The Medical Officer of Health for Simcoe Muskoka has received a unanimous vote of confidence from his Board of Health.
Dr. Charles Gardner got praise for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The COVID-19 crisis has created unprecedented challenges to the health unit and has had a profound effect on the lives and livelihoods of the residents of Simcoe Muskoka." says a news release today. "Chair Anita Dubeau praised Dr. Gardner for his 'excellent leadership and response to the pandemic, during an extraordinary year.'
“Dr. Gardner’s concern for his staff and the residents of Simcoe Muskoka and the way in which he has worked with our hospitals, family health teams, municipalities, and government agencies is exceptional,” said Dubeau.
The release points to Dr. Gardner’s "broad and vigorous response to the complex demands of the pandemic and has enacted many strategies to manage the spread of the disease."
These include conducting case and contact management, data collection and surveillance reporting, managing over 200 local outbreaks, developing effective health communication strategies, engaging in local and provincial advocacy, and implementing a regional mass immunization strategy.
Dr. Gardner has served as primary agency spokesperson to the media and provided leadership to coordinate a collaborative response to the pandemic in Simcoe Muskoka with a multitude of partners including other health care agencies, school boards, municipalities and the business sector. He also serves as a member of the provincial Public Health Measures Table advising the Chief Medical Officer of Health and as a member of the Response Table for the Central Region of Ontario Health.
Dr. Gardner will commence as Chair of the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health today while continuing as Medical Officer of Health for SMDHU.
“I anticipate there will be many challenges for me in this position, whether they be with the on-going pandemic, the recovery of the public health system, or with the public enquiries that will come related to the pandemic, but it is a role I wholeheartedly accept.”