Vice President of Population Health and Chief Medical Health Officer
Dr. Réka Gustafson Is the Vice President, Population and Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer at Island Health. In this role, Dr. Gustafson leads programs that aim to improve and reduce inequities in health for residents of Island Health through prevention, promotion and protection programming and advancing health public policies. She leads Island Health programs in population health assessment, communicable disease control, immunization, maternal and child health programs, health protection and environmental health, community care facilities licensing, population health promotion and harm reduction. She works closely with senior leaders to drive quality improvements and ground strategies and initiatives throughout the organization. She also represents Island Health at relevant provincial and national tables, building relationships with external partners and engaging with relevant national organizations to help facilitate our goal of excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.
A seasoned public health practitioner, Dr. Gustafson was at the forefront of BC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and toxic drug crisis, providing leadership for evidence-informed public health initiatives, planning and emergency response. She is also a gifted communicator, turning complex data and challenging concepts into accessible and digestible content for all audiences, as she demonstrated at many provincial briefings throughout the pandemic.
Dr. Gustafson joined Island Health from the Provincial Health Services Authority where she held two senior leadership roles of VP, Public Health & Wellness, and Deputy Provincial Health Officer, where she provided leadership to the BCCDC. Prior to that she was the Medical Health Officer for the City of Vancouver and Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health. She is a Clinical Associate Professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health, where she originally completed her Master of Science, Master of Health Science and MD degrees. She holds a fellowship in Public Health and Preventative Medicine and certification in Family Medicine.
To contact Dr. Gustafson, please connect with her assistant.