It was a spiritual journey – Dr. Carissa Etienne

Participants of 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference give a standing ovation to Dr. Carissa Etiene

Dr. Carissa Etienne has described the process of being elected to the post of Director General of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) as ‘a spiritual journey.’

The Massacre native was elected on Wednesday by PAHO Member States during the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference in Washington DC.

She told state-owned DBS radio she was sitting upstairs of the conference room with her husband and a friend when she heard her name being mentioned as the one to take up the post. “I shouted ‘thank God, let God be praised’ because I take it very much as a spiritual journey and I know lots of Dominicans have been praying for me,” she said.

She described the moment when she learned of the news as an ecstatic one. “It was a moment of joy not only for me because I was thinking this is a tiny island of Dominica, 70,000 people, and we got the opportunity to lead,” she said.

Dr. Etienne also thanked Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Health Minister Julius Timothy for what she said was their efforts in ensuring she got the top PAHO job. “Thank you to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health who have done such a tremendous job in ensuring we have the necessary votes,” she stated.

Meanwhile PM Skerrit said Dr. Etienne’s win is a sign that his administration’s foreign policy is working. “Dr. Carissa Etienne’s election signals the absolute confidence which the international health community has in her credentials but it also speaks to the respect, admiration and influence that the government of Dominica has in the international and regional communities,” he said during a press conference after the news of Dr. Etienne’s election was made public. “To have been able to garner enough support to elect a young girl from the village of Massacre as the director of the Pan American Health Organization.”

He continued, “Our foreign policy is working and is bearing fruits. Our cultivation of friendships with nations globally continues to bring great respect and pride to our people here in Dominica.”

In the run up to the elections, Dr. Etienne had received the commitment of CARICOM and many Latin American countries.

She was one of five candidates vying for the position but during the conference two member states, Uruguay and Peru, withdrew their candidates and she was left to go up against Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Dr. Etienne will begin her five-year mandate on February 1, 2013 replacing Dr. Mirta Roses Periago who has been Director of the organization since February 1, 2003.

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  1. Abra
    September 24, 2012

    :) congratulation Dr. Etienne. Nice, put DA out here.

  2. Pam
    September 21, 2012

    My doctor….really loved being under her care….I know she has it within her to do the best. God’s blessings on Dr. C. Ettiene and her family.

  3. Anonymous
    September 21, 2012


  4. Eagle-Eyed
    September 20, 2012

    Another great achievement from another daughter of the soil. Congratulations Dr Etienne! you have made us all proud.

  5. Pondera
    September 20, 2012

    A land mark achievement for Dr Ettiene and Dominica. I wish her God’s blessings in this new position. The Government’s efforts in lobbying other Countries must also be complimented. At the end Dominica is on the map!!

  6. No Name No Warrant
    September 20, 2012

    Congratulations to the Good Doctor. In 1998 you were victimised and by passed by the UWP Government because of your political DLP affiliation for the Post of Chief Medical Officer after acting for two years. Instead Dr Nasiro of Nigerian Birth was appointed to the said post.

    Today it is fitting that a DLP Government under the able Leadership of Skerrit would go all the way in a hard fought campaign to get you elected. Congratulations to yhe Government of Dominica especially the PM and Minister of Health. This indicates the international respect that Dominica has been able to Foster.

  7. FMH
    September 20, 2012

    Congratulation Dr.Etienne. We are indeed proud that you are one of us – From a some island state and an even smaller village. Massacre has contributed much to the Island’s Health care, having produced some prominent names in that department especially. The Massacre youth certainly can’t say, that they are without persons to emulate. God Bless you Dr.Etienne; and God Bless your mission and aspirations in this post.

  8. joan
    September 20, 2012

    PM and Timothy could have made all the calls they wanted if she was not the Best she would not have been voted in. This is not D.A. people get position by who they know and if they red or blue. Congratulations Doctor. I always knew you would have gotten the post the day i knew you wee a nominee God Bless you and yours.

