New Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer appointed for Public Health Sudbury & Districts

The Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mustafa Hirji as its next Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Dr. Penny Sutcliffe as of March 18, 2024. Consistent with provincial legislation, Dr. Hirji will be Acting Medical Officer of Health until the Minister of Health approves the Board’s appointment.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Hirji and are confident that his years of senior leadership experience with Niagara Region Public Health and his professionalism will ensure that Public Health Sudbury & Districts continues as a strong, stable, and locally responsive agency,” said Board of Health Chair, René Lapierre. “This new chapter for Public Health will build on Dr. Penny Sutcliffe’s exemplary leadership and dedication over more than two decades of protecting our communities and promoting health for all,” said Lapierre.

The Board unanimously endorsed the appointment recommendation from its Recruitment and Selection Sub-committee following a national search and thorough recruitment process. As Public Health’s next leader and with the direction of the Board of Health, Dr. Hirji will build on the agency’s long history as a strong, innovative, and collaborative organization, and steer the organization through changes the province has recently announced, including the voluntary merger process for public health units.

Dr. Hirji obtained his Public Health and Preventive Medicine Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2015. He has education in epidemiology, political science, and engineering physics, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University.

“I am excited and incredibly humbled to be joining Public Health Sudbury & Districts, an organization that has a sterling reputation for excellence and commitment to health equity,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji. “As we head into a period of change in the public health system, I hope to build on existing strengths, and work with the remarkable team at Public Health to enable the people of Greater Sudbury, Sudbury District, and Manitoulin District to live healthier lives and enjoy more equitable opportunities for well-being.”

“On a more personal note, having lived in the Prairies and the Golden Horseshoe, I am eager to learn about and experience a new part of Canada in Northern Ontario,” said Dr. Hirji.

Dr. Hirji joins Public Health following more than eight years at Niagara Region Public Health where he served as Associate Medical Officer of Health including almost five and a half years Acting as the Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health and Emergency Services. During his tenure in Niagara, Dr. Hirji led the community’s response to the pandemic, increased focus on health equity, and strengthened the organization’s capabilities in communications and data analytics. Once Dr. Hirji joins Public Health in March 2024, Dr. Sutcliffe will begin her year-long sabbatical leading to retirement.

The recruitment and selection sub-committee was comprised of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair and two members of the Board of Health’s Executive Committee. With the appointment of Dr. Hirji, the Board of Health has fulfilled its legal duty under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to appoint a full-time medical officer of health and to ensure the provision of public health programs and services as required by the Act.

For more information about Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ programs and services, please visit or call 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

This item was last modified on December 13, 2023