Dr. Thomas Piggott announced as Peterborough’s new medical officer of health

Coming from Labrador, Dr. Piggott will assume his new role on December 1

Dr. Thomas Piggott. (Photo courtesy of Peterborough Public Health)
Dr. Thomas Piggott. (Photo courtesy of Peterborough Public Health)

Dr. Thomas Piggott will be the Peterborough region’s new medical officer of health and CEO of Peterborough Public Health as of December 1.

The board of health for Peterborough Public Health made the announcement on Thursday (August 12).

“The board of health was very impressed with Dr. Piggott’s extensive track record in public health,” says board chair Andy Mitchell in a media release.

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“We are confident he’ll serve our community with the care, passion, and scientific expertise our residents have come to expect from their medical officer of health,” adds Mitchell, referring to the retiring Dr. Rosana Salvaterra. “We look forward to his leadership at this dynamic time in public health, both locally and provincially.”

A newcomer to the Peterborough area, Dr. Piggott is currently the medical officer of health of Labrador-Grenfell Health in the northern regions of Labrador, where he also serves as the executive lead for population health and rural and remote health in the region.

He has experience collaborating on public health with Indigenous communities in Canada and internationally, and led a pandemic response along with Indigenous governments in Labrador for outbreak prevention and a vaccination rollout with priority on Indigenous communities.

Prior to his role at Labrador-Grenfell Health, Dr. Piggott worked as a field doctor with Médicins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is a public health and preventive medicine specialist as well as a practising family physician, who who completed his Masters in Public Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with residency training at McMaster University. He is also actively involved in research and teaching in public health at McMaster University and Memorial University.

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Dr. Piggott’s wife is also a family physician and they have two young daughters. They all enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, running, bicycling, swimming, gardening, and camping.

As current medical officer of health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra will be retiring at the end of September, the board of health also announced that Dr. Ian Gemmill will provide medical direction to the health unit until Dr. Piggott begins in the position on December 1.

Dr. Gemmill is the former medical officer of health for Kingston-Frontenac-Lennox-Addington Public Health and was most recently acting medical officer of health for the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit before Dr. Natalie Bocking assumed the role.

During the transition period, Larry Stinson will serve as interim CEO of Peterborough Public Health and Donna Churipuy will serve as incident commander for the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure continuity in the health unit’s emergency response.