      September 20, 2012

      Actually Joan, I respectfully disagree. If you understand how these things work, you will appreciate that the PM, the Minister and I won’t be surprised by all our Permanent Reps in NY, Washington etc had to play a very crucial role in securing this appointment. They had to make the diplomatic runs. These are very competitive and politically sensitive appointments. Qualifications, skills and experience only take you so far.

      Please give the PM and the Minister their deserved dues for pushing the appointment and securing the votes.

  9. Gerard Nibbs
    September 20, 2012

    Congratulations DR Etienne i knew you always had the potential,you are a caring and praying mom,wife, Doctor but more so compassionate.I clearly remember the days on Imray ward at PMH.God,s blessings always.luv to you ,willie and the children.

  10. CIA on the Watch
    September 20, 2012

    Lets compare and contras the election of a president under a cloud of constitutional contraversy and the election of Dr Ettienne with unanimous support from the world body, wonder if elude williams learn a lesson from Dr. Etienne appointment, what a shame elude

      September 20, 2012

      Good point. However, I do not think that Eluid will or to now capable of learning any positive lessons. He is too tainted, having plunged deep into the cesspool. The man is a complete disgrace as far as I am concerned, with all due respect to the Office of the President.

  11. i love dominica
    September 20, 2012

    Alas haters alyou have a long time to habour hatred for skerrit in all you heart cause he will be around for a very long time, long live pm skerrit and the dlp. Congrats Dr Ettiene you made me proud.

  12. Dorival John
    September 20, 2012

    So why is it that this news did not make it to Q95’s newscast?

    Anybody has an answer? I am really baffled.

    • i love dominica
      September 20, 2012

      It made it they just did not want to read it

        September 20, 2012

        The news was on Q95. But how would you know if you didn’t listen? What weu did not hear was Skerrit pampering his inflated ego as DBS and Kairi so proudly broadcasted

    • hmm
      September 20, 2012

      q95 news is news? That is a non-issue. I don’t know what you so baffled about.

  13. Malgraysa
    September 20, 2012

    I just shake my head at the way mr. Skerrit tries to claim the credit for this appointment as if Dr. Etienne was not elected on her own merits. Sure, he has given support, as he should but this going to far! Good luck Dr. Etienne, it was you they wanted for who and what you are yourself.

    • i love dominica
      September 20, 2012

      Stupes claim credit for what. Did you readwhat Dr Etiene said about the pm and theminister of health,

      • Malgraysa
        September 20, 2012

        I did better than that! I saw the PM making his pronouncement on T.V. and heard Hon. Timothy’s sycophantic statement that this would not have been possible without mr. Skerrit.

    • Views Expressed
      September 20, 2012

      Skerrit: And I quote “Go to Hell…..Go to Hell…Go to Helll…”
      Clarissa is from a diffeent class…..yours is tainted…you are not in a position to champion this cause…you cannot be trusted..

      “Go to Hell….Go to Hell none of your Damn business.” Go repent

  14. (.) (.)
    September 20, 2012

    Praise the Lord …Hallelujah!!! With God, everything is possible

  15. Doc, Love
    September 20, 2012

    We are fortunate that Dominica now possesses two powerful world leaders in the persons of Dr. Etienne and Mr. Larocqe, however,unfortunately right here at home the present leader is a real diaster.

  16. September 20, 2012

    Congratulations to Dr Ettienne!!! Well Done. All the Best and GOD’s blessings and guidance for the job ahead in leading PAHO over the next five years. You have once again put Dominica on the international and regional map.

  17. September 19, 2012

    Many congrats to Dr. C. Etienne for her achievement which is also an honour for Dominica and the whole Caribbean region.

    Dr. Sandro Calvani, Director ARCMDG
    Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

  18. Edgar Hunter
    September 19, 2012

    Congrats. You are truly an inspiration to other Dominicans. A Global woman who has achieved high office on a global level. May God continue to bless you and your family richly.

  19. September 19, 2012

    “I shouted thank God; let God be praised, because I take it very much as a “Spiritual” journey”–Dr. Carissa Etienne

    Congratulations to you, Dr. Carissa Ettiene; and thank you for raising the nose of our Dominicans–that would include my nose as well–but with Godly humility. Yeah! As one of us has already said, God does exalt those who humble themselves; I say Amen to that saying!

