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Vancouver Island Health chief medical officer set to retire

Dr. Richard Stanwick has announced that he will be retiring as Island Health’s chief medical health officer after holding the position for two decades.

Stanwick is officially stepping down on Dec. 31, 2021.

“Dr. Stanwick’s well-considered, insightful perspectives, wisdom and, at just the right times, much-valued humour have made a positive and lasting impact, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic and toxic drug crisis we are currently facing, but in the many years that all of us in public health have had the honour of working with him,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank him for his public service and invaluable contributions to the health of all people in our province.”

“On behalf of the province, I’d like to thank Dr. Stanwick and acknowledge his contributions to Island Health and our health system as a whole,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “You need tenacity to make change, and you have led with tenacity.”

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“Richard’s passion, compassion, and relentless drive to improve the health of all people we serve and his respect for and commitment to underserved and vulnerable populations has intertwined to the point that they are just simply part of his DNA,” Island Health’s president and CEO Kathy MacNeil. “I am deeply grateful for all he has done to make our communities a better place to work, live, and play.”

Stanwick moved to B.C. from Manitoba in 1995 after serving for five years as the medical health officer for the City of Winnipeg.
“Right now my focus continues to be on our dual public health emergencies of the drug poisoning crisis and our COVID-19 response, and this will continue to be my focus until my retirement at the end of December,” said Stanwick. “I very much appreciate the kind words I have already received and I look forward to publicly sharing some reflections on my career as we get closer to the end of December.”

Island Health is now looking for its next chief medical health officer.


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