C-K names new top doc

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Dr. Shanker Nesathurai has been named as Chatham-Kent’s new acting medical officer of health and he’s already on the job.

The former medical officer of health for the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit from 2018 to 2021, and most recently as the acting Medical Officer of Health for the Windsor-Essex Health Unit, started his new role Sept. 5.

Nesathurai brings a wealth of experience to the job and he plans on using it to address local public health issues such as opioid poisonings, the health and well-being of children and C-K’s high rates of chronic disease, some of which he says were magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The mission of public health services is that everyone in Chatham-Kent has the opportunity to reach optimal health and a high quality of life,” the physician said in a media release. “There are many priorities ahead, but this mission will guide us in formulating public health promotion and prevention programs.” 

Nesathurai points out that issues need to be addressed early in life in order to “lessen the burden,” noting the biggest impact public health can make is on young citizens, from birth to age 18 years.

“Strengthening the programs and services that are aimed to protect them when they are most susceptible, and educate them when they are most receptive, that will have the greatest impact on the future of our community and everyone who calls it home,” he stated.

Nesathurai received his Doctor of Medicine from McMaster University, and his Master of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. In addition to training in public health, Nesathurai is a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

As per the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Nesathurai will serve as the acting medical officer of health until official approval is received from Ontario’s Minister of Health.

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