U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

12/01/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/01/2023 21:06

Statement by Secretary Xavier Becerra on the Passing of Former Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne

Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra released the following statement on the passing of former Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne:

"Today we mourn the passing of Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, the former Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and a true champion for public health. From her humble beginnings in Massacre, Dominica, Dr. Etienne's journey to the esteemed position of PAHO Director serves as a testament to the boundless potential within every child across the Americas and the rest of the globe.

"Her visionary leadership, evident in the establishment of PAHO's Department for Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health, left an indelible mark on public health. Her legacy extends beyond borders, as she led PAHO's charge towards the elimination of diseases such as HIV, malaria, and trachoma, and mobilized programs to prevent and control non-communicable diseases. She will be remembered by colleagues worldwide for reinvigorating primary health care and health equity and for her skillful contributions to the management of COVID-19 on the continent.

"With heavy hearts the global health community bids farewell to a trailblazer, a compassionate leader, and a tireless advocate for the health and well-being of the Americas."