Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), was presented with her native country's highest award, the Dominica Award of Honour, on Dominica's independence day, Nov. 3. The award was presented to Dr. Etienne by President Charles Savarin in recognition of her service to the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Roseau, Dominica, 3 November 2015 (PAHO/WHO) — Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), was presented with her native country's highest award, the Dominica Award of Honour, during a Nov. 3 celebration of Dominica's independence day. The award was presented by President Charles Savarin in recognition of Dr. Etienne's service to the Commonwealth of Dominica.
The Dominica Award of Honour recognizes Dominican nationals who have made a significant contribution to their country's public life and development. Past recipients include all the country's presidents.
More than a dozen other Dominicans were also recognized during the Nov. 3 ceremony for their national service in areas including business and tourism, physical education and sports, health management, agriculture, and early childhood development. The event took place at the Windsor Park stadium in the Dominican capital of Roseau.
Dr. Etienne, who was born and raised in Dominica, began her career as a medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau, where she eventually became Chief Medical Officer. She also served in other high-level posts in her native country, including Coordinator of the National AIDS Program, Disaster Coordinator for the Ministry of Health, Chair of the National Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS, and Director of Primary Health Care Services.
She received her medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and her Master in Science in Community Health, with a focus on developing countries, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Etienne was elected PAHO Director by the Organization's Member States in September 2012 and began her five-year term in February 2013. Prior to that she served as the World Health Organization's (WHO) Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services in Geneva, Switzerland, and as PAHO Assistant Director of PAHO from 2003 to 2008.