Deena Hinshaw

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Deena Hinshaw
EducationAugustana University College, Camrose, Alberta
MD, MA Public Health (MPH) 2008 University of Alberta
OccupationChief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta
Known forCMO during COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta
Medical career
ProfessionMedical doctor
InstitutionsMinistry of Health (Alberta)
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta
Sub-specialtiesPublic health
Family medicine
Community medicine

Deena Hinshaw is a Canadian doctor who served as Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province of Alberta from January 28, 2019 to November 14, 2022 after being removed by Danielle Smith. She provided daily updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta to the public throughout most of 2020 and into 2021, though she stopped holding regular briefings in at the end of June 2021.[1] She also provided recommendations to Jason Kenney, the former Premier of Alberta and the Emergency Management Cabinet Committee.[2][3][4][5]


Hinshaw was born in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and grew up in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. She graduated from H.J. Cody High School in 1993 and was class valedictorian. Hinshaw received her undergraduate degree at the Augustana University College in Camrose, Alberta in 1997.[6] She completed her medical degree (2004)[6] and residencies in family medicine and community medicine (2006)[6] at the University of Alberta.[7] In 2008, she received her Master of Public Health degree at the University of Alberta, while completing her public health and preventive medicine residency.[8]


On January 28, 2019, Hinshaw was appointed as Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health. She reports to the Deputy Minister of Health.[7] The CMO may report directly to the Minister of Health if there is a public health emergency, or in other extraordinary conditions.[7]

Chief Medical Officer of Health[edit]

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Alberta, Hinshaw has held nearly daily media events in Edmonton, since the first case of the new coronavirus in Alberta was announced on March 5.[9] Global News reports that Hinshaw is a trusted face for many Albertans, calmly delivering the facts as cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in the province."[9]

On March 17, on the advice of Hinshaw, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency under the Public Health Act (PHA).[10][11]

On October 11, 2022, Premier Danielle Smith said that she would replace Hinshaw with a new advisory team that considered COVID-19 an endemic disease. On November 14, 2022, Smith fired Hinshaw and replaced her on an interim basis by Alberta Health Services vice president Mark Joffe. Hinshaw's contract was originally set to expire in 2024.[12]


CBC News and the Canadian Press said that there was a demand for the "charcoal grey half-sleeve dress emblazoned with the periodic table of elements" that Hinshaw wore on March 17 during her daily briefing in Edmonton. The periodic table dress is made by the British Columbia-based company, Smoking Lily.[13] The article cited a Tweet that said, "Hey national media. Alberta has a folk hero. She's calm, clear, forceful. And she wears the periodic table while she delivers information. It's wonderful."[13]

Hinshaw faced criticism for her recommendations loosening restrictions in the summer of 2021. In July 2021, an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail described her as an "irredeemable yes-woman"[14] as a result of her decision to end mandatory isolation for people who test positive for COVID-19, a decision the article claimed would lead to unnecessary loss of human life. Other medical experts have supported Hinshaw's recommendations, including Dr. Sarah Fortune of Harvard University's Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, who told CBC Radio that, “I think Alberta is taking reasonable steps in the face of having done a good job of bringing the viral numbers down and in the face of good vaccine coverage."[15]


  1. ^[bare URL]
  2. ^ "Coronavirus info for Albertans updated to March 17". March 17, 2020. Archived from the original on March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  3. ^ "Alberta reports 1st presumptive case of COVID-19". CBC News. Edmonton. March 5, 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-03-05. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  4. ^ Antoneshyn, Alex (March 9, 2020). "Alberta confirms 7 COVID-19 cases, officials planning for 'new normal' in coronavirus world". Edmonton. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  5. ^ "Presumptive COVID-19 case reported in Alberta". Government of Alberta. 2020-03-05. Archived from the original on 2020-03-07. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  6. ^ a b c "Curriculum Vitae Dr. Deena Hinshaw, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)" (PDF). Contacts Directory. University of Calgary. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c "Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health". Archived from the original on March 31, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  8. ^ "Deena Hinshaw, MPH '08". University of Alberta. Edmonton. February 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Ramsay, Caley (March 10, 2020). "Who is Dr. Deena Hinshaw? Alberta's chief medical officer of health". Global News. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  10. ^ Block, Eric; Goldenberg, Adam; Waschuk, Grace (March 19, 2020). "COVID-19: Can they do that? Part IV: Alberta's Public Health Act and Emergency Management Act". McCarthy Tétrault. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020. The declaration enables the Alberta government to take measures intended to protect public health. To date, among other measures, the provincial government has prohibited mass gatherings, attendance at recreation and entertainment facilities, and the operation of restaurants above 50% capacity.
  11. ^ "COVID-19 info for Albertans". March 17, 2020. Archived from the original on March 8, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  12. ^ "Dr. Deena Hinshaw out as Alberta's chief medical officer of health". CBC News. November 14, 2022. Retrieved November 14, 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Alberta medical officer's periodic table dress prompts clothing maker to restart production". The Canadian Press via CBC. March 19, 2020. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Murdoch, Blake (29 July 2021). "Alberta's new COVID-19 policy is reckless and repugnant". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  15. ^ "Corbella: It's time we stopped 'freaking out' and learn to live with COVID, just like Hinshaw says". calgaryherald. Retrieved 2021-08-09.