    I truly believe that our Nation can prosper, if only the majority of us can accept that God wants to do His work through the Leaders of our Nation and other servants like yourself–whom He has blessed with the gifts of ability.

    God wants us to see His work in us and among us that we might give Him the honor and the praise–not going around with a head that is plagued with pride and self-conceit.

    I admire the way you described your achieve, as you said” It is very much as a “Spiritual journey”.

    Yes indeed! Our walk in this world has be a “spiritual journey” unless we have chosen to walk the path of death and desolation.

    This “Spiritual journey” is the walk of Life; in all our thoughts, our plans, our works, our play, and our relationship with family, close relatives, and friends–wherever we meet them.

    We ought to consider that God has designed this journey for each and every one of us who exist in this world–otherwise, we are like sheep gone astray–lost in our existence and may never be found in Life–what a pity!

    Continue in your way of humility, dear lady, doing the work that God has called you to do, always remembering that without His guidance and teachings throughout your assignments–you can do nothing. Blessings!

  20. Possie
    September 19, 2012

    Go Alba

  21. new york
    September 19, 2012

    she is a nice lady she was my dad personal doctor and she did so much for him don’t matter what time in the night he called her she will come she was nice to all of his kids DR Etienne may my good god bless u thank doctor colihaut

    September 19, 2012

    Gratitude to PM and Minister well deserved

    Once again, I wish to express sincere congratulations to Dr Etienne. I do understand her genuine praise and gratitude to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Health Minister Julius Timothy for what she said was their efforts in ensuring she got the job PAHO

    Her gratitude is very much in order. The truth be told, at that level, qualifications and experience will only take one that far. A lot has to do with political lobbying and yes, one needs to have the support of his/her government, the members of its economic and political groupings and its foreign relations machinery. Without the latter, the former can only take you that far. You simply need to work up the necessary votes, which requires a lot of open and closed door diplomacy. That is a fact.

    Then again, show me a politician who would not seek to milk the cow to get some Kudos, inflate his own ego, blow his own trumpet and take cheap shots.

    Therefore, I too join in recognizing the efforts of Mr. Skerrit and Mr. Timothy. (I now know why Tim was absent for the vote of the president)

    Roseau Valley.

    • Anonymous
      September 20, 2012

      the first person u congratulating is the Prime Minister and Minister. All u really love politics.

        September 20, 2012

        This is testimony to the fact that one can never please everyone. Comments like yours comfort me because I am more convinced that people are simply using DNO to demonstrate their gross ignorance. Some people have absolutely no understanding of the issues and dynamics at play here.

        Sorry Anonymous…but thank you for your comments. Appreciated!

  23. Anonymous
    September 19, 2012

    Good stuff Dr.

  24. Skerro again...
    September 19, 2012

    :wink: yes i… doctor carissa etienne congrats… skerro again at it… working hard to elevate dominican people. itassi people, stella… we proud of the diplomatic expertise of our pm… it not me nor is carissa etienne that say he was instrumental in helping her get the top job at PAHO… so congrats to her and hats off to him… labour power

  25. Magweh sah..mwen de
    September 19, 2012

    Congratulations Dr. Etienne! you have made Dominica proud. May the Lord grant you wisdom, courage, discernment and good health as you prepare to undertake this high powered position. God bless you.

  26. zam
    September 19, 2012

    WooooooooooooW! Thats goooood goooood news! I have a feeling that tonight gonna be a gooood night tonight gonna be a goood good night! Thats goood news for Dominica all the way! Proud of Mrs Ettienne! She is a great woman and a nice person! Proud of her that she didnot take the credit and say she did dis and dat! She gave God the glory! Madam you are transforming society! You are using your gifts to make the world a better place!
    I think other leaders should take a page from your boook! Congrates Doc! I for sure is praying for you for putting Dominica on the Map! Blessss you Doc!

  27. Josette Sergenton
    September 19, 2012

    Congrats, Doc. Your hard work, humility, dedication to service, respect for others, and so much more of those fine qualities of yours has paid off.
    You go girl!

