Leadership Changes at Public Health Ontario


17 Aug 2021

Effective September 10, 2021, Dr. Vanessa Allen will be leaving her role at PHO to take on a position in microbiology at Mt. Sinai.

We want to thank Dr. Allen for her extraordinary contributions to PHO. Dr. Allen has been a passionate champion for the laboratory program at PHO. With her combined expertise in microbiology, infectious disease and public health, she has cultivated a strong laboratory medical and scientific team. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Allen has provided exceptional expertise and leadership for the pandemic laboratory response in Ontario.

Dr. Samir Patel will be stepping into the role of Chief, Microbiology and Laboratory Science on an interim basis from his role as Deputy Chief, Microbiology and Laboratory Science. Dr. Patel has been with PHO since 2009 and has been the clinical lead of many important programs at the laboratory, including antimicrobial resistance, tick –borne pathogens including Lyme disease, and has been the lead of the PHO laboratory scientific program since 2017. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Patel has been instrumental in many aspects of COVID, most notably as Scientific and Clinical Lead for PHO’s COVID-19 genomics program. Dr. Patel is also an Associate Professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and has been recognized as a strong collaborator with hospital, provincial, federal and international partners.

“Over the past 13 years at PHO, it has been an incredible privilege to work with so many dedicated, kind, and talented people across Ontario with such a broad range of expertise. I have learned so much from colleagues across the broader public health and health care system, and have particularly appreciated what we have been able to do when we work together in partnership. I am excited to be able to find new ways to contribute to clinical microbiology and infectious diseases throughout Ontario in my new role at Sinai Health System. Dr. Samir Patel and all of the clinical, scientific and operational leadership at PHO’s laboratory are extraordinary, and I know that they will continue to deliver high caliber, relevant and collaborative microbiology services and science.”

— Dr. Vanessa Allen
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Published 17 Aug 2021