On Friday November 17th , we had the pleasure of meeting Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). Dr. Williams was appointed as the CMOH in 2016 by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on address of the Legislative Assembly. Prior to his appointment as CMOH, Dr. Williams served as the Medical Officer of Health for the Thunder Bay District Board of Health, and he also practiced hospital-based clinical practice as a GP and GP Anaesthetist at the Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital.
During our meeting, we learned a great deal about the role that the CMOH plays in safeguarding the health of Ontarians. In addition to overseeing the public health system so that it fulfills its primary purposes of health promotion and protection, Dr. Williams produces annual reports on the state of public health within the province, as well as reports addressing special topics like health disparities, mental health, and care improvement.
We learned that Dr. Williams was appointed as the Provincial Overdose Coordinator due to the greater availability of illicit drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil in the black market, and the recent surge in opioid overdoses and deaths within Ontario. In order to prevent and manage opioid addiction and misuse, the CMOH has prioritized the development of an interactive opioid tool, new resuscitation guidelines, and an early warning framework.
We would like to sincerely thank Dr. Williams for meeting with us. Our meeting was deeply insightful and we are thankful to know that the CMOH is working towards building a stronger health system to ultimately improve the health of all Ontarians.