“He was a calm, professional and reassuring presence and the whole country waited anxiously on his daily medical updates. I was delighted he was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen, a fitting tribute for his efforts.”
Governor Martyn Roper
(CMR) An infectious disease expert and communicable disease control consultant will be taking over from Dr. Lee upon his departure this week. Dr. Autilia Newton has been temporarily assigned to the post of Acting Chief Medical Officer and was previously on the island in March of last year. She has already been acclimating herself to her acting position and the lay of the land in the Cayman Islands.
Governor Martyn Roper made the announcement during his Throne Speech that she would be assisting the Cayman Islands until a permanent person is placed in the role.
She has left her role as Director of UK’s Health Security Agency formerly Public Health England’s health program for the Overseas Territories including Cayman. This would be Cayman's first on island infectious disease expert to assist with the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Newton ran the Public Health England (PHE) UK Overseas Territories Team and is an experienced consultant on communicable disease control. Most recently Dr. Newton was in Gibraltar covering the post of Director of Public Health during the month of August. She was set to retire at the end of September from Public Health England.
She also has expertise in prison health as well as significant experience in public health outside the UK.
She has worked in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak and Indonesia after the devastating 2004 Tsunami. She worked with a team that provided technical support to the Turks and Caicos in June 2020.
Dr. Autilia Newton runs the PHE UKOT (UK Overseas Territories) team.
Dr. Lee first came to the Cayman Islands as a pain management specialist with the HSA in December 2011 before leaving and returning as CMO in May 2019.
In 2020 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his outstanding contributions to health services in the Cayman Islands.
Dr. Lee spent this weekend with some of his team members enjoying a 5k run around North Sound golf course followed by a breakfast bacon sandwich and coffee at Government House along with the governor.
In a social media post the Governor thank Dr. Lee for his service noting that he was “outstanding during the pandemic.”
“On behalf of everyone in our community and across our three Islands, I want to thank Dr Lee wholeheartedly for everything he has done.”