North

N.W.T. medical director stepping aside, new leader appointed to role

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority has announced the appointment of a new territorial medical director — a "critical" role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Sarah Cook is not renewing her term.

Dr. AnneMarie Pegg will replace Dr. Sarah Cook, who did not want to renew her term

Dr. Sarah Cook, pictured here, announced earlier this summer that she was not seeking a renewal of her term in order to spend more time with her family. Cook has been one of the top doctors providing information throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Cleveland photo/GNWT)

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority has announced the appointment of a new territorial medical director — a "critical" role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A news release from the authority on Tuesday said the territorial medical director is its most senior physician leadership role.

"Dr. AnneMarie Pegg will take over this critical leadership role," the statement read.

Pegg came to the North as a community health nurse in Fort Simpson in 1999, according to the statement. She then returned to medical school and has since provided services as a contract and locum physician in the N.W.T.

"While maintaining a practice in the N.W.T., Dr. Pegg has also held progressively senior roles within Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)," the statement said, including most recently as clinical lead for epidemic response and vaccination. 

Pegg will replace Dr. Sarah Cook, who announced earlier this summer that she was not seeking a renewal of her term in order to spend more time with her family, the statement said. She'll continue to practise medicine in the N.W.T.

Cook has been one of the faces of the COVID-19 pandemic in the N.W.T. Along with Chief Public Health Officer Kami Kandola, Cook has frequently been called on to answer questions related to COVID-19 since the height of the pandemic.

The news release said Cook has made "significant contributions" to the territory's health and social services system during her tenure. Her term will come to an end in November.

"I want to thank Dr. Cook for her enormous contribution to our health and social services system over her term as territorial medical director," Sue Cullen, chief executive officer at the health authority, was quoted as saying in the statement.

"We look forward to welcoming Dr. Pegg to the team and will be ensuring a strong transition as we continue to support the delivery of the best care and services while also coordinating front-line response to COVID-19 in the N.W.T."

The role is awarded for a maximum of three years, though there is no limit on seeking subsequent terms.

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