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Dr. Lamont Sweet is retiring. (CBC)

P.E.I.’s deputy chief public health officer is retiring after more than two decades of service in the province.

Dr. Lamont Sweet, 72, first came to P.E.I. in 1990 and served as the province's chief public health officer for 17 years.

He had been trying to retire for a number of years. In 2007, he transitioned into the role of deputy chief public health officer in order to ensure good succession planning while Dr. Heather Morrison stepped into the chief’s role.

Sweet is credited with helping to bring new vaccine programs to the province for chicken pox, meningococcal infection and HPV.

Sweet's an honourary lifetime member of the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.

Health Minister Doug Currie said Sweet has been a cornerstone of public health on Prince Edward Island.

Sweet retires on February 21.

The provincial government says Dr. David Sabapathy, a P.E.I. native living in Calgary, has accepted the position of deputy chief public health officer.

With files from The Canadian Press