Leadership Changes at Public Health Ontario


2 July 2020

Public Health Ontario’s President and CEO, Dr. Peter Donnelly will not be returning following his medical leave which began in early April.

“Having experienced cardiac symptoms over a number of weeks, it is now clear that it is important for me to return to the United Kingdom where all of my family are based”, said Dr. Donnelly. He continued, “the Board and I have reached the very difficult decision that it is best for me to be released from my contract early. It has been a privilege to lead PHO over the last five and a half years. I am very grateful to have had that opportunity and I wish the organization and its hard-working and talented staff every success for the future.”

PHO’s Board of Directors noted, “we want to thank Peter on behalf of PHO for his dedicated leadership and numerous contributions not just to PHO but across the wider public health system over the last five and a half years. Most recently he played a particularly important role in leading PHO’s contributions to the initial stages of the provincial response to COVID-19. We wish him a speedy recovery to full health and all the very best for the future.”

PHO’s Board of Directors has asked Colleen Geiger to continue in her role of acting President and CEO, which she has agreed to do.

In terms of PHO’s critical public health response and public health laboratory contributions to Ontario’s COVID-19 response, Dr. Shelley Deeks, Chief Health Protection Officer and Dr. Vanessa Allen, Chief Medical Microbiologist will continue to provide executive leadership as they have throughout the entire course of the response.

See our revised Leadership page for more information about our exceptional leadership team.

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Updated 2 July 2020