The two leaders of Hamilton’s COVID response have received recognition for their management of the crisis. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has announced that Paul Johnson (General Manager of the Healthy and Safe Communities Department, City of Hamilton) and Dr. Elizabeth Richardson (Medical Officer of Health, City of Hamilton) are the recipients of the 2021 RBC Royal Bank Hamilton Citizens of the Year award.
In a release the City of Hamilton said, “Paul Johnson and Dr. Elizabeth Richardson have been key leaders in our community through the COVID-19 pandemic. They have demonstrated immense dedication, commitment and sacrifice during this unprecedented public health crisis and are accepting the award on behalf of Hamilton’s public servants and healthcare professionals that have served our community so admirably during the pandemic.
Hamiltonians have seen Paul and Dr. Richardson as the key faces of COVID-19 communications; providing clear and concise updates, addressing questions and concerns, and speaking passionately about the importance of public health measures and their enforcement provincial orders. “
“The fact that the two public officials directing our pandemic response are being honoured with the 2021 RBC Royal Bank Hamilton Citizens of the Year award speaks volumes about the dedication of these two individuals. It is also a vote of confidence in all our staff who serve us so well. I could not be more proud of Paul and Elizabeth who continue to invest their time and energy to ensure the safety and well-being of our community,” said – Mayor Fred Eisenberger.
City Manager Janette Smith wrote,“Paul and Dr. Richardson have both been incredible leaders in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our community. As leader of the City’s Emergency Operations Centre, Paul’s commitment to the health and safety of those in our community has been unwavering. His calm and strong approach and staunch personal commitment to those most vulnerable has been amazing. Dr. Richardson has worked tirelessly with our local and provincial health partners, making tough decisions and ensuring we are taking the necessary steps to protect our community from the COVID-19 virus. Her leadership of our public health teams has been outstanding. Congratulations, Paul and Elizabeth!”
Commented Keanin Loomis of the Hamilton Chamber, “In this year of pandemic, thousands of public servants and health care professionals in Hamilton have been stretched beyond what any citizen of Hamilton could have imagined in the time before COVID. Being able to perform their duties, physically and mentally, at that level for so long has been absolutely heroic. And the two people that have coordinated that effort and been most accountable to the community are Paul and Elizabeth”