New medical health officer joins central Island region

The new medical health officer for central Vancouver Island is looking forward to an exciting opportunity and hopes he can fill the shoes of past officers.

Dr. Paul Hasselback

Dr. Paul Hasselback

The new medical health officer for central Vancouver Island is looking forward to an exciting opportunity and hopes he can fill the shoes of past officers.

Dr. Paul Hasselback takes over the position Sept. 12, replacing Dr. Lorna Medd and before her Dr. Fred Rockwell – both now retired.

Hasselback has more than 20 years experience as a medical health officer in Alberta, Saskatchewan  and most recently with B.C.’s Interior Health Authority.

He was involved at the provincial and national levels in both communicable and non-communicable challenges for public health and is the chairman of the Health Officers Council of B.C.

Born in Vancouver, Hasselback said he has never lived on the Island and looks forward to the opportunities and cultural shift.

“There is a very persuasive group of medical health officers currently there that desperately said they wanted me to come and join them,” he said. “Having not lived there before, I’m always open to new experiences.”

With an area of responsibility from the Malahat to Qualicum and west to Tofino/Ucluelet, Hasselback plans to meet with people in the Vancouver Island Health Authority, other health components and community groups to determine the major issues that need to be addressed.

“The area is set and made up of a diversity of different communities and each of those communities has their own issues,” he said. “Some communities are in a good position to actually move forward on areas of concern, while others may need to sit down and start talking about the health issues of the community as a first step. I’m looking forward to working with communities in whatever step or phase they are in at the moment.”

Hasselback said he has known Rockwell, Medd and Dr. Richard Stanwick, VIHA’s chief medical health officer, for a number of years and knows he can call upon their knowledge if necessary.

“My personal philosophy is that to fairly address public health issues, this has to be based on the assessment on the current situation,” he said. “History may be informative, but the past is only one aspect of the current issue. An appreciation of the culture and social history is integral to successfully putting perspective on the issues of the day.”

 

 

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read