FROM PUBLIC HEALTH TO PUBLIC RELATIONS
How Canada’s Top Doctors Employed Effective Communications Strategies to Fight COVID-19
As the pandemic settled in, provincial health officers became members of the household for many Canadians as we looked for daily updates and reassurance. Dr. Bonnie Henry of British Columbia and Dr. Robert Strang of Nova Scotia stood out for their memorable quotes, demeanour and heartfelt emotion. They had the difficult task of setting direction for their province and explaining the complexities of a rapidly evolving pandemic. They are so familiar to us and we could tell when difficult days were ahead before they said it, or when the public scrutiny had kept them awake. Their two jurisdictions were leaders in many areas both in Canada and the world.
We will be asking them the communications questions you want answered. Watch for more information on how attendees can submit questions for Dr. Henry and Dr. Strang before the conference.
DR. BONNIE HENRY
PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICER, PROVINCE OF B.C.
Dr. Bonnie Henry was appointed as Provincial Health Officer for the Province of BC in 2018. As BC’s most senior public health official, Dr. Henry is responsible for monitoring the health of all British Columbians and undertaking measures for disease prevention and control and health protection. Most recently, Dr. Henry has led the province’s response on the COVID-19 pandemic and drug overdose emergency.
Dr. Henry’s experience in public health, preventative medicine and global pandemics has extended throughout her career. Prior to her current role, Dr. Henry was the deputy provincial health officer for three years. She also served as the interim provincial executive medical director of the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) from December 2013 until August 2014.
Dr. Henry is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine and is board certified in preventive medicine in the U.S. She graduated from Dalhousie Medical School and completed a Masters in Public Health in San Diego, residency training in preventive medicine at University of California, San Diego and in community medicine at University of Toronto.
Dr. Henry is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine.
DR. ROBERT STRANG
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH, NOVA SCOTIA
Dr. Robert Strang is Chief Medical Officer of Health in Nova Scotia appointed in August 2007. He received his medical degree from University of British Columbia and completed Family Practice and Community Medicine residencies at UBC.
Dr. Strang was an Associate Medical Officer of Health in South Fraser Health, BC, from 1997-1999 and in 1999, he moved to Halifax to become Medical Officer of Health for Capital District Health Authority. He was acting provincial Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health prior to his CMOH appointment.
As CMOH, he has provided leadership around the renewal of the public health system in Nova Scotia as well as raising awareness around the importance of creating policies and environments that support better health for Nova Scotian families and communities.
He is passionate about public health and has worked with non-government organizations such as Smoke Free Nova Scotia, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Public Health Association of Nova Scotia.
Dr. Strang has an adjunct appointment with Dalhousie University, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology.