Brooklyn’s APC (Action, Performance, Commitment) Community Services, Inc. last Thursday honored five community members during a gala celebration commemorating Caribbean American Heritage Month at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn.
The celebration – which featured a pageant of nations and cultural presentations from nationals of Belize, Guyana, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – was held in collaboration with State Sen. Kevin Parker (21st SD) and the Brooklyn-based Guyana Cultural Association.
Sen. Parker also recognized each awardee, as well as APC Community Services, Inc., whose president, Guyanese-born Dr. Janice Emanuel-Bunn accepted on behalf of her group.
“It’s important that we honor people and let them know you’re doing a good job,” said Parker, who was also the featured speaker.
The APC Community Services, Inc. honorees were: Medical doctors George Casimir and Orin Douglas; senior advisor to Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Ingrid P. Lewis Martin; Corporate Communications Executive Enid Dillard; and one of Guyana’s most creative cultural exponents, Claire Ann Goring.
Haitian-born Dr. Casimir is currently clinical associate professor of psychiatry, the associate director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Division and the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
He occupied many administrative positions at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center, Maimonides Medical Center, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
In 2002, he was appointed vice-president of medical affairs and medical director of Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, a position he held until 2004.
Dr. Casimir is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with added certifications in Geriatric Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry. He is also board certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology.
He is a past president of the New York Chapter of the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad (AMHE).
During his tenure he founded the AMHE Political Action Committee (HAMPAC). Casimir is very interested and active in Haitian and American politics. He is known as a prolific fundraiser for politicians who advocate for causes that positively impact the Haitian community.
Guyanese-born Dr. Douglas received his early training at the University Of Guyana Faculty of Health Sciences, where he completed a diploma in hematology, diploma in clinical chemistry and diploma in medical microbiology.
He is dedicated to providing efficient, superior quality, patient centered care. He holds a medical degree from the University of Guyana, which he obtained in 2002.
On migrating to the United States, Dr. Douglas did his residency at Brooklyn Hospital Center- Family Medicine Program. He completed his Fellowship at St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center in 2010. Dr. Douglas is certified in colonoscopy and cervical pathology (ASCCP), and is also a certified HIV/AIDS Specialist.
Currently, he is an attending physician at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt HIV Center for Comprehensive Care, and is also the medical director of APC Community Services, Inc. Medical Mission.
Lewis-Martin, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, is an advocate for community empowerment. She realized her passion as a fourth grade student when, under the leadership of her African American studies instructor, Ms. Scott, she and other students organized a protest of the local A&P Supermarket to express their displeasure that no persons of color were employed.
Prior to her current position, she served for seven years as Adams’ chief of staff in the New York Senate.
Lewis-Martin’s political career started in 1983, when she volunteered at Renaissance Development Corporation as she awaited her test results from the Board of Education to pursue a career in teaching.
She wrote several grants for the organization, which successfully garnered funding for the organization. This sparked the organization’s executive director, Thelma Martin, who later became her mother-in-law, to ask her to volunteer on the re-election campaign of then Congress Member Major R. Owens.
Brooklyn-born Dillard has been a media and communications executive for more than 20 years, and has had a rewarding career, spanning the genres of television production and publicity, corporate communications, marketing and public affairs.
Much of her career was spent in the world of television, and called for national media relations and national community outreach to influence the acquisition and retention of positive television programming and development.
Today she uses her media and communication skills to impact social/corporate responsibility and improve health for residents of East Flatbush, where she was born and raised.
As the director of Marketing and Public Affairs for Kingsbrook Medical Center, Dillard serves as the official spokesperson for the institution, liaising with media, community, elected officials and community leaders, creating innovative and unique community and partner based health initiatives that respond to the pervasive health care disparities of Central Brooklyn. Her efforts are focused on education, early detection and community partnership development.
In addition, she launched the Unity Gospel Fest, celebrating the importance of physical and spiritual wellness, the first of its kind in New York City and currently in its fifth year.
Goring’s talent and commitment to promoting and preserving the culture of her homeland, Guyana, has been the inspiration for many of the projects she has undertaken in Guyana and in North America.
As a designer of carnival costumes, Goring has received accolades for her winning costume designs in Guyana and at the Labor Day Carnival in Brooklyn.
She has produced shows with talent around the Caribbean, including Charlie’s Roots Band, Shadow, Arrow and Laro, along with other popular calypsonians.
Chief executive officer of her own company, Hybiskus Creations, a company dedicated to developing and distributing art, craft and products that reflect the creative expression of Caribbean artists, Goring has developed her own line of handmade greeting cards.
“We chose those individuals who have made significant contributions to the community, and they were very appreciative of the recognitions received,” Dr. Emanuel-Bunn told Caribbean Life afterwards.