  28. colorblind
    September 19, 2012

    Congratulations Dr Etienne. God’s blessings and best wishes in your new role as PAHO director.

    This is a significant global achievement, especially for a Dominican woman.

    A little history: This may remind some older Dominicans of son of the soil Dr. Philip A. Potter when he became General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1972 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was the first person from the developing world to hold the Council’s highest administrative post.

    Dr Etienne is the 2nd female Director, and the 1st woman from the Caribbean region.

  29. Goodwill
    September 19, 2012

    Well done Dr Ettienne!!! You have again placed Dominica on the international map. Congratulations and all best wishes for continued success in your career and in your contribution in the field of health to the Caribbean and Latin American region.

  30. Dr. Lee
    September 19, 2012

    I was reading well until the PM refered to the good doc as a “young girl from Massacre” and saying it in such a way that as if it was really the goverment lobbying alone and not her qualifications that made her get the job.

    The PM should show some respect and if he wanted to compliment the doc on her youthful appearance he should have refered to her as a “young lady”

    He should also have highlighted her excellent academic achievements which qualified her for the post, the government lobbying was secondary to her excellent accademic achievments and work record.

    We are aware of what the PM did and that was comendable but he should not be trying to steal the parade of the good doctor.

  31. Morihei Ueshiba
    September 19, 2012

    “To have been able to garner enough support to elect a young girl from the village of Massacre as the director of the Pan American Health Organization..” :lol:
    One thing you that skerro Arrogant eh, u governing one of the poorest countries in the OECS and u so full of yourself, all the other islands ahead of Dominica, u cannot build an international airport, and u so arrogant, u are the leader of a very poor country!

  32. waitukubuli-original
    September 19, 2012

    Dr. Etienne, God bestowed this great blessing upon you because you have proven yourself to Him. He made Abraham a Father of many nations because He deemed Abe fit for the job. He said He KNOW him for he will command his children and household to walk in God’s way. Likewise God KNOWS you that whatever task you undertake you do so with excellence; hence, he made you head and not tail.

    Do wallow in your blessings. Let every mouth that rise up against you in judgment be condemned.

  33. Anonymous
    September 19, 2012

    Congratulations are in order!!!

  34. Watch Dog
    September 19, 2012

    It is Dr. Etienne’s academic qualifications, her work experience and her leadership qualities that earned her the post. Foreign policy my foot!

    If anything they almost botched this appointment with lack of communication especially from Skerrit part. He announced Dr. Etienne’s candidature even before Caribbean Ministers of health were briefed. This made the process of garnering votes for Dr. Etienne’s very difficult!

    His Alliance with ALBA also made the US position a difficult one. Several Latin American countries also want a Latin american but in the end Dr. Etienne was the best candidate.

    So my friend, we had a good product. If your foreign policy is so good then let’ s see if you can make Reggie A, with only a BC as qualification, the next Secretary General of Caricom.

    Note: BC is the abbreviation for Birth Certificate

  35. dominica1 Toronto
    September 19, 2012

    Congrats to Dr.E

  36. beholder
    September 19, 2012

    I salute Dr Etienne for recognizing hers as a spiritual journey. We are each one of us on a spiritual journey through this school called life. God gives us all lessons and trials. We do nothing without god’s help. God always stands with you when you make the effort and make the way.

  37. Focus with Purpose
    September 19, 2012

    Congratulation are in order. I seeing a few complentary fish Dinner here Doc. You know I am over the moon and I rejoice with you and your family…. You might know who. May good bless your work richly.

  38. TRUTH
    September 19, 2012

    I prayed as I know Dr. Etienne and her family personally, I told her when she was in Dominica I was praying for her, her response thanks, I need it I am under alot of pressure. Thank God Doc. you preserver and made it through, you made history and Dominica is on the map, even if we are small we are a proud people going places. Thank you PM, and Hon. Timothy for your support and all Dominicans and our fiends at CARICOM and throughout Latin America. Let God be praised because he dose everything well, and he always complete the job he has started. God is our ultimate source so trust him today. I know she will do well IN the position because she has our support and prayers.

