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Toronto medical officer of health taking leave of absence

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto attends a news conference in Toronto, on Monday, January 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Toronto’s medical officer of health says she is taking a leave of absence as she is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday.

Dr. Eileen de Villa said in a statement Tuesday that she had a routine screening mammogram during the summer months and follow-up tests which identified precancerous cells.

“These cells need to be removed through surgery, which I am scheduled to undergo tomorrow. Any further treatment will be determined after the surgery,” De Villa said.

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“My story is not unique. Women throughout Toronto receive news like this every day. I want you to know that I am receiving great care and that Toronto Public Health is in good hands with our Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Na-Koshie Lamptey, who will be Acting Medical Officer of Health in my absence.”

De Villa said she is planning to return to work on Dec. 20.

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She called on Torontonians to participate in recommended screening programs.

“I am grateful that I took the time to get screened as it has allowed me to have early detection and treatment,” she said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory issued a statement on Twitter, wishing De Villa “all the best” as she undergoes her surgery.

“I have no doubt she will make a speedy recovery and I look forward to continuing to work with her upon her return,” Tory said.

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