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New Board Members Elected

 

 

Simone Acha

The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Simone Acha to the Board of Directors for a 3-year term.  A public charity, PAHEF works with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other constituents to leverage its international influence, helping improve community and global health and combating disease in the Americas.  PAHEF welcomes Acha to the organization and eagerly anticipates the leadership she will bring to achieving PAHEF’s mission.  She will participate on the Executive Committee and Marketing and Communications Committee.

Acha is the Vice President of Enterprise Technology Solutions at Electronic Computing Services (ECS) Federal, Inc., a federal IT services provider in Alexandria, Virginia.  ECS Federal has approximately 1,200 employees worldwide and $240M in annual revenue.  Previously, she served as Chief Executive Officer of iLuMina Solutions Incorporated until it was acquired by ECS in the fall of 2012.  She is a senior executive with a 26-year record of demonstrated achievements and success in both the commercial and federal sector.  Acha has demonstrated her leadership skills by managing tactical operations for various industries.

Acha serves on other non-profit board of directors and is an avid traveler and reader.  Acha is a graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) with a bachelor of science in industrial engineering and operations research and holds a minor in English.

Acha’s father, Dr. Pedro N. Acha, worked for PAHO from 1957 until his retirement.  He was dedicated to the promotion of public health throughout the world and was recognized for his efforts and contributions during his PAHEF tenure.  PAHEF established a scholarship in his memory funded by the Acha family.  Acha is honored to serve PAHEF in this role, because of her father’s career and lifelong passion for public health.  

On Acha being named to the Board, Eleanor “Elly” Brtva, MPH, CFRE, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, remarked, “We are so pleased to have the daughter of public health veterinarian and legend, Dr. Pedro Acha, serve in this capacity.  Ms. Acha brings her knowledge of philanthropy, marketing, communications, and technology to the organization at a perfect time.  The Foundation is poised to support PAHO’s public health work in the Americas through a phenomenal year in philanthropy.”


 

Esther Pujol Rodriguez

The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Esther Pujol Rodriguez to the Board of Directors for a 3-year term. A public charity, PAHEF works with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other constituents to leverage its international influence, helping improve community and global health and combating disease in the Americas. PAHEF welcomes Rodriguez to the organization and eagerly anticipates the leadership she will bring to achieving PAHEF's mission. She will serve as Treasurer on the Executive Committee and act as Chair of the Finance Committee.

Rodriguez is the Vice President of Accounting at Employment Enterprises, Inc. in Manassas, Virginia. Employment Enterprises, Inc. is a privately held, WBENC-certified firm that focuses solely on providing contingent workforce solutions. Previously, she served as corporate controller at Siemen's Government Technologies, Inc. where she was responsible for effectively managing the corporate structure, providing advice to internal control processes, and directing major overhead reduction initiatives. She also implemented company-wide Project Management controls, and partnered with the CFO to drive strategic development. She brings business acumen to PAHEF, including years of business and financial operation experience involving cost optimization, process alignment, and risk analysis and mitigation.

Rodriguez has volunteered for PAHEF during the 52nd Directing Council and its Awards Ceremony. She is involved in other area non-profits and is a member of Greater Washington Society of CPAs, Institute of Internal Auditors, Maryland Board of Accountancy, and Phi Theta Kappa Alumni. Rodriguez is also the recipient of numerous awards.

She is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Miami Dade Community College with an Associate of Arts in Business Administration. She also successfully completed the Certified Internal Auditor Uniform Examination, Certified Public Accountant Uniform Examination, and Managing Successful Programs examination.

On Rodriguez being named to the Board, Eleanor "Elly" Brtva, MPH, CFRE, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, remarked, "Ms. Rodriguez brings her knowledge of finance and technology, and energy to the organization at a perfect time. The Foundation is poised to support PAHO's public health work in the Americas through a phenomenal year in philanthropy."


 

Daniel Walter

The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel Walter to the Board of Directors for a 3-year term. A public charity, PAHEF works with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other constituents to leverage its international influence, helping improve community and global health and combating disease in the Americas. PAHEF welcomes Walter to the organization and eagerly anticipates the leadership he will bring to achieving PAHEF's mission. He was appointed to serve as a PAHO representative on the PAHEF Board and will participate on the Finance Committee.

