Greensmith to fill in for MOH on the campaign trial

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Dr. Christopher Greensmith is returning – at least temporarily.

Lambton’s former medical officer of health is returning to the role on an interim basis while the current MOH – Dr. Sudit Ranade – campaigns to become the MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex for the Liberal Party in the federal election.

Andrew Taylor, the general manager of Lambton’s Public Health Services division says Greensmith is a “well-respected local family physician” and “well-known to the community” after being the MOH for 22 years.

Greensmith is also familiar with the local efforts to combat COVID-19, officials said. He’s been part of the county’s COVID-19 Immunization Task Force and is on the Infection and Prevention Control Committee for Bluewater Health.

Warden Kevin Marriott says “it is important to have strong, continued public health leadership at this time” adding the county is “very fortunate” to have a “seasoned and fully qualified public health physician” take over.

Ranade’s leave of absence is until Sept. 20 and comes as health officials across the province voice concern about a fall surge of COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant.

Lambton is slightly behind the rest of the province with vaccination rates. In Ontario 75 per cent of people over 12 are fully vaccinated with 71 per cent of Lambton residents getting two doses.

Lambton falls far behind in the race to vaccinate school aged children before heading back to class. Across the province 56.6 per cent of youth to the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, in Lambton only 18 per cent are.

Public health officials say they’re working with school boards to hold special vaccination clinics for school age children in Lambton, however where and when that will happen has not yet been released.