Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and leader of the city’s COVID-19 pandemic response, announced that she was taking a short leave for health reasons.
The Canadian Filipino medical doctor released the following statement on December 7:
“This summer, in keeping with current recommendations, I had a routine screening mammogram. The mammogram, and the testing that followed thereafter, identified precancerous cells. These cells need to be removed through surgery, which I am scheduled to undergo tomorrow. Any further treatment will be determined after the surgery.
“My story is not unique. Women throughout Toronto receive news like this every day. I want you to know that I am receiving great care and that Toronto Public Health is in good hands with our Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Na-Koshie Lamptey, who will be Acting Medical Officer of Health in my absence.
“My message to Torontonians is simply this: please do take the time to participate in screening programs, as recommended. I am grateful that I took the time to get screened as it has allowed me to have early detection and treatment. I am planning to return to work on December 20 and will look forward to seeing you then,” de Villa’s statement read.
The Toronto City Council approved de Villa’s appointment as Medical Officer of Health on January 31, 2017.
De Villa started in her post on March 27 of the same year.