Karen Brown wins pub­lic health award

Jamaica Gleaner - - MATIONAL RAOD SAFETY COUNCIL'S - Ru­ral@glean­erjm.com Carl Gilchrist Gleaner Writer ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

RE­GIONAL EN­VIRO NMENTAL Health Of­fi­cer for the North East Re­gional Health Au­thor­ity (NERHA) Karen Brown has walked away with the in­au­gu­ral Na­tional Award for Ex­cel­lence in Pub­lic Health.

The pres­ti­gious award was given jointly by the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (PAHO) and the Fac­ulty of Med­i­cal Sci­ences (FMS) at the Univer­sity of the West Indies in hon­our of the pub­lic health pi­o­neer, Pro­fes­sor Sir Ken­neth Stan­dard.

Stan­dard, who died in Au­gust 2004, was a pi­o­neer in pub­lic health de­vel­op­ment in Ja­maica and the Caribbean, mak­ing a tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tion to com­mu­nity medicine through­out the re­gion.

Brown, seen as the pub­lic health prac­ti­tioner who best em­bod­ies Stan­dard’s legacy, was de­scribed by the award­ing body as an “agent of change”.

She was pre­sented with the award last week by Pro­fes­sor Ho­race Fletcher, dean of the Fac­ulty of Med­i­cal Sci­ence at the UWI, at the of­fi­cial open­ing cer­e­mony to launch Re­search Week fac­ulty.

Brown is grate­ful for the award when she spoke with Ru­ral Xpress on Tues­day evening.

“I am elated to have re­ceived this pres­ti­gious award and I’m happy that some­body has seen the work that I’ve done,” Brown said. “I hope this award will work as a pedestal to show­case the work of pub­lic health in­spec­tors across the is­land,” she added.

Brown has served in the pub­lic health ser­vice for the past 24 years, with most of her time spent at the St Ann Health De­part­ment be­fore be­ing pro­moted to the re­gional level.

Brown rose though the ranks from dis­trict pub­lic health in­spec­tor, su­per­vi­sor, and re­gional pub­lic health spe­cial­ist (food safety) to chief pub­lic health in­spec­tor for St Ann, then re­gional en­vi­ron­men­tal health of­fi­cer for the NERHA since Fe­bru­ary 2014.

RE­GIONAL SER­VICE

for the

Hold­ing a Mas­ter of Pub­lic Health (Health Ed­u­ca­tion and Pro­mo­tion) and a Bach­e­lor of Health Sci­ences (En­vi­ron­men­tal Health) de­gree, Brown has also served re­gion­ally.

In 2012, dur­ing an out­break of food-borne ill­nesses in The Turks and Caicos Is­land, she was the pub­lic health ex­pert who as­sisted PAHO in help­ing the Caribbean coun­try to com­bat the out­break.

Brown has been on sev­eral over­seas mis­sions per­tain­ing to pub­lic health and hu­man­i­tar­ian causes, in­clud­ing trips to Ar­gentina, Scot­land, Wales, Eng­land, Trinidad and Tobago, The Turks and Caicos Is­lands, and the United States.

She beat out six other nom­i­nees from across the is­land who were short­listed for the award.

CRI­TE­RIA

The cri­te­ria in­cluded in­no­va­tion, com­mit­ment/ser­vice, recog­ni­tion, ser­vice and ac­cep­tance by the com­mu­nity, ef­fec­tive­ness, knowl­edge, and use of team ap­proach.

The award is the lat­est of sev­eral Brown has earned over the years, in­clud­ing the Com­mon­wealth Fel­low­ship Award to the United King­dom, which she re­ceived in 2010.

Brown says she is com­mit­ted to continuing to serve at a high level in pub­lic health in or­der to have an im­pact on the qual­ity of lives of the peo­ple of Ja­maica as well as the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

She also hopes to do higher stud­ies in pur­suit of ex­cel­lence. Beck­ford Blood Drive Unit Nurse Tri­cia Gray at­tend­ing to Ray Dur­rant.

FILE

Span­ish Town Ceno­taph POS­I­TIVE CON­TRI­BU­TION

RASBERT TURNER PHOTO

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