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Queensland Health welcomes three Deputy Chief Health Officers

Three Queensland Health staff with over 100 years of experience between them have been appointed as the state’s Deputy Chief Health Officers.

Director-General Dr John Wakefield confirmed the appointments, following the recent legislative change enabling this to occur.

Dr Wakefield said this would enable a smooth transition with current Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young appointed Governor from 1 November, and the recent departure of Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Sonya Bennett to a role with the Commonwealth.

Dr Peter Aitken, Dr Lynne McKinlay and Dr James Smith have commenced their new positions and will support the incoming Chief Health Officer.

“Dr Young and Dr Bennett have played a significant role in steering us through the most crucial periods of this pandemic,” Dr Wakefield said.

“To ensure we maintain that leadership and support the incoming CHO, we have appointed a team of Deputy CHOs to carry on Queensland’s successful COVID-19 response.

“Dr Aitken, Dr McKinlay and Dr Smith bring with them a wealth of experience and will support the incoming Chief Health Officer across all aspects of the COVID-19 response – from incident management, to policy and public health.”

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the appointment of all three individuals would hold the state’s COVID-19 response in good stead.

“There wasn’t a manual to manage this pandemic in the beginning and it was a rapid learning curve to understand this new virus and provide public health advice to the Government and the Queensland community,” Dr Young said.

“Being able to support my successor in this way, by having three experienced Deputies with contemporary experience managing the pandemic in Queensland, will go a long way to ensuring Queensland stays safe.

“Managing the COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant effort from everyone across the entire health system, and I know Dr Aitken, Dr McKinlay and Dr Smith will continue to provide expert leadership and advice.”

ENDS

Last updated: 17 September 2021