Interim medical officer of health appointed for Haldimand Norfolk

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The Haldimand-Norfolk board of health has named an interim medical officer of health.

Dr. Alex Hukowich will serve as the temporary replacement for former MOH Dr. Shanker Nesathurai.

Hukowich will support the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and the Norfolk and Haldimand board of health until an acting medical officer of health is recruited.

His appointment was effective May 21.

Hukowich is a retired medical officer of health and coroner with decades of public-health experience in rural areas of Ontario. Jurisdictions served include Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, the Pine Ridge District Health Unit, the Muskoka Health Unit, and Algoma Public Health.

Until an acting medical officer of health is recruited, Hukowich will provide oversight and management of pandemic measures and associated programs in Haldimand and Norfolk counties.

“The board of health is pleased with the recruitment of Dr. Hukowich as this means that both Haldimand and Norfolk counties will continue to have an experienced medical officer of health during this critical time,” Norfolk County said in a news release Tsoon after the board of health approved Hukowich’s temporary appointment.

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“The chair of the board of health – (Mayor) Kristal Chopp — expressed her thanks to Dr. Hukowich for coming forward to help the community and to the Ministry of Health for providing recruitment support.”

According to local bylaws, the board of health is required to engage with Haldimand County in the hiring of a more permanent medical officer of health. A framework for establishing a subcommittee involving both Norfolk and Haldimand has been established.

Staff members from Haldimand-Norfolk health and social services have short-listed a number of highly-qualified candidates that will be interviewed by the sub-committee and, later, by the Norfolk and Haldimand board of health itself.

The board of health intends to make an announcement regarding an acting medical officer of health “in the very near future.” When that happens, Hukowich’s service in Norfolk and Haldimand will be at an end.

Hukowich obtained his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1971. He received a diploma in public health from the University of Toronto in 1978.

Nesathurai was appointed Norfolk and Haldimand’s medical officer of health in October 2018.

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