Alberta replaces chief medical officer of health who oversaw COVID-19 pandemic

EDMONTON — Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health who became the face of Alberta’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been officially removed from her post.

The province announced in a late-day statement that Hinshaw is being replaced by Dr. Mark Joffe, a senior executive member of Alberta Health Services, on an interim basis.

Hinshaw became a familiar figure during the COVID-19 crisis, delivering regular online updates on the spread of the virus and measures taken to contain it.

She was initially lionized but, as the months went by, pilloried when Albertans turned on the government and on each other over the need for and effectiveness of health restrictions, including vaccine passports.

Premier Danielle Smith announced on her first day in office a month ago that Hinshaw would be replaced.

Smith has made it clear that she blames both Hinshaw and Alberta Health Services for failing to deliver the best advice and care for Albertans as the hospital system came close to buckling in successive waves of the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2022.

The Canadian Press