CALGARY — For the first time ever, WestJet has hired a Chief Medical Officer (CMEDO) to help ensure the health and well-being of both its team members and guests.
Dr. Tammy McKnight, who brings with her 20 years of medical expertise to the carrier, will assist WestJet in developing and implementing initiatives that further its commitment to mental health. This includes advising on risk mitigation efforts and making health recommendations to meet or exceed regulations that are in line with the varying guidelines in which a global airline operates. Previously these responsibilities were spread among multiple service providers and internal roles at WestJet.
As CMEDO, Dr. McKnight will report to Mark Porter, WestJet Executive Vice-President People and Culture. She will begin her new role on April 5, 2021.
“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 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, WestJet’s home province, Dr. McKnight said the opportunity to become the airline’s first Chief Medical Officer is an honour.
“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 added.
Dr. McKnight studied pharmacy at the University of Alberta prior to receiving her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Calgary. Prior to her new role, she established a comprehensive firefighter wellness program as well as the Airdrie Community Physician Association (ACPA). She also founded Airdrie’s Occupational Injury Services Clinic and developed an innovative comprehensive telehealth program. Most recently, she served as the Medical Director for AirSprint, an aviation company where she guided AirSprint’s executive leadership team and provided medical insights that enabled the company to evolve in its growth strategy.