WestJet has hired its first Chief Medical Officer (CMEDO), Dr. Tammy McKnight.
Dr. McKnight will be responsible for assisting WestJet in developing and implementing initiatives relating to the health and well-being of WestJetters and guests, the airline said on Wednesday (Feb. 17).
This will include furthering the airline's commitment to mental health, advising on risk mitigation efforts, and making health recommendations to meet or exceed regulations and in line with the varying guidelines in which a global airline operates.
This work was previously spread among multiple service providers and internal roles at WestJet, the Calgary-based company said.
The position of CMEDO reports to Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President People and Culture.
"WestJet has always valued physical and mental health as core to our caring for our people and our guests, and 2020 only made the importance more evident, so much so that hiring a dedicated CMEDO to bring everything together and inhouse made a lot of sense," said Mark Porter. "Dr. McKnight is a highly accomplished, forward-thinking leader with demonstrated success in aviation, occupational and emergency medicine, and will be a valuable addition to the team."
Dr. McKnight, who was born and raised in Alberta, called the opportunity "an honour."
"The culture of caring at WestJet and leadership's commitment to the physical and mental health of employees is admirable and I look forward to joining the team and contributing to the health of WestJetters through thoughtful and innovative initiatives," Dr. McKnight said.
Dr. McKnight brings 20 years of medical expertise to WestJet, including the establishment of a comprehensive firefighter wellness program, establishment of the Airdrie Community Physician Association (ACPA), the founding of Airdrie's Occupational Injury Services Clinic, and the development of an innovative comprehensive telehealth program.
Most recently Dr. McKnight served as the Medical Director for AirSprint, an aviation company, where she guided AirSprint's executive leadership team and provided medical insights that enabled the company to evolve in its growth strategy.
Dr. McKnight studied pharmacy at the University of Alberta prior to receiving her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Calgary. She joins WestJet effective April 5, 2021.
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