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The Government of Nunavut welcomes new Chief Public Health Officer

28 November 2022

News Release
The Government of Nunavut welcomes new Chief Public Health Officer

Nunavut-wide (November 28, 2022) – Today the Government of Nunavut is announcing Dr. Sean Wachtel as Nunavut’s new Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO).

“I welcome the new CPHO of Nunavut, Dr. Sean Wachtel,” said Minister John Main. “He is well-versed in culturally sensitive and appropriate health services and will be an invaluable member of the Public Health team.”

Dr. Wachtel replaces Dr. Michael Patterson, who served as CPHO for four years and helped guide Nunavut through the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Patterson is returning to full-time work at the Qikiqtani General Hospital.

“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 wellbeing of Nunavummiut,” said Minister 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.”

“I want to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to the tireless and dedicated staff I have had the privilege to work alongside at the Department of Health,” said Dr. Patterson. “Their many contributions have been instrumental in the management and response to public health challenges Nunavut has faced in recent years.”

Dr. Wachtel’s recent employment as Senior Medical Director for Aboriginal Health and Medical Health Officer for the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia speaks to his passion for Indigenous healthcare.

“I am honoured to be afforded the privilege to take on the CPHO position for Nunavut. While working clinically 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 the Nunavummiut in this beautiful territory.” 


Media Contact:

Chris Puglia
Manager of Communications
Department of Health