Dr. Theresa Tam

Theresa Tam
Photo credit: Michelle Valberg

Dr. Theresa Tam is a physician with expertise in immunization, infectious disease, emergency preparedness and global health security. Named Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) in 2017, she became the first woman to hold the job.

As the federal government’s lead health professional, Dr. Tam provides advice and support to the Minister of Health and the President of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Since her medical training at the University of Nottingham, Dr. Tam has championed the reduction of health disparities so that everyone in Canada has a chance to lead healthy lives, physically and mentally. She is an advocate for health equity and a leader in Canada’s efforts to address the ongoing opioid crisis.

In addition to leading the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tam provided national leadership in Canada’s response to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and has served on World Health Organization emergency committees for Ebola, polio and Middle East respiratory syndrome.

“My career has been anything but a straight line from A to B; but I can say that my love for science and affinity for viruses has been a constant. I was always open to opportunities that were out of my comfort zone. Ultimately, I followed my interests and passions, evolved my knowledge through constant learning, and ended up doing something I love.”

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