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Dr. Jennifer Russell to lead planned UNB institute of population health

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Nov 1, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

Dr. Jennifer Russell

Dr. Jennifer Russell (BSc’97), New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health widely regarded for her leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic, will join the University of New Brunswick (UNB) this fall as the executive director leading a planned institute of population health.

“We are happy to welcome Dr. Russell back to UNB. Her experience and passions will be instrumental in guiding our work to advance population health initiatives in New Brunswick and beyond,” said Dr. Paul J, Mazerolle, UNB president and vice-chancellor.

Russell, who has served as Chief Medical Officer of Health of New Brunswick since 2018 and as Deputy Chief from 2014 to 2018, said it has been a pleasure to serve the province and utilize her clinical experience as a family doctor, a hospital-based physician with addictions and mental health experience, combined with her passion for preventative care and improving population health.

“Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to help my patients and ensure the health and safety of citizens of our province. The work of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health has served New Brunswickers at a crucial time. Now, I look forward to joining the team at the University of New Brunswick and making a difference in the next chapter of my career,” said Russell.

While at the province, Russell was co-chair of the Public Health Network Council and the Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses. She was also a member of the Special Advisory Committee on Covid-19 during the pandemic. Before this, she worked as a medical officer in the Canadian Armed Forces in Ottawa until 2007, followed by several years in Fredericton, where she worked for the Horizon Health Network in mental health and addictions, provided opioid replacement therapy and served as a hospitalist and family medicine locum.

Russell has a BA from Dalhousie University, a BSc from UNB and a medical degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She completed her family medicine residency at Dalhousie University in 2001. She has received an honorary doctor of laws from Mount Allison University (2021) and an honorary doctorate in health from Université de Moncton (2023). She received Canada's 2020 Physician of the Year Award for New Brunswick. She was invested into the Order of New Brunswick in 2021.