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Dr. Sarah Cook

Dr. Sarah Cook
MD, CCFP, FCFP, CCPE, CHE

Director-at-Large
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Dr. Sarah Cook is a family physician in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NWT). Her practice includes community-based primary care, general practice oncology, reproductive health services, and maternity care. After completing medical school at Dalhousie University and her family medicine residency at the University of Ottawa, she received her Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2008 and Fellowship in 2018.
 

The opportunity to live in Canada’s North, learn about Indigenous cultures, and practise full-scope family medicine inspired Dr. Cook to move to Yellowknife in 2008. Enhancing access to culturally safe care for patients close to their home communities and helping physicians find innovative solutions to health care challenges are driving forces in her work. One of her early leadership contributions was in response to the challenges women in remote communities face in accessing maternity education and care. She was determined to improve the situation and developed a prenatal care program for women in the last month of pregnancy who travel from their home communities to give birth in Yellowknife. She went on to help design and implement a miscarriage management and obstetrical ultrasound program, catalyze a system approach to primary health care reform, and launch Choosing Wisely Northwest Territories.

Over the past decade Dr. Cook has advanced her leadership skills with formal training through the Canadian Medical Association’s Physician Leadership Institute, the University of Toronto, and the University of Alberta. She has achieved both the Canadian Certified Physician Executive and Certified Health Executive designations. Dr. Cook served as medical director of the Yellowknife Region from 2015 to 2016 and as the inaugural territorial medical director of the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority from July 2016 to November 2020, a tenure that saw her help establish foundational elements of the new health authority and more recently become a key figure in the Northwest Territories’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to her clinical and leadership roles, she holds an academic appointment at the University of Calgary.

Before being elected to the Board of Directors, Dr. Cook’s involvement with the College of Family Physicians of Canada included participating on the Patient’s Medical Home Steering Committee and contributing to practice-based initiatives as a member of the Advisory Committee on Family Practice.
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