The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said its Dominican-born director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, has presented her proposed platform for the next five years.
PAHO said the presentation, for the post of director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (PASB), took place on Friday during the Candidates’ Forum, with member states, at PAHO headquarters in Washington, D.C.
PAHO member states will elect Dr. Etienne at the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference here, from Sept. 25 – 29, 2017.
She will assume another five-year term on Feb. 1, 2018, PAHO said. Etienne has been PASB director since Feb. 1, 2013.
According to the PAHO’s Constitution, Etienne can be reelected for a second five-year term.
PAHO said her candidacy was the only one that was presented by member states.
The President of the PAHO Executive Committee, Ruben A. Nieto, of Argentina, moderated the forum on Friday, during which Etienne “presented her platform, her policy priorities and the financial and programmatic direction she proposed for the organization,” according to PAHO.
PAHO said Etienne made a 30-minute oral presentation, which was followed by an hour question-and-answer session with member states, in accordance with the Rules Governing the Election of the Director.
Etienne was elected PAHO director by member states of the organization on Sept. 19, 2012 and began her five-year term on Feb. 1, 2013.
From March 2008 until Nov. 1, 2012, PAHO said Etienne served as assistant director-general for Health Systems and Services at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Prior to that, as assistant director of PAHO, from July 2003 to February 2008, she led five technical areas: Health Systems and Services; Technology, Health Care and Research; Health Surveillance and Disease Management; Family and Community Health; and Sustainable Development and Environmental Health.
During her tenures at WHO and PAHO, Etienne led the efforts to renew primary health care and to strengthen health systems, based on primary health care, promoting integration and improved functioning of health systems, according to PAHO.
PAHO said she has also spearheaded policy directions for reducing health inequalities and advancing health for all through universal coverage, people-centered care, the integration of health into broader public policies, and inclusive and participatory health leadership.
PAHO said the World Health Report 2010, “Health systems financing: the path to universal coverage, was produced under Etienne and WHO’s deputy director-general.
“The report is recognized worldwide for providing an agenda for action by countries at all stages of development to move more quickly and in a sustainable manner towards universal coverage, while proposing ways in which the international community can better support efforts to achieve universal coverage and improve health outcomes,” PAHO said.
It said Etienne has also led the WHO global agenda “to support universal access to safe and efficacious medical products and the development of a global code of practice for the international recruitment of health personnel.”
PAHO said Etienne also chaired the International Health Partnership (IHP+) initiative, which seeks to commit partners to work together and put into practice international principles for effective aid and development cooperation in the health sector.
In her native Dominica, PAHO said Etienne began her career as a medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital, where she eventually became the chief medical officer.
She has also served in other high-level posts in Dominica, 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, PAHO said.
It said Etienne received her medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery — MBBS) from the University of the West Indies, at the Mona Campus in Jamaica, and her Master in Science (MSc) in Community Health in developing countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London.