Former PAHO Director Dr. Carissa F Etienne passes away at 71

Dr. Carissa F Etienne, the previous director of the Pan American Well being Group (PAHO), handed away on Friday, succumbing to an obvious coronary heart failure. 

The 71-year-old Dominican native, who lately retired after an illustrious decade on the helm of PAHO, was bestowed the honorary title of Director-Emeritus on September 30, 2022, through the thirtieth Pan American Sanitary Convention.

An enduring influence on public well being

All through her tenure, Dr. Etienne made vital contributions to the sector of public well being within the Americas. 

Her imaginative and prescient and management performed a pivotal function in shaping well being insurance policies and initiatives throughout the area, leaving an indelible mark on the healthcare panorama.

A resolute response to well being crises

Throughout Dr. Etienne’s tenure because the director of PAHO, the group spearheaded vital responses to a few of the most urgent well being challenges within the Americas.

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Below her management, PAHO took the helm in combatting the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic which swept throughout the area. 

The group additionally performed a pivotal function in containing outbreaks of Zika and chikungunya, in addition to managing cholera and yellow fever crises in Haiti and Brazil. 

Advancing well being milestones

Moreover, Dr. Etienne’s stewardship ushered in a brand new period of accomplishment within the Americas. 

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The area eradicated the endemic transmission of measles, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome. Important progress was made in stopping and controlling persistent non-communicable ailments.

Furthermore, legislative and regulatory measures gained momentum as international locations applied legal guidelines regarding meals product labeling and launched taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks, marking essential steps in public well being coverage.

A distinguished profession path

Earlier than assuming the function of PAHO Director, Dr. Etienne served as Assistant Director-Basic for Well being Methods and Companies on the World Well being Group (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, from March 2008 to November 2012. 

Her impactful journey additionally included a tenure as Assistant Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau from July 2003 to February 2008, the place she led 5 pivotal technical areas: Well being Methods and Companies; Expertise, Well being Care, and Analysis; Well being Surveillance and Illness Administration; Household and Group Well being; and Sustainable Improvement and Environmental Well being.

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