The former director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dominican-born Dr. Carissa F Etienne, died Friday of an apparent heart failure.
She was 71 years old.
- Advertisement -
Etienne, who recently retired after 10 years as director, was declared Director-Emeritus on September 30, 2022, at the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference.
“From a little girl in Massacre, Dominica – walking barefoot, going to school, being as every other child was. If that child can rise to become director of PAHO, then there is hope for every child that walks the streets of the Americas (including the Caribbean),” said Etienne during the ceremony. (CMC)
WHO Director-General’s statement on the passing of Dr. Carissa Etienne
It is with immense sadness that I learned today of the passing of our dear friend, Dr Carissa F. Etienne.
Dr Etienne, a native of Dominica, served as Director of the Pan American Health Organization and as WHO Regional Director for the Americas from 2013 to 2023, during which the Americas made impressive progress towards universal health coverage, and against both communicable and noncommunicable diseases.
Dr Etienne also demonstrated exemplary leadership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to other health emergencies.
As a valued member of WHO’s senior leadership, Dr Etienne provided trusted advice and support to the Organization’s mission to expand access to health services for people in the Americas and globally.
Dr Etienne also served in multiple other roles for WHO, including as Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Her dedication to public health and significant contributions to WHO leave a legacy in the health of the people of Dominica, the Americas and the world.
On behalf of WHO, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr Etienne’s family, friends, and colleagues.
She will be greatly missed.