February 22 2021  |  People

​WestJet hires first Chief Medical Officer

By Rick Lundstrom

WestJet last week announced that Dr. Tammy McKnight will be the airline's first Chief Medical Officer (CMEDO).

Dr. McKnight will be responsible for assisting WestJet in developing and implementing initiatives relating to the health and well-being of employees and passengers. 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. The work was previously spread among multiple service providers and internal roles at WestJet.

"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 WestJet Executive Vice-President People and Culture 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."

"Having been born and raised in Alberta, the opportunity to become WestJet's first Chief Medical Officer is an honor," said McKnight. "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."

She 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 itsexecutive 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 before receiving her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Calgary.

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