  39. Jane
    September 19, 2012

    I rejoice with you Dr. Etienne. A lady I admire, full of humility. God exhalts those who humble themselves…Praise God!

  40. Evolved
    September 19, 2012

    The Pm is such a joke – foreign policy – lol.

    he refers to Carissa as a young girl – she probably could be his mother or aunt –

    I will look to see how she progesses the cause of women as it relates to birth control and on the issue on condom use given her strong religious convictions.

    I do most certainly wish her well – it is a great accomplishment for her and her family.

    • Music
      September 19, 2012

      Choose whether you want to be nasty or nice. Is either you congratulating or u giving the P.m his ‘chaleh’. She would not have been able to do it without them ” The Minister and the P.M” You hate the man so much that you cannot fully congratualte the lady.

    • ebeh look it.
      September 19, 2012

      really….i don’t think he literally meant a young girl. Most likely he said that in relation to the big guns; that is our small island Dominican person up against Costa Rica & Ecuador. Learn to read between the lines.

      • Just saying
        September 19, 2012

        ….”i don’t think he literally meant a young girl” @ebeh look it, Great explanation.

        September 19, 2012

        he/ she must not just learn to read between the lines but to comprehend.

    • Dreamer
      September 19, 2012

      you are a bigger joke

    • Reminder
      September 19, 2012

      “Evolved” You must read, listen and understand. Something is wrong with all you man. Leave the PM alone everything he do and say all you have a problem. You must be an August learner.

      • Patriotic
        September 19, 2012

        Well said Reminder, but whether or not they like it, the will have PA Skerrooooooo.

        God Bless our Govt. God Bless r. Etienne and God Bless the Dominican People….

        September 19, 2012

        some people fail to understand that such high positions come with a bit of political affilliation and diplomacy. she is highly qaulified yes, but the high science of politics pushes its` nose in all high positions so don t be surprise at the words of the pm. come on we are in 2012, this the new world order take it or leave it.well done dr. ettienne and well done all the politicians who influenced the decision.

      • Malgraysa
        September 20, 2012

        He, he ….August learner….we in Sept. already, if you did not know! You’re behind the times. (yes, yes, I know August has different meanings but this is too funny).

    • Dominican in NYC
      September 19, 2012

      Hater, this woman worked her …. of for many years in DA charging almost nothing to helpothers can’t even be happy that its not a foreigner in that position

    • Anonymous
      September 19, 2012

      U need to lighten up. Stop taking comments too literally. This comment by thee pm was meant to paint a picture of the docs bakgrond

    • Anonymous
      September 19, 2012

      I hope she doesn;t make religious beliefs governs the decisions that she makes in his new post…that woudld not be a good thing. But I wish her the very best.

    • Observer
      September 19, 2012

      Evolved you are so sick. You cannot bring yourself to recognizing something which is good for Dominica. This is damn good news for Dominica. So whether you like it or not this is a Dominican “girl”. When it is good say it is good. When the time comes for blows, give blows. Let us rejoice with Dr. Ettienne and leave Pm Skerrit alone.Perhaps you may be aware of the hells she went through under W..o..r..k..e….rs….. between 1995 and 2000. Get off you high horse and see the beauty in Dominica and its successes.

    • curlis
      September 19, 2012

      Dr. Etienne, once again, you have made us soooooo
      proud!!! your family, Dominica, the OECS and beyond, and to crown it all, you kept your God
      and your faith very close.
      Finally it looks like an eye will be turned towards Haiti, but I know the entire Pan American area, stands to benefit.
      I just wanna bear hug you. Love you, God bless.

    • No Name No Warrant
      September 19, 2012

      Has evovled into a uwp….shame on you that is what your evolution has reduced you to…someone filled with q95, uwp and lennox hatred…ALAS

    • MUDD
      September 20, 2012

      What happen you have no face and you ugly so does that mean that your fugly why you made such SORT comments.

      • MUDD
        September 20, 2012

        that was meant for EVOLVED

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