WHO Director-General's statement on the passing of Dr Carissa Etienne

Portrait photo of Dr Carissa Etienne

Credit: PAHO

It is with immense sadness that I learned today of the passing of our dear friend, Dr Carissa F. Etienne.

Dr Etienne, a native of Dominica, served as Director of the Pan American Health Organization and as WHO Regional Director for the Americas from 2013 to 2023, during which the Americas made impressive progress towards universal health coverage, and against both communicable and noncommunicable diseases.

Dr Etienne also demonstrated exemplary leadership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to other health emergencies.

As a valued member of WHO’s senior leadership, Dr Etienne provided trusted advice and support to the Organization’s mission to expand access to health services for people in the Americas and globally.

Dr Etienne also served in multiple other roles for WHO, including as Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Her dedication to public health and significant contributions to WHO leave a legacy in the health of the people of Dominica, the Americas and the world.

On behalf of WHO, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr Etienne’s family, friends, and colleagues.

She will be greatly missed.

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