Dr. Klassen studied Medicine at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1988. Thereafter she spent 20 years of practice in general medicine, most of that time in family practice in Listowel, Perth County, Ontario.
In 2008, Dr. Klassen began her full-time public health career at the Perth District Health Unit, concurrently starting her Master of Public Health at the University of Waterloo. In 2011, Dr. Klassen both graduated and received her full appointment as Medical Officer of Health.
There have been many interesting province-wide changes and challenges since Dr. Klassen assumed leadership in Perth County, including:
· assuming oversight of Small Drinking Water Systems
· developing the Healthy Smiles Ontario program
· integrating new Social Determinants of Health nursing positions
· the Ontario Public Health Standards and the Ontario Public Health Organizational Standards
· the response to Pandemic H1N1.
All of this occurred in the context of a major shift in the way we communicate, with an explosion of social media.
Additional local highlights for the Perth District Health Unit over that time include: a Cancer Cluster Investigation and emergency response events such as the widespread rabies investigation and James Bay Evacuation.