Government of Dominica
Dr. Carissa F. Etienne


The Government of Dominica is saddened by the passing of distinguished Dominican, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne the former Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne was a globally recognized public health champion and advocate who brought great pride and honour to Dominica.

She was elected as Director of the Pan American Health Organization in September of 2012 and was re-elected for a second five-year term in September of 2017. She ended her 10-year tenure as Director of PAHO on January 31, 2023.

She was Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization from 2008 –2013; Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization from 2003 – 2008; and Director of Primary Health Care Services, Ministry of Health, Dominica 1989 –2001.

Under her guidance as Director of Primary Healthcare, Dominica achieved universal coverage for all primary care programs, with immunization coverage rates of 95 percent; 90 percent coverage for prenatal care and deliveries by trained birth attendants; access to continuous care for chronic non-communicable disease; country-wide community empowerment and participation; and health education integrated into community care.

She had previously served as Chief Medical Officer, Coordinator of the National HIV/AIDS Programme, National Epidemiologist, and Medical Director at the then Princess Margaret Hospital.

On behalf of the people of Dominica, the Government of Dominica extends sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, an illustrious, well-loved daughter of our country. At this difficult moment, we share your grief and pray the Lord grant you comfort and fortitude in this period of mourning.

May we always remember and celebrate her outstanding contributions and dedication to the management of Dominica’s public health sector, and her leadership and strategicguidance of health systems in the Americas.

May her soul rest in perfect peace.

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