Walter, a national of the United States of America, is Director of the Department of Planning and Budget at PAHO. He is responsible for development and monitoring the implementation of the PAHO Strategic Plan 2014-2019, the Biennial Program and Budget, and the PAHO Result-Based Management (RBM Framework).

Walter began his career in public finance and administration in 1985 as budget manager at the California Department of Education in Sacramento. He joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001, serving as the Budget and Finance Officer in WHO's South East Asia Regional Office in New Delhi, India, until 2006. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Walter served as Finance Policy Coordinator at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, and the Finance Team Leader on the design and installation of the global management information software system. In June 2011, he was appointed as Director of Administration and Finance at the WHO Regional Office in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. There, he was responsible for finance, human resources, information technology, facilities, procurement and security across 46 African countries.

Walter obtained an undergraduate degree in history and a master's degree in business administration from the University of California, Davis.

On Walter being named to the Board, Eleanor "Elly" Brtva, MPH, CFRE, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, remarked, "PAHEF is very fortunate to have Mr. Walter representing our parent organization on the Board of Directors. His intimate knowledge of our mutual mission will secure PAHEF's success in using philanthropic dollars effectively."

New Vice Chair Elected

 

Harold Hamana as Vice Chair of Board of Directors

 

WASHINGTON, DC (December 20, 2013) – The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Harold Hamana  as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.  A public charity, PAHEF works with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other constituents to leverage its international influence, helping improve community and global health and combating disease in the Americas.  PAHEF welcomes Hamana to this role and eagerly anticipates the leadership he will bring to achieving PAHEF’s mission.  In addition to serving on the Executive Committee, he will also participate on the Philanthropy and Partnership Committee and Marketing and Communications Committee.

Hamana is a Managing Director at Edelman Latin America and heads the regional hub based in Miami, focusing on strategic planning and marketing communications initiatives for clients in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin America markets. He is also the regional practice chair of the health group for Latin America, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Communication.  Previously, he was the director of the healthcare practice at Burson-Marsteller Latin America, where he provided communications, public affairs, and crisis management counsel for a diverse group of Fortune 500 clients.

Hamana has over 15 years of experience in developing, managing, positioning, and promoting healthcare, financial, and consumer brands to multiple target audiences and markets. He has a successful track record in the development, sponsorship, and execution of branding programs, marketing campaigns, and consumer-driven events throughout Latin America. He has played a critical role in developing regional and global business relationships, particularly as client leader for companies across industries, from the healthcare to the financial sectors.  He has designed and implemented communications, corporate positioning, government relations, corporate social responsibility, crisis management, stakeholder engagement, and media relations campaigns.  He has been awarded multiple industry awards, including the PRWeek Award for Arts, Entertainment & Media Campaign of the Year, and the Bulldog Awards for Excellence in Media and Public Relations Campaigns, among others.He is also a member of the Issues Management Council and part of the executive committee for the Public Relations Society of America.

On Hamana being named Vice Chair of the Board, Eleanor Brtva, MPH, CFRE, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, remarked “Harold’s dedication to improving public health through his work, both privately and publically, will have impact in the years to come in Latin America.  His leadership inspires us to work more efficiently every day.”  

Our Journey Together

Fellowship.  Partnership.

For more than 20 years, I’ve seen philanthropy bring together people from all walks of life—donors and beneficiaries alike—and take them to where they want to go.  It’s when we really listen to one another that we are able to understand each other and, thus, map our course successfully to our desired destination.  In essence, we become perfect travel companions.

As the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) navigate toward advanced health in the Americas, no better example of this endeavor exists than the 52nd Session of the PAHO Directing Council held in Washington, DC.  Here, the world’s top health professionals received special honors at the 5th Annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health.  Known throughout the Americas, these awards are prestigious honors that recognize individuals who have dedicated their careers to improving public health in the Western Hemisphere.

