Note from Michael April 14, 2023 | Welcoming our New Minister; National Medical Lab Week; Oral Health Month; Autism Awareness

From the desk of Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO


Notes from MichaelHi everybody,

With today’s news of a new provincial Cabinet comes a brand new Minister of Health and Wellness. The Honourable Mark McLane was sworn in today at a ceremony at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. 
Health PEI is looking forward to working with our new minister, Premier King and the rest of government as we continue to tackle the ongoing challenges across our system, including the core challenge of bringing more people on board. There is a long road ahead, and we need to continue to row in the same direction to support staff, hire more people and care for Islanders. 
Speaking of staff, there are several recognition weeks in April. I don’t want this month to pass without celebrating your great work!
Every year, we celebrate National Medical Laboratory Week. I encourage everyone at Health PEI to take a closer look at what medical laboratory professionals do and how they support our system and the crucial role they play in patient care. As the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science says, behind almost every patient is a Medical Laboratory professional doing tests, analysing blood, tissue, DNA and almost anything else from the body, so that the rest of the health care team has the information we need to treat the people we serve as a system. We of course can never forget the huge efforts of our lab staff over the course of COVID, but that work never stops and is always valued.
April is Oral Health Month, and an important part of this celebration was National Dental Hygienists Week, celebrated April 4-10. 
Focusing on the importance of maintaining good oral health practices and helping Islanders understand the role and importance of the dental hygiene profession, this annual event is sponsored by the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). The week’s theme, “Oral Health for Total Health”, reminds all of us that taking care of our mouth, teeth and gums positively impacts on other aspects of our lives.
Dental Health Services in PEI include:

  1. Provincial Dental Program;
  2. Cleft Palate Orthodontic Funding Program;
  3. School Oral Health Preventative Program; and
  4. Long-Term/Community Care Preventative Dental Program. 

April is World Autism Awareness Month. Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder, affecting the way people interact and communicate with those around them. Each child and adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is unique and has their own strengths, gifts and support needs. About 2.5 percent of children have ASD.
Mental Health and Addictions team have drafted a fantastic overview ( about how to better understand autism and to provide an environment and approach for more supportive care and interactions. Must read!



Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to, subject line “Notes for Michael”.