De Villa Takes Leave of Absence from Toronto Public Health

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s public health chief, taking leave of absence for medical treatment, said she will be back in her position and intends to remain in the job until the end of the year.

It marks the second time in three months that she has taken leave after completing a doctorate degree of public health. In November, de Villa also took leave, citing medical reasons.

She said in a statement earlier this month that she was taking a couple of days off work, to see if she could get to a full appointment after her doctor advised her that she needed to stay at home for some time.

“The appointment was to test new and innovative strategies to fight COVID-19 and a new medication for SARS-CoV-2,” she said. “I am now back at work and will continue to do so, and will return to full duties when I return to work on June 30th.”

De Villa’s departure was not unexpected — it was reported in the Star on Thursday that she was considering taking time away from her job to help her family.

She said she was proud of the work she has done, and the work the Toronto Public Health is doing, adding she would like to see more collaboration between the city and the organization.

“I will always be grateful for the time I shared with Toronto Public Health and the hard work they have put into reducing the outbreak of this global pandemic in our community,” she said.

“Public health has been a constant partner with Toronto Public Health throughout this COVID-19 outbreak, and continues to support the agency through this time of crisis and beyond.”

De Villa took a leave of absence from the job after completing her PhD, becoming only the second of the city’s three chief public health officers to do so.

Dr. Ismail ElERT, who is also on leave, said he and

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