With experience in a wide spectrum of social, ethnic, and geographic settings, this year’s winners are field-tested experts who confront, problem-solve, and, in some instances, overcome great adversity.  While a complete listing of 2013 awardees can be viewed at www.paho.org, stand-outs include:

·         Dr. Julio Frenk, the former Minister of Health of Mexico, who received the 2013 Abraham Horowitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health.  As Mexico’s Secretary of Health from 2000 to 2006, Frenk established Seguro Popular, a social insurance program that created the basis for universal health coverage in Mexico;  

·         Dr. Alok Kumar of Barbados who received the 2013 Fred L. Soper Award for Excellence in Public Health Literature as lead author for a paper describing the disease characteristics of dengue—a rapidly emerging Caribbean public health problem—in Barbados for the first time ever; and,

·         Honored posthumously, Dr. Santiago Renjifo Salcedo who is considered to be the founder of public health education in Colombia.  He introduced the concept of public health as mandatory in the medical curriculum, an example that was later followed by other medical schools.  

Much like these visionaries, PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne also has a clear understanding of the health challenges facing the Americas and she brings a deep commitment to those affected.  As a result of Dr. Entienne’s leadership, the renewed and revitalized affiliation between PAHO and PAHEF for 2014 and beyond will likely usher in a fresh mix of innovative philanthropic, economic, and business strategies that will elevate us to even greater heights.

As interim President and CEO, I couldn’t be more excited or more confident about PAHEF and PAHO’s future as I am today.  What ignites my passion for growing our circle of friends, partners and support is what I have experienced firsthand in my first year with PAHEF and that is the trust that exists within and throughout the organization—trust on the part of our donors that others will use the resources wisely for the betterment of a patient, a community, or an urgent health issue and trust on the part of the recipient that the donor acts with sincerity and is willing to listen and understand their needs.  

Friends, when we join hands and trust our travel plans and partners, there is no limit to the good we can do together.  I invite you to join our journey across the Americas for improving the health of others.  Become a companion, a fellow, a partner.  I promise you will be in good company.  

As always, I invite you to join me in making a year-end gift to the work of PAHEF as well as joining me in giving a planned gift.  No other public health organization does as much as PAHO and deserves our support.  I also invite you to share your questions or comments and explore the possibilities of further involvement.  Gracias. Obrigado/obrigada. Merci. Thanks!

With warm regards,

Eleanor “Elly” Brtva, MPH, CFRE

President and Chief Executive Officer, ai.

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Dr. James Steele: Farewell to a leader

The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) remember with great sadness the passing of Dr. James Steele, on November 10, 2013. Dr. James Steele was awarded the prestigious Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health in 2006 for his outstanding contributions to veterinary public health.
We extend our condolences to his family and friends.

Please read about Dr. Steele here and listen to his personal reflections about his important trajectory in this field here.

PAHO and PAHEF Posthumously Award Distinguished Professor from Brazil


WASHINGTON, DC (September 30, 2013) – José Lima Pedreira de Freitas, MD, MPH of Brazil, was posthumously honored today as a recipient of the 2013 Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care, for his key position in developing public health in Brazil.  Presented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), the award recognizes Dr. Pedreira de Freitas’ impact on young health professionals and programs affecting social and community medicine.

The award was presented by PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne and Elly Brtva, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, at the fifth annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health.  The awards event is held annually to highlight major contributions to public health in the Americas in areas including leadership, health literature, veterinary public health, and universal health care. Dr. Santiago Renjifo Salcedo of Colombia also received posthumous recognition as a co-honoree of the Sérgio Arouca award this year.

Dr. Pedreira de Freitas’ legacy is vast; in 1954, he established one of the first schools of medicine in Brazil:  the Department of Social Medicine of the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo. He encouraged students to better understand the complex relationships between populations’ health and socioeconomic conditions.  Under his watch, medical students and resident doctors began practicing integrated health care as a routine activity, pioneering a model that would decades later be incorporated into official health policies across Brazil.  He also made important contributions to the study of disease transmission, especially Chagas transmission.  This work led him to develop the revolutionary “Chagas embedded control method” for interrupting Chagas transmission.  The method was officially certified by PAHO in 2006 and is currently in use by all countries in Latin America.  A long-time teacher, Dr. Pedreira de Freitas influenced many public health professionals, including Sérgio Arouca himself, then a young medical student in Ribeirão Preto.  Dr. Pedreira de Freitas died in 1966.

