New permanent Niagara Region Medical Officer of Health appointed
After an extensive recruitment process, Niagara Regional Council, as Niagara’s Board of Health, is pleased to share the appointment of Dr. Azim Kasmani as permanent Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health and Emergency Services for Niagara Region.
Dr. Kasmani joined the Region as Associate Medical Officer of Health in August of 2021, and since that time has provided sound medical advice and leadership to many key strategic projects within Public Health and Emergency Services and in coordination with community partners. Most recently, he led Public Health’s involvement in the execution of the 2022 Canada Summer Games, and managed Niagara’s rapid response to a local Mpox outbreak, working effectively with community partners across Niagara to contain outbreaks and vaccinate those most at risk.
Dr. Kasmani attended McMaster University for his undergraduate degree and medical school followed by Queen’s University for specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He obtained a Master’s in Public Health and Health Promotion from Brunel University in London, England. Before coming to Niagara, Dr. Kasmani gained experience working in several other public health agencies, including the public health departments at York Region, Durham Region; Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington; as well as Hastings Prince Edward.
Regional Council extends its sincere gratitude to Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji, recognizing and thanking him for the many contributions he’s made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Hirji has led Public Health and Emergency Services as Acting Medical Officer of Health since 2018, and upon the appointment of the permanent Medical Officer of Health, will resume his permanent role as Associate Medical Officer of Health where he will continue to support the health and well-being of Niagara.
Along with the appointment of a permanent Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Chief of Staff position will be expanded and clarified to allow the new Medical Officer of Health to focus on the department’s strategic work. This aligns with the more nimble and agile approach Niagara Region is taking in tackling the pressing issues facing Niagara, as signaled by the changes announced at the Regional Chair’s recent State of the Region address.
Dr. Kasmani will begin his new role as Medical Officer of Health on May 28.
"Throughout the recruitment process it became clear that Dr. Kasmani has the vision and skills to lead Public Health as we move out of the pandemic and look to the future opportunities and challenges. Coupled with his strong passion for tackling the social determinants of health in our community, I am confident our community will be in good hands with him in this position. I am also grateful to Dr. Hirji for his leadership over the past five years, and his continued support and dedication to Public Health."
~ Ron Tripp, Chief Administrative Officer
"On behalf of Regional Council I want to welcome Dr. Kasmani to his new role as Niagara’s permanent Medical Officer of Health. As Chair of Niagara’s Board of Health, I am looking forward to working with him to both face new challenges and take advantage of upcoming opportunities in our future. Under his leadership, I am confident that Public Health and Emergency Services will continue to be successful going forward. I also want to recognize Dr. Hirji for his leadership throughout the pandemic. The role of Medical Officer of Health in Niagara is a challenging one at the best of times, and managing the impacts of a global pandemic are especially difficult. Council will certainly be acknowledging his significant contributions to our community over the coming weeks."
~ Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair
"I’m excited to serve the public as Medical Officer of Health, and would like to thank Regional Council for their confidence and support as I take on this role. I look forward to continuing to work with all our talented staff, members of council, and our valued community partners as we advance the important work Public Health and Emergency Services does in our region. I would also like to thank Dr. Hirji for the support he’s given me since I arrived at Niagara; his experience, guidance and mentorship are things I strongly value and appreciate."
~ Dr. Azim Kasmani
Office of the Regional Chair
Niagara Region Public Health
905-329-1642 ext. andrew