The Government of Nunavut announced the territory’s newest chief public health officer (CPHO) Dr. Sean Wachtel on Monday.

He will be replacing Dr. Michael Patterson, who will be returning to full-time work at the Qikiqtani General Hospital. Patterson served as CPHO for four years and has guided Nunavut through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“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 well-being of Nunavummiut,” said Nunavut Health Minister John 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.”

Wachtel’s credentials include being the senior medical director for the Aboriginal health and medical health officer for the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia.

“I am honoured to be afforded the privilege to take on the CPHO position for Nunavut,” said Wachtel. “While working clinicly in Nunavut, I was touched by the spirit and the warmth of the people in the territory. I am eager to have the opportunity to build upon the excellent work of Dr. Michael Patterson and the Department of Health.

“I look forward to working closely with all communities and stakeholders to further promote and protect the health of Nunavummiut in this beautiful territory.”

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