“I feel that what this tribute would mean to my father is a sense of accomplishment: much less for the honor, which he would surely appreciate, but rather for the chance to share with his partners the enthusiasm that the prize would bring to everyone. Especially since Professor Arouca himself  was motivated by my father to enroll in the paths of  Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He once said, ‘Thanks to the strong influence of a charismatic teacher named  José Lima Pedreira de Freitas, I developed a passion for preventive medicine.’  So concluding, the significance of this tribute for me is the assertion of my father´s presence among us. And to my father, it would mean an assertion that his enthusiasm and leadership were fruitful  in an exemplary manner,” said Dr. Carlos Alberto Pedreira de Freitas, himself a pediatrician and Doctor of Public Health, accepting the award on behalf of his father.
Faculty and staff from the Department of Social Medicine at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, said: “We express great satisfaction in having our founder be awarded the 2013 Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in International Health.  The award recognizes the outstanding work of Professor José Lima Pedreira de Freitas as a pioneer in teaching preventive medicine in Brazil, as well as his extraordinary contribution to the knowledge of Chagas disease and its effective control in the country.”

The Department of Social Medicine was presented with a certificate in recognition of their contribution and far-reaching impact on health professionals and programs of social and community medicine.

“This award will certainly stimulate the department’s faculty to continue its action based on the lessons left by Professor Pedreira de Freitas. The enormous influence on many generations of young physicians and other health professionals in the Americas make Drs. Pedreira de Freitas and Renjifo Salcedo excellent choices for the 2013 Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care,” remarked Elly Brtva.   

The Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care, created in 2010, recognizes leaders who have dedicated their efforts to advance, influence, and strengthen universal health-care programs in the Americas.  One such leader was Dr. Sérgio Arouca, who was a Brazilian national public health professional, physician, scholar, and legislator.  Throughout his career, Dr. Arouca supported innovative public health practices and tirelessly championed universal health care, working at the National School of Public Health, as Secretary of Health of Rio de Janeiro, and as Secretary of Social Participation in the Ministry of Health, Brazil.  The Secretary of Health in Brazil and PAHEF, in cooperation with PAHO, created this award to honor the outstanding legacy of Dr. Sérgio Arouca.

PAHO and PAHEF Posthumously Honor Celebrated Colombian Professor Santiago Renjifo Salcedo

 

WASHINGTON, DC (September 30, 2013) – Santiago Renjifo Salcedo, MD, MPH, of Colombia, was posthumously honored today as a recipient of the 2013 Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care, for his pioneering role in public health education in his native Colombia. Presented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), the award recognizes Dr. Renjifo Salcedo’s impact on young health professionals and programs furthering social and community medicine.

The award was presented by PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne and Elly Brtva, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, at the fifth annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health. The awards event is held annually to highlight major contributions to public health in the Americas in areas including leadership, health literature, veterinary public health, and universal health care. Dr. José Lima Pedreira de Freitas, of Brazil, also received posthumous recognition as a co-honoree of the Sérgio Arouca award this year.

Dr. Renjifo Salcedo introduced the concept of public health as mandatory in the medical curriculum at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Columbia, establishing it as equal to basic and clinical sciences. This example was later followed by other medical schools in the country. Additionally, Dr. Renjifo Salcedo was advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa and Latin America. As Director of the Ministry of Health’s Roberto Franco de Villavicencio Institute of Tropical Medicine, Dr. Renjifo Salcedo studied emerging tropical diseases. An adventurer, he visited many inhospitable areas of the world and was a member of the first expedition to the Sierra de La Macarena—unchartered territory at the time—in search of a cure for yellow fever. He died in 1966.
“For each of the children, the grandchildren and close friends, this has been something exciting, important and honorable. The day our brother shared the letters sent by you, we felt like it was a birthday. Our biggest celebration is that after all these years, our father was still being recognized. He is a worthy example of continued contributions to humanity in any field, always with the conviction that the work and dedication will help others in this world,” said the children of Dr. Renjifo, who were present at the ceremony. Dr. Boris Renjifo, himself a public health researcher in HIV and director of medical affairs in Asia and Africa for HIV at ABBVIE, accepted the posthumous award on behalf of his father.
The School of Public Health of the Universidad del Valle, founded by Dr. Renjifo Salcedo, was also presented with a certificate in recognition of their contribution and far-reaching impact on health professionals and programs of social and community medicine.

