Dr. Evan Adams named Deputy PHO for Aboriginal health
VICTORIA - Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor Dr. Evan Adams has been appointed Deputy Provincial Health Officer, announced Minister of Health Michael de Jong, the First Nations Heath Council and the interim First Nations Health Authority today.
In his new overseeing role, Dr. Adams will work alongside Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall and Deputy PHO Dr. Eric Young by providing independent direction on First Nations and Aboriginal health issues to the Ministry of Health, reporting to citizens on health issues affecting the general population, and setting out a path for the improvement of First Nations and Aboriginal health and wellness. Dr. Adams's new role reflects a strengthening of the partnership between the Province of B.C. and B.C. First Nations.
Dr. Adams is a Coast Salish physician and actor from the Sliammon First Nation located near Powell River. Previously he served as Aboriginal health physician advisor to government and the First Nations Health Council, contributing to positive developments in health for all citizens in B.C. while making substantial improvements in service delivery to First Nations in the province.
As the chief resident during his family practice residency in the Aboriginal Family Practice Program at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, he won the provincial Family Medicine Resident Leadership Award from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Murray Stalker Award from the CFPC Research and Education Foundation. He was named as a role model by the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and has worked with First Nations youth in health promotions and life-skills workshops across Canada.
Dr. Adams is the past president of the Healing Our Spirit B.C. First Nations AIDS Society, which provides prevention education for Aboriginal people in urban and rural communities throughout the province, as well as being a past president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, and the director of the Division of Aboriginal Peoples Health in the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine.
From a directive and overseeing position since his appointment as the top physician advisor on Aboriginal Health, down to working first-hand with one of the most at-risk Aboriginal populations in the country in Vancouver's downtown eastside, Dr. Adams brings invaluable on-the-ground and executive experience.
His appointment is yet another positive step for First Nations health-care representation in B.C., bringing greater Aboriginal perspective and representation to the provincial table with the goal of raising the quality of life for First Nations and all citizens.
Dr. Adams is a full-scholarship alumnus from Victoria's St. Michaels University School and Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific. He also studied general science at the University of B.C., completed his medical doctorate at the University of Calgary, and a masters of public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. As a successful actor, he has starred in mainstream films and television, and has won a best actor award from the American Indian Film Festival as well as a 1999 Independent Spirit Award. He was also awarded a Gemini for "Best Host" for his appearance on the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards broadcast.
Dr. Adams's appointment takes effect April 1, 2012.