News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Today the Ministry of Health announced that Dr Ayoola Oyinloye will be taking over as Bermuda’s new Chief Medical Officer, following the retirement of Dr Cheryl Peek-Ball on August 31st, 2020.
The remit of the Chief Medical Officer includes health professional registration and regulation; epidemiology and surveillance; drugs control and statutory responsibilities including consultative support to government departments and, more recently, leading Bermuda’s public health response to COVID-19.
Dr Oyinloye previously served as the Deputy Director of Public Health and Consultant in Public Health for Swindon Borough Council, in the United Kingdom. He is an experienced epidemiologist, and was steeped in managing the pandemic in his community in the United Kingdom.
Dr Oyinloye trained as a doctor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and had his postgraduate training in the Universities of Ibadan and Liverpool [UK]. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health (UK).
“Dr. Peek-Ball has been the Chief Medical Officer for Bermuda since June 2013. Previously, she served the Ministry of Health as Senior Medical Officer 2009-2013 and as Medical Officer for Maternal Health & Family Planning in the Department of Health from 1990-2009.”
The Minister of Health Kim Wilson said: “Words cannot express my gratitude to Dr. Peek-Ball for all that she has done for the health of our island throughout a career spanning almost 30 years with the Ministry of Health.
“Dr Peek-Ball has become a trusted resource over the years, a go-to encyclopedia of medical knowledge and a reliable friend. Her calm demeanor and positive attitude have never been more apparent, and certainly appreciated, than during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Her name will always be synonymous in my mind with Bermuda’s success against COVID-19. Her knowledge and insight have been the guiding light throughout this crisis to an extent that I know will never be fully realized by most. She will be missed greatly and I wish her all the best in her retirement.
“We are so very pleased to have joining us, and welcome to Bermuda, Dr Oyinloye. The entire staff at the Ministry Headquarters are very much looking forward to working under his expert guidance. He has been well-briefed about our public health situation and the health system challenges on island.
“The Ministry of Health endeavors to ensure the hiring of Bermudians wherever possible and actively works to support the development planning process for potential successors to ensure future appointments of Bermudians for leadership positions.
“This Government committed to investing in Bermuda’s future and we have kept our promise by increasing medical and health scholarships by 81% since 2017. This has seen Bermuda move from awarding $223K to 11 Deserving Bermudians in 2017 to this Government awarding $403K to 21 health students in 2019.
“The Ministry of Health encourages Bermudians to seek careers in public health and reminds any Bermudian interested in a career in health that they can also apply for the Dr.Barbara Ball Scholarship which is awarded annually for study in a range of health professions that support public health, with priority given to nursing, allied health and social work.
“We have a shortage of health professionals in Bermuda, particularly in specific areas that benefit public health, and we encourage our young people to consider professions in the health sector as they are enormously fulfilling and there are a great many job opportunities.”
Dr. Peek-Ball said:”“A year ago I confirmed my intention to retire from public service in 2020, and the time has arrived swiftly, with a backdrop I could not have imagined. In looking ahead, despite the pandemic and longstanding social injustices, I remain optimistic and excited about the future of Bermuda’s health system and the wider community.
“In these current challenges, we are being reminded that we cannot prosper or even survive without solidarity and cooperation. Thus far, the community has shown much creativity, cohesiveness and fortitude; and as we know, there is enormous talent, good-will and dedication in the health community. Bermuda is fortunate and we will get through this.”
The incoming CMO arrived on island earlier this week and, following quarantine, will join the Ministry of Health team.