“The enormous influence on many generations of young physicians and other health professionals in the Americas makes Drs. Renjifo Salcedo and Pedreira de Freitas excellent choices for the 2013 Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care,” said PAHEF President Eleanor Brtva.  

The Sérgio Arouca Award for Excellence in Universal Health Care, created in 2010, recognizes leaders who have dedicated their efforts to advance, influence, and strengthen universal health-care programs in the Americas. One such leader was Dr. Sérgio Arouca, who was a Brazilian national public health professional, physician, scholar, and legislator. Throughout his career, Dr. Arouca supported innovative public health practices and tirelessly championed universal health care, working at the National School of Public Health, as Secretary of Health of Rio de Janeiro, and as Secretary of Social Participation in the Ministry of Health, Brazil. The Secretary of Health in Brazil and PAHEF, in cooperation with PAHO, created this award to honor the outstanding legacy of Dr. Sérgio Arouca.

PAHO and PAHEF Honor Mexico’s Julio Frenk for Leadership in Inter-American Public Health

 

WASHINGTON, DC (September 30, 2013) – Julio Frenk, MPH, MD, PhD, a renowned public health leader and prominent spokesperson for the universal health coverage movement in Mexico, was honored today as a winner of the 2013 Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health. Presented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), the award recognizes Dr. Frenk’s outstanding contributions and commitment to Inter-American public health.

The award was presented by PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne and Eleanor Brtva, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, at the fifth annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health. The awards event is held annually to highlight major contributions to public health in the Americas in areas including leadership, health literature, veterinary public health, universal health care.

PAHO and PAHEF recognized Dr. Frenk for his considerable contributions to the field, including—but not limited to—founding the Public Health Center of Investigation and the National Institute of Public Health in his native Mexico. In 1998, Dr. Frenk’s academic and international health policy experience secured him the prestigious position of Executive Director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy at the World Health Organization (WHO). By establishing the Macroeconomics and Health Commission, Dr. Frenk founded an international protocol to use scientific evidence when designing and implementing health policies in developing countries.

As Mexico’s Secretary of Health from 2000 to 2006, he established Seguro Popular, a social insurance program that created the basis for universal health coverage in Mexico by guaranteeing coverage for all Mexicans. Since 2009, Dr. Frenk has been Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. At Harvard, he is leading a commission on the education of health professionals in the 21st century.

Dr. Frenk obtained his medical degree from the National University of Mexico and a Masters of Public Health and a joint doctorate in Medical Care Organization and Sociology from the University of Michigan as well as three honorary doctorates. In addition to writing over 100 academic articles, books and book chapters, Dr. Frenk has written two books for children explaining the human body.

“I feel privileged to receive the prestigious Abraham Horwitz Award, which honors the legacy of one of the most important public health figures in the Americas,” said Dr. Frenk. “It is especially meaningful for me to be recognized by the Pan American Health Organization, an exemplary institution with which I have interacted throughout my entire professional life. Furthermore, I see the Horwitz Award not as a distinction bestowed upon my personal career, but as an acknowledgment of the accomplishments of public health professionals and researchers in Mexico.”

Elly Brtva remarked, “Dr. Frenk is a pioneer and respected public health leader in the Americas. In addition to the positive impact he has made on Mexico’s health care system, Dr. Frenk has contributed to protocols and research that have improved the lives of people all over the Americas, especially in his native Mexico.”  

Since 1975, the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Public Health recognizes leadership that has changed lives and improved health of the people of the Americas. The award was created to honor the lifetime accomplishments of Dr. Abraham Horwitz, former PAHO director and later PAHEF president. The award is one of six in the PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health Program, which was established in 1975.

