Merry Turtiak—MSc, CPHI(C)
Director, Environmental Public Health Science, Health Protection
Merry is currently the Director of Environmental Public Health Science within Ministry of Health for Alberta. Her knowledge and skills rest in the connection between the natural or man-made environment and humans, and how this intersection point may lead to health impacts for individuals, communities, the province and nation. Her education has focused on all things environmental, risk communication and management and addressing scientific uncertainty and providing opportunities for engagement with all types of stakeholders on how to protect the health of the citizens potentially being impacted. Merry’s portfolio includes participating in the regulatory reviews of industrial developments, working with communities on concerns from industrial development, and leading in assessing environmental risks during emergency events and supporting communities recovering from natural and/or man-made disasters such as Horse River (Fort McMurray) Wildfire and the Obed Mine release.
Trained as a public health inspector she practiced in northwestern Alberta and currently represents Alberta on the National Collaborative Centre for Environmental Health, the national Committee on Health and Environment as well as various other advisory or academic boards in the domain of environmental public health. Her Master’s degree studied how risk communication practices may be able to identify opportunities to engage with the public and other stakeholders when scientific uncertainty exists. She recently completed a Fellowship in Health System Improvement and pursuing certification as a Canadian Health Executive through the Canadian College of Health Leaders.
Outside of the office, she tries to dash off to dive the deep blue sea as often as she can and spending summers and Thanksgiving camping throughout the western provinces.