Premier appoints new deputy minister of health and social services

Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane announced on Wednesday that Jo-Anne Cecchetto will take over as the territory’s deputy minister of health and social services.

Cecchetto, effective July 27, will replace Bruce Cooper who is retiring after serving as the department’s deputy minister since 2017.

“I am pleased to welcome Ms Cecchetto to her new position. She is a committed public servant and health professional who will bring a wealth of northern experience and expertise to her new role,” Cochrane said in a statement.


“I would also like to wish Bruce all the best in his retirement. Bruce was a strong and effective leader for the Department of Health and Social Services and his hard work helped the GNWT navigate two very difficult years of a public health emergency.”

According to a press release, Cecchetto is a nurse practitioner who works at Yellowknife’s primary care clinic. 

She has held several roles working in the NWT’s health and social services system since 1988 including as the director of primary health care and director of territorial health services. Since 2017, she has served as assistant deputy minister, programs, and as the territory’s chief nursing officer. 

Deputy ministers are the non-elected heads of departments within the territorial government. The Commissioner in Executive Council appoints deputy ministers on the advice of the premier. 

Deputy ministers serve at the pleasure of and are accountable to the premier.