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Simcoe-Muskoka top doctor praised for leadership during pandemic

June 17, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Board of Health has given a unanimous vote of confidence to Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Charles Gardner, for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges to the health district over the past year.

At the April Board of Health meeting, Board Chair Anita Dubeau said, “Dr. Gardner’s concern for his staff and the residents of Simcoe Muskoka and the way in which he has worked with our hospitals, family health teams, municipalities and government agencies is exceptional. He has the Board’s resolute support as our region’s medical officer of health,” adding he has provided “excellent leadership and response to the pandemic during an extraordinary year.”

Dr. Gardner has served as the primary agency spokesperson to the media and has provided leadership to coordinate a collaborative response to the pandemic in Simcoe Muskoka with a multitude of partners, including other health care agencies, school boards, municipalities and the business sector.

He also serves as a member of the provincial public health measures table advising the Chief Medical Officer of Health and as a member of the response table for the Central Region of Ontario Health.

In response to the Board’s declaration of support, Dr. Gardner acknowledged the important role the SMDU staff.

“As information, regulations, and available resources seem to change on an almost daily basis, the one thing that has remained constant throughout is the dedication and hard work of every member of the SMDHU team and I am extremely impressed with them,” Dr. Gardner stated. “I am also very grateful for the unwavering supportive leadership of the board of health which is so essential to our ability as employees in our response to the pandemic.”

Dr. Gardner will commence as Chair of the Council of Ontario medical officers of health, on June 9, 2021.

“I anticipate there will be many challenges for me in this position, whether thy be with the on-going pandemic, the recovery of the public health system, or with the public enquiries that will come related to the pandemic, but it is a role I wholeheartedly accept,” Dr. Gardner said.


As of Monday, June 14, New Tecumseth has seen a total of 1,483 cases of COVID-19, 1407 of which are now marked as recovered. There have been 18 deaths attributed to the virus.

This week, the SMDHU has launched several youth-focused vaccination clinics, including one set for June 23 in Angus at Nottawasaga Pines High School.

Youth can book an appointment at these clinics through the Provincial Booking System or by calling 1-833-943-3900.

“Youth 12+ can continue to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments at any community vaccination clinic or through select pharmacies administering the Pfizer vaccine.”

For more, visit

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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