New Medical Officer of Health for the local health unit

By Lindsay Advocate

Dr. Bocking, Medical Officer of Health at HKPRDHU
Dr. Natalie Bocking, incoming Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit

The local health unit will soon have a new leader at its helm.

The Board of Health has announced the appointment of Dr. Natalie Bocking as the new Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit.

Dr. Bocking will assume her new position at HKPR District Health Unit on April 5, 2021.

Earlier this year, current MOH Dr. Lynn Noseworthy announced her intention to retire at the end of June. Those retirement plans were delayed due to COVID-19 and the pandemic response.

Dr. Noseworthy will now retire on December 11, 2020 with Dr. Ian Gemmill serving as acting MOH until Dr. Bocking can assume her new position in April. Dr. Gemmill was the MOH for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health until his retirement in 2017.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Bocking join HKPR,” says Doug Elmslie, chair of the board for the HKPR District Health Unit. “She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in providing public health programs and services in rural areas of the province and has most recently worked with northern First Nations communities to provide public health services.”

Dr. Bocking is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine Specialist and was certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2015 following the completion of her specialty training at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bocking’s academic training also includes a Medical Doctorate from McMaster University and Masters in International Public Health from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Bocking has spent the past four years working as a public health physician with Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. In her role, she supported the development of a community based First Nations governed public health system for 31 rural and remote First Nations. This included overseeing tuberculosis and hepatitis C programming, population health assessment, and maternal and child health support.

In addition to her work in public health, Dr. Bocking has worked as a locum family physician in northwestern Ontario. She has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at provincial and national conferences.

Dr. Bocking and her family moved to the City of Kawartha Lakes in the fall of 2019.

“Dr. Noseworthy has guided this health unit through some challenging times and we wish her all the best for her well-deserved retirement,” says Elmslie. “Dr. Noseworthy has worked tirelessly to help provide quality public health programs and services to the residents in our communities and I know Dr. Bocking will do an excellent job in carrying on that work.”

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