Health officer now based in Terrace

The Northwest’s Medical Health officer has moved his base from Prince George to Terrace.

  • Jun. 15, 2011 3:00 p.m.

The Northwest’s Medical Health officer has moved his base from Prince George to Terrace.

Dr. David Bowering has stepped down from his full-time position as Northern Health’s chief medical health officer and began his stint as half-time northwest medical health officer here June 1.

“I’m still the medical health officer here,” Bowering said. “The difference is I’m no longer the chief, so I’m not doing that administrative role any longer for the whole north, and I can have a bit more hands-on approach to being the medical health officer for the Northwest again, which I’m pretty excited about.”

There’s a lot of different roles he’ll be taking on, from providing information to help the community be healthier to being a resource for local doctors and staff.

“As a community physician…instead of seeing one patient at a time, my patient is kind of the whole community, or the population of people in communities,” Bowering said.

“I’ve got lots of experience over the years in public health, but also on the executive of Northern Health, so I know how the organization works and can help people to maybe get things done,” he continued.

His area spans from Haida Gwaii to Houston, and Kitimat to the Yukon border. Bowering said he’s expecting to travel around to the different communities, speaking to town councils and school districts about community health.

“There’s all sorts of issues that communities are involved with that influence people’s health,” Bowering said, pointing that it ranges from water systems to health codes to smoking or driving.

“This actually represents an improvement in the service that we’re providing to the northwest because it’s been years since we’ve had a resident MHO (medical health officer) here,” he said. He’s got an office in Northern Health’s corporate headquarters here in Terrace, above one of the Trigo’s buildings on Kalum St.

He will also continue working on projects like developing men’s health programs and “road health”; Bowering says there are a lot of preventative actions that could curb the number of deaths and injuries resulting from crashes on northern highways.

Bowering is no stranger to Terrace; he worked here for 13 years as medical health officer for the old Skeena health unit, leaving here in 2000. He was recently chief medical health officer for eight years based out of Prince George. Dr. Ronald Chapman took over the lead role at the beginning of the month.