A successor to Þórólfur has been hired

21.06.2022 - 14:46
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 Mynd: RÚV
Guðrún Aspelund has been hired as chief epidemiologist at the Directorate of Health and is expected to take over Þórólfur Guðnason's position in the autumn. Guðrún has worked as a chief medical officer in the Directorate of Health epidemiology department since 2019 and was a close colleague of Þórólfur throughout the pandemic. She said she looks forward to tackling upcoming projects and plans to approach the position individually. 

"I think I have a defined vision for this position. I realise it is a very responsible and demanding job," she said. "Þórólfur has been in the line of fire for the last two years, and everyone has learned to rely on him. I am taking over the position from good colleagues because Þórólfur and Haraldur Briem, who came before him, are good role models." 

Wants the pandemic wrapped-up

Þórólfur resigned in May after seven years of service. Guðrún says she faces several tasks in her new job. In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, the Directorate's responsibilities include monitoring infectious diseases, establishing regulations for antibiotic use and organising vaccinations. 

"It's important to take stock of the pandemic because although it's not over yet, it was a landmark moment, and we can learn a lot from these events and experiences. We can look at what we have accomplished and what could have been done better." 

No changes planned

Guðrún does not intend to make any significant changes to how the chief epidemiologist works. She also says she didn't consider taking the position until Þórólfur resigned. "I didn't think about it until he announced it. Then I started thinking about it and decided to apply for the job." 

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