Michael Patterson steps down as Nunavut's top doctor
Dr. Sean Wachtel is set to take over as top doctor for the territory, says a Monday news release
Nunavut will see a new chief public health officer.
On Monday, the Nunavut government announced Dr. Sean Wachtel is taking over as top doctor for the territory.
"I welcome the new CPHO of Nunavut, Dr. Sean Wachtel," said Minister John Main in a news release Monday.
"He is well-versed in culturally sensitive and appropriate health services and will be an invaluable member of the public health team."
Wachtel takes over the role from Dr. Michael Patterson, who has been the CPHO for the last four years. Patterson led the territory through the COVID-19 pandemic. The news release says Patterson is set to return to full-time work at the Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit.
"I'd like to acknowledge and pay tribute to Dr. Patterson for his leadership over the past four years and his commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of Nunavummiut," said Main.
"I am extremely grateful for the tremendous work of Dr. Patterson and the public health team, now and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to help keep Nunavummiut safe."
In a statement, Patterson expressed his "sincere gratitude and thanks" to all the staff he worked alongside with for the Department of Health.
"Their many contributions have been instrumental in the management and response to public health challenges Nunavut has faced in recent years," Patterson said.
Wachtel was previously the senior medical director for Aboriginal Health and Medical Health Officer for the First Nations Health Authority in B.C.
"I am honoured to be afforded the privilege to take on the CPHO position for Nunavut," he said.
Wachtel said while working clinically in Nunavut, he "was touched by the spirit and the warmth of the people in the territory."