Doctor Maurianne Reade named member of new Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee

Doctor Maurianne Reade is a member of the new Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee.

MINDEMOYA – Doctor Maurianne Reade, president of the medical staff at Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC), is a member of the new Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee (OIAC), created by Public Health Ontario (PHO).

“I would like to congratulate Dr. Maurianne Reade for her nomination to the Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee,” said Dennis McGregor, chair of the MHC board at a meeting September 30. “I’m hopeful that you accepted the nomination.”

Dr. Reade told the board that she was honoured to have been nominated as a member of the committee by Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) and had accepted the nomination. “It will provide the opportunity bring a rural Northern Ontario voice to the committee.” 

“I’m sure you will represent us very well,” said Mr. McGregor.

The OIAC will provide scientific and technical advice on vaccines and immunization matters, focusing on publicly funded vaccines and immunization programs in Ontario.

Dr. Reade told The Expositor. “It’s a new committee and will provide advice on matters of vaccines and immunization programs in the province (to PHO), which has decision making authority.” 

PHO hosts various external advisory committees made up of teams of multi-disciplinary experts from across Ontario that come together to provide leadership, scientific and technical advice, best practices and recommendations to the health sector on a range of public health topics. Current committees include the antimicrobial stewardship advisory committee and the provincial infectious diseases advisory committee on infection prevention and control.

“PHO is excited to host a new external committee—the Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee. Established in August 2021 at the request of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the committee provides evidence-based advice to PHO on vaccines and immunization matters including vaccine program implementation in Ontario, priority populations, clinical guidance and vaccine safety and effectiveness. While the focus of the committee’s initial work will be on COVID-19 immunization programs in Ontario, the committee’s work will also include publicly funded vaccines and immunization programs as well as those under consideration for new programming,” a release explains.

The committee is made up of members with clinical, epidemiological and public health knowledge, as well as expertise in the following areas: infectious diseases and immunology, special populations (e.g., immunocompromised groups, maternal-fetal health), vaccine preventable diseases, community immunization program delivery (primary care and pharmacy), clinical or medical microbiology, vaccine safety, surveillance of vaccine effectiveness.

“We (recently) held our first meeting,” said Dr. Reade, noting the committee is not to exceed 13 members, and members are from all over Ontario. 

 “I am certainly honoured to have been asked to join the committee, and it provides for a voice from the North,” said Dr. Reade, noting her involvement in working on the vaccine rollout program on the Island through PHSD, municipalities, First Nations and Family Health Team working groups over the last several months. 

“It’s an external advisory committee to PHO,” said Dr. Reade. “It has been proven how important that the leaders in Ontario and on Manitoulin Island made to not hold the big events that take place every year that brings a large gathering of people together, due to the pandemic. I am sure they encountered some criticism for this. But as the province of Alberta experienced opening up everything prematurely can be devastating.” 

The OIAC provided a profile of Dr. Reade indicating she is a family physician in Mindemoya and an associate professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). Dr. Reade completed medical school and residency at the University of Alberta and worked in several rural locations across Canada prior to moving to Ontario in 2001. As the past president of the Physician Clinical Teachers Association at NOSM, Dr. Reade brings perspectives from her Northern and rural faculty colleagues. Through her leadership roles in emergency preparedness and as the president of the professional staff at the MHC, Dr. Reade has been involved in pandemic planning and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across Manitoulin, with hard work and collaboration between local family health teams, Noojmowin Teg and First Nations clinics, First Nations and municipal leadership, PHSD and many volunteers.

Dr. Reade’s research interests include health equity, intimate partner violence, cultural safety and inter-professional education.