HCC Statement on the Passing of Dr. Carissa F. Etienne PAHO/WHO Director Emeritus

by HCC
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne sitting at a desk wearing a yellow jacket

Photo copyright PAHO

The President, Vice President, Board of Directors, member organizations and staff of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the passing of PAHO Director Emeritus and our very own Caribbean public health champion Dr. Carissa Etienne.

Dr Etienne, a Dominican national and a graduate of the University of the West Indies, had a distinguished career in the field of health, both at the national and international levels. She was a champion of universal health coverage, a leader in the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and COVID-19 in the Region, and oversaw the elimination of several communicable diseases, such as measles, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome, in the Americas. Dr Etienne was an honorary Vice-President of the American Public Health Association and had many other affiliations and awards.

The HCC family expresses our deepest condolences to Dr Etienne’s family, friends, colleagues, and the entire health community in the Caribbean and beyond. Dr. Etienne was a visionary and a mentor who inspired many with her passion, dedication, and wisdom. She was a friend and a partner of the HCC, and we are grateful for her support and collaboration over the years. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all of us who had the privilege of working with her or learning from her.

The HCC is a civil society alliance established to combat NCDs and their associated risk factors and conditions in the Caribbean. We share Dr. Etienne’s vision of a healthier and more equitable Region, and we will continue to work towards achieving it in her honor and memory. We join PAHO, the WHO and the Caribbean in celebrating her life and legacy, and hope that her example will inspire the next generation of health leaders in the Caribbean and beyond. May she rest in peace.