Skip to content

York Region's top doc assures smooth transition in final days before retirement

Dr. Karim Kurji said search for replacement is well underway ahead of his final day Sept. 30
2021-09-20-Kurji last update-JQ
York's medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji provides a final video update before his retirement at the end of the month.

York Region medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji expressed confidence in the search for his replacement as he delivered his final COVID-19 update video Monday, Sept. 20.

Kurji, who is retiring Sept. 30, said the search for his replacement is “well underway.” After steering York Region throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kurji reflected on how the effort has gone.

As York’s public health leadership changes, Kurji addressed the transition.

“I am very confident the Regional Municipality of York has very competent individuals, especially in the public health branch, that will make my departure and transition to a new medical officer of health seamless,” Kurji said. “I have no doubt that York Region will be in good hands going forward.”

Last July, Kurji announced his forthcoming retirement, which was delayed more than a year to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. He said none of the crises he has seen in his 37-year public health career have compared to the pandemic.

“It has been a roller-coaster of a ride for residents, students, businesses and employees,” Kurji said. “But we should all be proud of what we have accomplished together.”

The region's top doctor has not been idle in his last month. He issued two different orders to increase COVID-19 restrictions in the region due to rising cases, including one for child-care settings going into effect today. 

But he said that collaboration has helped get the region through the pandemic, including achieving 85 per cent of its 12 and older population vaccinated. 

“Community partners like hospitals, physicians, pharmacists, school boards and media have come together like never before,” he said. “We have come out on the other side and can see the finish line.”

Kurji is due to address regional council Sept. 23 a final time before he departs the role at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Kurji said York's pop-up and mobile vaccine clinics remain ongoing. 

“While I may be stepping away, these efforts will continue."