Dr. Homer Tien, CEO and president of Ornge Air Ambulance, will lead the province’s vaccine task force following the end of retired Gen. Rick Hillier’s term.
In a statement, Stephen Warner, spokesman for the Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, says the trauma surgeon will serve as the “operational lead” of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force as the province moves into Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout.
Dr. Tien has been a part of the task force since it was established and lead Operation Remote Immunity which delivered and administered vaccines to 31 remote First Nation communities in northern Ontario as well as Moosonee.
His term began on April 1 and will expire on Aug. 31.
Hillier’s term expired on March 31 after “overseeing the development of Ontario’s vaccine rollout plan and associated infrastructure.”
“The plan and infrastructure are now in place, and the province is administering more and more vaccines each day. We are grateful for his leadership and guidance in getting us this far,” said Warner.
He added that thus far the province has administered over two millions vaccines and if supply from the federal government is consistent, it has the capacity to administer over 150,000 a day.
Prior to joining Ornge, Dr. Tien was Medical Director for the Tory Regional Trauma Centre at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He has also served as a trauma surgeon and the Chief of Military Medical and Surgical Specialities with the Canadian Forces, working in combat zones like Afghanistan and the Former Yugoslavia. Dr. Tien was honoured with the Order of Military Merit, presented to members of the Canadian Forces who demonstrate dedication and devotion beyond the call of duty, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.