The search for a new Medical Officer of Health is over.
The Chatham-Kent Board of Health named Dr. Mario Kangeswaren as the replacement for Dr. David Colby, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Colby served 19 years as the MOH in CK.
The municipality’s new MOH has been working in Sudbury with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and will take over as Medical Officer once he is settled in Chatham-Kent. Kangeswaren will serve as the municipality’s acting MOH when he assumes the role in August until Ontario’s minister of health approves his appointment.
“I would like to thank the board and CK Public Health for this great opportunity to work with such a fantastic team and serve our community going forward,” Dr. Kangeswaren said during a Zoom call with health board members and local media. “A very exciting time. I’m greatly appreciative and honoured by this opportunity, which I will work hard for.”
Kangenswaren earned his medical degree in the Netherlands and has a Master of Science in Family Medicine from McGill University and Masters of Public Health from the University of Waterloo. He has also practised in different communities across Canada and the U.S., including rural areas and urban centres.
Health Board chair Dr. April Rietdyk said he has a wealth of experience, having worked with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine for the last several years.
“He has worked up north with a number of the northern Indigenous communities, lots of work working with marginalized and very vulnerable individuals in a number of areas across the province. We are very, very excited to have him join our team.”
Drs. Ian Aara and Ninh Tran will provide vacation coverage for the MOH position while Dr. Kangeswaren moves to Chatham-Kent.
“We are very eager to have Dr. Kangeswaren take on a leadership role with our local public health unit,” said Councillor Joe Faas, Chair of the Chatham-Kent Board of Health, “I believe that he brings with him a fresh perspective that will serve the Chatham-Kent community well and we look forward to him onboarding, officially, in the weeks to come.”
Kangeswaren said he spent a day at Chatham-Kent public health a few weeks ago to meet with the team.
“It’s a very exciting time,” Kangeswaren said at the meeting. “I’m greatly appreciative and honoured by this opportunity, which I will work hard for.”
The Board of Health announced that Kangeswaren would move into the role no later than Aug. 29, meaning he could begin earlier. He will relocate to Chatham-Kent for his new job.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News