BC has introduced its first female health officer to replace, soon to be retired, Dr. Perry Kendall.
Dr. Bonnie Henry has had an extensive career, supporting the STOP polio program in Pakistan, working with the World Health Organization(WHO) on the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, and helped tackle the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) out break in Toronto.
Henry says she knows there is a lot of work to be done in northern BC.
“Good Health is really not shared equally yet in this province and addressing these key inequities, particularly with our indigenous people and other communities, children, and youth in BC is something that will underline my work in this role going forward.”
Dr. Henry was appointed deputy provincial health officer in August 2014. In this role, she has guided the province through the worst wildfire season in decades, which affected air quality; guided the B.C. response to the West African Ebola outbreak, advised on the H7N9 bird flu in B.C., provided guidance on travelling in Zika-affected areas; and provided leadership on the overdose crisis.
“Dr. Henry has been an incredibly strong support for me in my role as provincial health officer and filled in for me countless times when I was unavailable,” said Dr. Kendall. “I feel confident that Dr. Henry is the right person for this job. I have relied on her judgement and approach regularly during her time as deputy provincial health officer.”
Dr. Kendall has been the provincial health officer since 1999, and is slated to retire January 31st.