Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health


Dr. Etches was appointed as Medical Officer of Health for Ottawa Public Health (OPH) in April 2018, having served as Deputy MOH from 2014 to 2017.

As Deputy MOH, Dr. Etches supported the organization in delivering quality, client-centered services; contributed to knowledge transfer and applied public health research; and reinforced population health assessment, surveillance, and program evaluation.

In her role as Associate Medical Officer of Health at OPH from 2009 to 2014, Dr. Etches was responsible for the management of teams that provided clinical services to prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne illnesses as well as clinical services to prevent and treat dental health problems. Other teams she directed included those that provide reproductive health counseling promote breastfeeding, carry out home visits to new parents to support positive parenting skills, public health inspection, environmental health and programming related to the control of communicable diseases, and infection prevention and control.

Prior to joining OPH in 2009, Dr. Etches served as an Associate Medical Officer of Health, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Director of Clinical Services at the Sudbury & District Health Unit (SDHU) after completing her specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine in 2005.

Dr. Etches is a native of Hazelton, British Columbia. She started her post-secondary career by completing a Bachelor of Science at Simon Fraser University and went on to complete her Medical Doctorate at the University of British Columbia followed by a Masters of Health Science, and a Fellowship in Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Etches has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has been invited to present at many provincial and national conferences.

Dr. Etches is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa, where she continues to supervise medical residents in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Family Medicine.

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