PAHO and PAHEF Honor Article Published by Barbadian Researcher

WASHINGTON, DC (September 30, 2013) – Alok Kumar, MPH, MD, PhD, was honored today with the 2013 Fred L. Soper Award for Excellence in Public Health Literature, presented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF). Dr. Kumar received the award on behalf of his research team in Barbados for a groundbreaking journal article about the epidemiology of dengue in Barbadian children.

The award was presented by PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne and Elly Brtva, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, at the fifth annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health. The awards event is held annually to highlight major contributions to public health in the Americas in areas including leadership, health literature, veterinary public health, and universal health care.

The paper, Epidemiological trends and clinical manifestations of dengue among children in one of the English-speaking Caribbean countries, describes the epidemiology and disease characterization of dengue, a rapidly emerging public health problem in the Caribbean. Dr. Kumar’s study highlighted dengue’s impact in Barbados for the first time ever, quantifying the mortality and morbidity rates among children in particular.

Dr. Kumar’s research background is in infectious diseases, particularly in the transmission, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. He is currently studying serious bacterial infection in children with sickle cell disease and dengue virus infection in otherwise healthy children and those with sickle cell disease. He teaches and conducts research at the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

Dr. Kumar said, “This recognition is a huge encouragement for me and for my collaborating colleagues to continue to work sincerely and relentlessly to contribute in a significant way to the improvement of the health of our children.”

Elly Brtva remarked, “Dr. Kumar and his team’s article represent impactful science in the Americas. His research in dengue is helping to protect our most important assets in the Western Hemisphere: its people.”

Created in 1990, the Fred L. Soper Award for Excellence in Health Literature recognizes significant contributions to the body of health literature in the Americas. Excellence in public health research and in writing the research findings is among the most important factors in promoting health in the Americas. Current information on health situations, trends, diseases, treatment, and delivery systems are critical for use in planning, executing, and evaluating policies and programs of public health. The award promotes the highest standards of research, specifically research that emphasizes regional impact in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

PAHO and PAHEF Honor Peruvian Veterinarian for Academic Excellence

 

WASHINGTON, DC (September 30, 2013) – Veronika Haydee Merino Osorio, DVM, a Peruvian veterinarian, was honored today as winner of the 2013 Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health. Presented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), the award recognizes Dr. Merino Osorio’s stand-out undergraduate thesis in veterinary public health.

The award was presented by PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne and Elly Brtva, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Philanthropy Officer of PAHEF, at the fifth annual PAHO/PAHEF Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health. The awards event is held annually to highlight major contributions to public health in the Americas in areas including leadership, health literature, veterinary public health, and universal health care.

Dr. Merino Osorio’s undergraduate thesis, “Detection of Echinococcus granulosus coproantigens on canine pets of workers of slaughterhouses and offal distributors in Metropolitan Lima, was inspired during her clinical rotation at the National Children’s Hospital in Lima, Peru, where she studied the high incidence of young children with hydatid cysts. She graduated third in her class from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnology of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima in 2011 with a doctorate in veterinary medicine. There, she is currently an adjunct assistant professor who encourages her students to pursue public health issues. She also has small-animal surgical and equine health and dairy cattle experience, having completed considerable pre-professional training in the United States and Peru. Dr. Merino Osorio also trained at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC, in the field of zoological medicine.

Dr. Merino Osorio said, “It is an honor to receive the 2013 Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health recognizing our effort in revealing a serious public health issue in our country that needs to be taken in consideration by the authorities.”

“It is inspiring that at such a young age, Dr. Merino Osorio, represents the emerging future generation of veterinary public health leadership,” remarked Elly Brtva of PAHEF.

The Pedro N. Acha Award for Excellence in Veterinary Public Health, created in 1993, recognizes the importance of veterinary public health to the peoples of the Americas and to countries’ economies. The health of human beings is tied to the health of animals, both domestic and wild, in many ways. Certain diseases can be transmitted, directly or indirectly, from animals to humans. This award recognizes outstanding research based on a thesis written by an undergraduate student in veterinary public health within the last three years. It also aims to encourage dedication to the highest standards of study and professionalism.

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