Local medical officer of health retiring

By Lindsay Advocate

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lynn Noseworthy has announced her plans to retire from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) this summer.

Since joining HKPRDHU almost 16 years ago, Dr. Noseworthy has guided the Health Unit as it implemented programs and services geared to improve the health of residents living in Northumberland County, Haliburton County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

These programs and services included community-based sexual health clinics, needle exchange programs, community naloxone distribution, low-income dental programs for children and seniors, vision screening programs for school-aged children, poverty reduction initiatives, and improved access to prenatal programs for new moms.

“Dr. Noseworthy has always been a passionate advocate for public health and the important role it plays in keeping our residents healthy,” says Doug Elmslie, Chair of the Board of Health for HKPR District Health Unit. “The commitment, knowledge and dedication she has shown during her 30-year career will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Noseworthy was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and after five years of general practice in that province, she went on to obtain a Master of Health Science Degree in Community Health and Epidemiology from the University of Toronto.

She received her Specialist Certification in Community Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1990 and served as an Associate Medical Officer of Health in North York before serving as the Medical Officer of Health for the Hastings Prince Edward Counties Health Unit for 13 years. From there, she joined HKPRDHU in August 2004.

“As a physician, I have always believed that public health programs and services are key to keeping people healthy,” Dr. Noseworthy says. “Whether we help someone quit smoking, immunize them against disease or inspect the restaurants where they eat, public health is working to protect people, so they do not get ill.”

Dr. Noseworthy’s time at HKPRDHU has not been without its challenges. Funding freezes and budget cuts meant she and her staff have had to close offices, reduce costs, reorganize work, and prioritize programs in order to continue to provide mandated programs and services to residents.

“I have been very fortunate to work with a group of incredible public health professionals who are passionate about the work they do and the people they help,” she says. “Despite the fiscal challenges we have faced, and continue to face, my staff always have the best interests of our residents in mind and advocate for what they know our community needs most.”

A committee of Board of Health members, including Mr. Elmslie, has been struck to begin recruiting for Dr. Noseworthy’s successor. Dr. Noseworthy will retire at the end of June or July depending on the availability of her successor.

And while she says it will be difficult leaving a role and an organization she loves, Dr. Noseworthy says her departure will be made easier knowing that a recruitment committee is committed to finding someone who is professional, passionate and thoughtful about the work of public health in our community.

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