Public Health Agency president resigns and talks about need for a break

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OTTAWA – Several months after the start of the COVID-19 public health crisis, and with an increase in cases in some areas, the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada, Tina Namiesniowski, has announced that she is resigning . A replacement will be announced next week, the agency confirmed.

In an email to staff on Friday, Namiesniowski said she needed a break, citing the whirlwind of nearly 10 months since the agency first learned of what was then a cluster of cases of respiratory illness in Wuhan, China.

“The Agency has been at the heart of Canada’s response which has been truly remarkable as the world grapples with an unprecedented global pandemic requiring extraordinary action and collaboration,” she wrote in her lengthy post to its staff.

“Although we are very resilient, none of us are superhuman and I put myself in that category. I am now at the point where I need to take a break. Since it does not make sense for the Agency to be without a president for a period of time given the current circumstances, I think I have to step aside so that someone else can intervene ”, a she wrote.

Although Dr. Theresa Tam is the Chief Public Health Officer, Namiesniowski’s role is more administrative in nature.

Namiesniowski said her replacement will bring new energy and ideas, and help with the transition.

“We have all worked tirelessly for months in a high pressure environment under scrutiny and we have undoubtedly risen to the challenge,” she wrote, praising the agency’s work to quarantine hundreds of Canadians repatriated in the first few months. of the epidemic, and is now planning a possible vaccine deployment.

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