Hastings Prince Edward Public Health will be on the look for a new, full time Medical Officer of Health later this year.
In a statement from the HPEPH Board last week congratulating him on accepting a similar role in the Kingston area, Chair Jo-Anne Albert acknowledged Dr. Piotr Oglaza will no longer be with the organization after Oct. 15.
The Hastings Prince Edward Board of Health extends its sincere congratulations to Dr. Oglaza, as he has been selected as the new Medical Officer of Health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health,” Albert said in a statement. “We heartily thank Dr. Oglaza for his unwavering dedication and tireless work for our community and his exemplary leadership throughout the pandemic and his five-year career at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH). He will be greatly missed by the Board, the staff at HPEPH and partners in the health care system and the community.”
While Dr. Oglaza will be leaving on October 15 for his new position, Albert wished to reassure the community both HPEPH’s daily operations and the ongoing pandemic response will not be impacted by his departure.
“The Board of Health has begun the necessary process to fill this crucial position. In the interim, Dr. Ethan Toumishey will be assuming the role of Acting Medical Officer of Health and CEO to ensure there is no disruption in service delivery throughout the transition. Dr. Toumishey recently joined the leadership team at HPEPH as Director of Clinical Programs, prior to which he played an integral role in HPEPH’s pandemic response while completing his residency in Public Health and Preventive Medicine,” Albert said.
After several years of practising family medicine, Dr. Oglaza came to HPEPH in 2016 to complete his Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency and, in June 2018, was hired to lead HPEPH as the Medical Officer of Health and CEO.
The Chair called Dr. Oglaza “a passionate advocate for public health and the important role it plays in keeping our residents healthy and he skilfully guided HPEPH through the implementation of programs and services that have improved the health of those who live in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties (HPEC).”
Programs and services ramped up during Dr. Oglaza’s tenure included low-income dental programs for seniors, community-based sexual health clinics, needle exchange programs, community naloxone distribution, school immunization and vision screening programs, improved access to prenatal programs and initiatives to minimize health inequities among vulnerable individuals, such as those experiencing homelessness in our community.
The Chair went on to state Dr. Oglaza’s leadership has been critical throughout HPEPH’s response to the emergence of COVID-19.
“His steady, compassionate and decisive leadership since has ensured that our region was, and continues to be, one of the safest places to be throughout the pandemic,” she said. “While it is difficult to see him leave, we look forward to continuing the close working relationship HPEPH has established with KFLA&A Public Health, and continuing to work with Dr. Oglaza in his new role as MOH at KFL&A Public Health.”