ECHORN Hurricane Relief Fund

ECHORN Hurricane Relief Fund

Photo credit: Ricardo Arduengo. CNN. Getty Images

Recipient organizations will be selected by submitting a statement of need, and funding decisions will be made by a panel of health leaders from the affected areas. Award amounts will range from $5,000 - $10,000. As the work of rebuilding will be ongoing, there will be multiple award cycles with the first round to commence in January 2018. 

The selection panel for funding decisions consists of established health leaders in the Caribbean and members of the ECHORN leadership. Panel members include:

Sir Trevor Hassell, MD 
Sir Trevor Hassell is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, England. He has held the positions of president of the Caribbean Cardiac Society, president of the Inter American Heart Foundation, and vice president of the World Heart Federation. He is chairman of the Barbados National Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Commission, of the Barbados Special Envoy for Chronic Diseases, and president of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition—a regional civil society alliance established to contribute to the prevention and control of chronic diseases. In 2013 Sir Trevor was appointed to the Order of Barbados as a Knight of St. Andrew in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the medical profession.

LaVerne Ragster, PhD
Dr. Ragster serves in the University of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Exploratory Research Center focusing on public health and climate change adaptation in the Caribbean. Her service includes participation on the National Environmental Policy Commission of the Congressional Black Caucus Brain Trust on environmental justice, commissions and programs of the American Council on Education and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and membership on the National Marine Fisheries advisory committee and the US Integrated Ocean Observing Systems advisory committee. She has worked in the Eastern Caribbean with the United Nations Environmental Program, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the Caribbean Conservation Association. 

José A. Capriles, MD, DrPH 
Dr. Capriles is the associate dean for academic affairs at the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, and program director of the Master in Health Services Administration graduate program. Currently, Dr. Capriles leads the Puerto Rico Local Performance Site, Region 2 Public Health Training Center. Dr. Capriles leads the planning and development of the DrPH program specializing in health system analysis and management for the University of Puerto Rico and the DrPH program with a focus on the social determinants of health 

Ian Hambleton, PhD 
Dr. Hambleton has worked as a statistician for 20 years in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean for the UK Medical Research Council, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of the West Indies (UWI). He is currently organizing analyses for the Barbados National Registry for chronic non-communicable diseases and for The Health of the Nation—a national survey to assess Barbadian health. He has directed a NIH program to better understand health inequalities in the Caribbean. Current projects include an evaluation of the Barbados tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, the use of virtual environments for testing the utility of different policies for reducing the regional diabetes burden, and the development of methods for assessing the health impacts of community food production initiatives—a response to the problem of food security in small island developing nations. 

Akenath Misir, MBBS 
Dr. Misir is a career public health professional in Trinidad and Tobago since 1985, retiring as the country’s chief medical officer in 2017. His work and research interests include chronic disease (diabetes and mental health) and senior health. As a public health officer, he was involved in the introduction of a number of screening programs including school vision and hearing, retinal photography, and gestational diabetes. 

Sharon Williams Gomez
Ms. Williams Gomez currently serves as the assistant director for the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD), a community and research program of the University of the Virgin Islands. She directs the implementation and management of services for the Virgin Islands Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (VITRAID), the Virgin Islands Assistive Technology Foundation Inc. (VIATF), and the Virgin Islands iCanConnect. These programs provide eligible individuals the ability to access assistive technology devices and training and services to support their independence, participation, and community inclusion. Prior to joining VIUCEDD, Ms. Williams served as territorial director of the CDC funded Chronic Disease Prevention Program and coordinator of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) with the Virgin Islands Department of Health. 

Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS 
Dr. Nunez-Smith is an associate professor of medicine and public health and founding director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) at Yale University School of Medicine. ERIC’s research focuses on promoting healthcare equity with an emphasis on healthcare workforce development, patient assessment of healthcare experiences, and healthcare system strengthening to address chronic disease in limited resource settings. 

Peter Adams, MBBS, DM 
Dr. Adams is the dean of the faculty of medical sciences at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill in Barbados. Dr. Adams is a family physician and has been practicing medicine for the last 30 years. Prior to becoming dean, he coordinated the family medicine programs at UWI. He is an associate consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and heads the general practice unit at the Edgar Cochrane Polyclinic. He is a former editor of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners Bulletin and is currently a member of the international advisory board of the British Journal of General Practice. 

Rohan Maharaj, MBBS, DM 
Dr. Maharaj is a senior lecturer at St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and has been a family physician in private practice since 1989. At the St. Augustine campus, Dr. Maharaj has worked to develop the MSc and DM in family medicine and the master of public health programs. His research is focused on depression and other psychosocial issues in primary health care. 

Cruz Nazario, PhD 
Dr. Nazario is a professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico and teaches graduate courses on epidemiological methods, cancer epidemiology, and community research. She has mentored doctoral and masters of science in epidemiology students. Dr. Nazario has over 35 years of experience in health services research, outreach, and education in Puerto Rico and the United States and has published extensively in the areas of chronic disease epidemiology and disease detection and monitoring. 
    
Maxine Nunez, DPH, MPH, RN 
Dr. Nunez is a retired professor of nursing at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) and former academic dean of the St. Thomas campus and chair of the division of nursing education. She studied community health/public health administration and research at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene where she earned her doctorate. Her research activities include serving as research core director of the EXPORT center 2004 to 2009 at UVI, where she mentored junior researchers, reviewed research proposals, and designed and conducted a study on diabetes self- management in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the first study of its kind in the territory. 

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