About: Health and Wellness

The Department of Health and Wellness provides oversight to health services in the province in accordance with the Health Services Act. It establishes an accountability framework, standards for health services, performance targets, policy or guidelines for the management of operations and delivery of services and approves business plans and budgets.

The Department also provides leadership in all matters related to public health and health promotion and informs policy to improve the health and well-being of citizens.

Some of the priorities in this mandate are to:

  • Enhance primary care through the active recruitment and deployment of skilled front-line workers
  • Continue to advance a culture of wellness in the province
  • Work with Health PEI to advance service delivery, clinical decision making and adherence to fiscal goals
  • Advance rural health delivery, including the implementation of regional district advisory councils
  • Work with other social policy departments on a renewed Mental Health and Addictions strategy

Structure and Employees

Chief Public Health Office

The Chief Public Health Office (CPHO) promotes, prevents and protects the health of Islanders so that fewer people become sick or injured and more people live healthier lives. 

The CPHO collaborates with partners in areas of health promotion to support Islanders in leading healthy lives. We work with the health system, other government departments and communities to prevent disease and injury and deliver health protection programs under Public Health Act and Regulations of Prince Edward Island. 

What does the Chief Public Health Office do for Islanders?

The CPHO promotes health by:

  • monitoring the health status of communities or special populations;
  • developing and supporting public policy that promotes a healthy population;
  • working with community partners to encourage healthy living.

The CPHO prevents disease and injury by:

  • monitoring and reporting on diseases and events that affect the lives of Islanders;
  • preventing and controlling the spread of communicable diseases;
  • directing childhood and adult immunization.

The CPHO protects the health of Islanders by:

  • inspecting and licensing facilities such as eating establishments, swimming pools, tanning bed facilities and provincial meat and dairy plants;
  • taking action to ensure food and water are safe;
  • protecting against environmental threats or hazards through regulation and enforcement.

Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Public Health Officer

Dr. Heather G. Morrison was appointed Chief Public Health Officer in July 2007. A graduate of UPEI, Dr. Morrison was also Prince Edward Island’s first female Rhodes Scholar. At Oxford University, she completed a Master’s and a Doctoral degree, majoring in Comparative Social Research and Social Policy, with a doctoral dissertation in health policy decision-making. Dr. Morrison returned to Canada for her medical training, graduating as an MD from Dalhousie University, followed by specialist training in Public Health at the University of Toronto. Dr. Morrison chairs the Canadian Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health and has served in a variety of provincial roles. Dr. Morrison was Acting Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness for Prince Edward Island  between April 2016 and mid-July 2016. Dr. Morrison has practiced medicine in Ontario, Saipan, and PEI, where she resides with her husband and 4 young children.

Dr. David Sabapathy, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer

Dr. David Sabapathy was appointed as Deputy Chief Public Health Officer for the province of Prince Edward Island in 2014. Dr. Sabapathy is a physician and fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He completed his MD and specialist training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Calgary, working at Alberta Health Services as well as the World Health Organization. He holds a Master of Business Administration in health care administration and a Master of Science and Clinical Research Fellowship in applied public health research.

In his public health practice, Dr. Sabapathy draws on ten years of private sector experience as a professional engineer working in the areas of environmental risk assessment, quality improvement and strategic management. He received his engineering degree from the University of Prince Edward Island / University of New Brunswick and maintains licensure with Engineers PEI.


View employee list
Communicable Disease Program

The Chief Public Health Office is mandated by the Public Health Act and the Notifiable Diseases and Conditions and Communicable Diseases Regulations to control certain communicable diseases in PEI.  The Communicable Disease Program contributes to this mandate through policy development, disease surveillance, case follow-up, contact tracing, immunization and education.

View employee list
Environmental Health

Environmental Health protects the health and safety of Islanders and visitors through education, inspections of public and private services and facilities, and consultation regarding environmental health risks. The main focus of the Environmental Health section is prevention of illness as it relates to specific program areas including food safety, water safety, enteric disease prevention and control, milk processing, restricting youth access to tobacco and electronic smoking devices, and smoke-free places.

View employee list
Health Promotion

Healthy living can lead to better overall health.  Islanders can reduce their risk for illness by making healthier choices daily and working together to create supportive, healthy environments at home, work and in our communities.

Healthy living is a shared responsibility and all Islanders have a role to play. The following sections will guide you to many provincial and national resources to help you and your family make healthy lifestyle choices.

View employee list
Population Health Assessment and Surveillance

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance provides advice and expertise to the Chief Public Health Office, Deputy Minister, and Minister on key health issues in PEI. 

The unit is responsible for monitoring and reporting on health status and health trends in PEI. The unit supports evidence-based decision making, and promotes continuous improvement by generating, analyzing and interpreting information. The scope of the program and services within the section are: production of technical population health reports, interpretation and analysis of national reports to make information relevant to PEI surveillance of communicable and non-communicable diseases, population research, development of population health databases, and evaluation of health initiatives.

View employee list
Community Health and Policy

Health Policy and Programs Section supports health-related policy and planning in the areas of inter-governmental relations, legislation, and provincial health policy. 

View employee list
Emergency Health Services
Health Policy and Planning

The Health Policy and Programs Division is responsible for health-related policy and planning, including inter-governmental  relations, legislation, health policy, health workforce planning  and the regulation of private nursing homes and community care facilities. This Division is responsible to support and assist the Department of Health and Wellness in the areas of human resource management and financial administration.

View employee list
National Health File Secretariat
Pharmacare Program
Senior's Health
Finance and Corporate Management

This Division is responsible to support and assist the Department of Health and Wellness in the areas of human resource management and financial administration.

View employee list
Financial Services

Financial Services Section provides financial planning, and analysis services with respect to program creation, policy creation, and program spending for the Minister, Deputy Minister, and management of the Department. The section also provides assistance and advice relating to budgetary, financial, policy, and administrative matters on programs, projects and services.

View employee list
Human Resources

Human Resources is part of the PEI Public Service Commission and has been assigned to provide direction, leadership, advice, coaching, and support to the Department of Health and Wellness with regard to all aspects of human resources (HR) and labour relations (LR) management. It ensures policies and programs are consistent and kept aligned with the strategic direction, while also supporting the department in advancing its mandate. It provides a full range human resource services and support including human resource planning, classification, recruitment and selection, payroll, occupational health and safety, employee assistance program, diversity program, learning and development, French language training and policy development.

View employee list
Health Workforce, Recruitment, and Pharmaceutical Services

The Recruitment and Retention Secretariat of Prince Edward Island is part of the Department of Health and Wellness. The Secretariat provides health human resource planning and undertakes recruitment and retention efforts to meet the current and future needs for physicians, nurses and allied health professions. The Secretariat's work is mainly with hard-to-recruit health professions.

View employee list
Pharmaceutical Services
Minister's Office

The Minister’s office is the executive level staff for the Department of Health and Wellness, including the Minister, Deputy Minister and administrative and communications staff. The office works to fulfill government’s health and wellness mandate; it aims are to ensure the delivery of quality healthcare and to advance a culture of wellness, and to promote innovations that serve both aims.

View employee list
Strategic Initiatives
Health and Wellness department logo
Minister's Office
Fax: 902-368-4121
Deputy Minister
Executive Administrative Assistant to the Minister
Executive Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Minister
Senior Communication Officer

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121