtel was recently senior medical director for Aboriginal health and medical health officer for the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia, according to the release.
He said he is eager to pick up on the work of Patterson and looks forward to “working closely with all communities and stakeholders to further promote and protect the health of the Nunavummiut in this beautiful territory.”
Main credited Patterson for “his leadership over the past four years and his commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of Nunavummiut.”
The release noted Patterson is returning to full-time work at Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit.
Patterson himself thanked his staff for their contributions, especially through the pandemic.
“Their many contributions have been instrumental in the management and response to public health challenges Nunavut has faced in recent years,” Patterson said in the release.