Mary Ellen Avery M.D.

first_imgDr. Mary Ellen Avery died on December 4, 2011 at the age of 84.  She was best known to the world for her ground breaking research on the cause of hyaline membrane disease (later called Respiratory Distress Syndrome), an illness that claimed the lives of an estimated 10,000 infants in the United States each year.  That discovery catapulted her to leadership positions in the United States and Canada and to the highest honors offered by national societies.Following her residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, she came to Boston in 1957 as a research fellow in neonatology with Dr. Clement Smith, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and with Dr. Jere Mead, a professor of physiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.  While carrying out a literature search she had come upon an article by Dr. John Clements who was studying the effect of war gases on the lung.  He had developed an instrument that measured surface tension in the lung.  When he suggested that surface tension is inversely correlated with surface area, she noted that the lungs of the sick premature infants she was caring for were collapsed and unable to retain air.  Returning to Boston from a visit with Clements in Maryland, she built a similar device to measure surface tension.  She found that aspirates from the lungs of these premature infants who died with hyaline membrane disease lacked the ability to lower surface tension and inferred the relevance of this observation to the clinical disease. Contrasting the lungs of these infants with healthy animals, she discerned that the former lacked the critical foamy substance, surfactant, that maintained the lungs in an expanded state.   Thus she determined that hyaline membrane disease was caused, in large measure, by a deficiency in surfactant due to immaturity of the lungs at birth. This work was published in a landmark paper in the American Journal of Diseases of Childhood in 1959.  She continued to work in the area and with others defined the timecourse of surfactant appearance during late gestation and the factors that could slow or accelerate its appearance in the fetal lung.  Building upon the observation that glucocorticoids administration in premature sheep led to normal respiration, she and Liggins in New Zealand established prenatal steroid administration as the standard of obstetric care when mothers risked delivering a baby at high risk of Hyaline Membrane Disease.  Avery’s surfactant work was finally translated into clinical practice by a Japanese pediatrician, Dr. Tetsuro Fujiwara, who developed a surfactant replacement made from the lungs of cows.  Avery encouraged Ross Laboratories to produce a clinically available surfactant modeled on the Japanese product.  Following the advent of the widespread use of surfactant therapy, by the year 2000 fewer than 1,000 prematures were dying yearly from this dreaded disease.Dr. Avery was born in Camden and raised in Moorestown, New Jersey.  She attended the Moorestown Friends School where an intense curiosity about biology and the human body were first evident.  But it was at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, majoring in Chemistry under her professor, friend and ultimately biographer, Bojan Jennings, that the fires were ignited and her great talent recognized.  Johns Hopkins Medical School admitted women and Harvard did not and she thus joined three other women in a class of 90.  Graduation was followed by an internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, only to be interrupted by tuberculosis, convalescence at the Trudeau Sanitarium in Saranac, New York, and an awakening of a lifelong interest in the lung.  She then came to Boston as a research fellow and her remarkable discovery at the very young age of 32.On returning to Johns Hopkins Hospital she became Pediatrician-in-Charge of the Newborn Nurseries and rose rapidly becoming the Eudowood Associate Professor of Pulmonary Disease of Children.  In 1969 she was called to be Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at McGill University and Physician-in-Chief at Montreal Children’s Hospital.  In Montreal, she initiated new programs in developmental pharmacology and neonatal circulatory physiology and developed an outstanding neonatology research group.  While at McGill, she also observed the new Canadian programs in health care.  Noting an opportunity to initiate new initiatives, she helped introduce genetics on a universal basis into health care in the form of the Quebec Network of Genetic Medicine.  Finally, she developed a strong medical interest in the Inuit Eskimo children in the Arctic Circle and travelled to the north on many occasions over her five years in Montreal.Harvard had tried to entice Dr. Avery to come to Boston to develop the program in neonatology, but after careful reflection she decided not to accept the invitation.  Harvard succeeded shortly thereafter when she became a candidate to replace Dr. Charles A. Janeway.  When she was selected in September 1973 by the search committee, she became the 7th Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics and the first woman to lead a major clinical department at Harvard Medical School.  As Physician-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital, she was also the first woman to lead that department.Dr. Avery served as chairwoman from 1974 to 1985.  During that time she greatly strengthened the hospital’s capabilities in neonatology by establishing the Joint Program in Neonatology, led by Dr. William Taeusch, uniting the neonatal services at the Children’s, the Brigham and Women’s and the Beth Israel Hospitals.   She fostered the rapid growth of the Divisions of General Pediatrics, Pulmonary Medicine and Genetics and greatly augmented the department’s research and financial base.Over her ten years of leadership, the Department underwent spectacular growth reaching in 1984, 200 full time faculty, 100 part time faculty, 120 fellows and 68 pediatric house-officers.  The research budget increased three fold over the same period of time, from four million in 1974 to thirteen million in 1984, remarkably funding 2/3rds of all faculty salaries. Patient care volume showed a concomitant though less spectacular growth with admissions increasing from 7,800 in 1977 to 8,800 in 1984 and outpatient department visits increasing from 45,000 each year in 1975 to 67,000 in 1984.  The emergency department saw a steady growth as well from 31,000 in 1975 to 43,000 in 1984.In the area of undergraduate and graduate education Dr. Avery left a significant legacy.  Pediatrics became a much sought after specialty for Harvard Medical students with 8 to 10 students or 1/3 of a given class filling the internship positions at the Children’s Hospital.   The residency grew in size and in academic orientation.  Dr. Avery strongly encouraged residents with scientific interests to pursue the American Board of Pediatrics Special Alternative Research Pathway in pediatrics.  Eighty to 85% of a given senior class pursued fellowship training in pediatrics each year with her subspecialty of neonatology leading the list.  The number of women in the residency increased from 20% in 1974 to 40% in 1985.   A remarkably large number of national leaders in pediatrics came out of her residency classes including fourteen departmental chairs, two medical school deans, and two hospital presidents as well as a number of national leaders at the NIH, NICHD and the CDC.Mary Ellen Avery was an avid investigator.  She loved science and research.  She talked about science whenever there was an audience to listen.  She was fearless in asking questions for the sake of learning.  Her work with hyaline membrane disease, neonatology and neonatal intensive care defined her.  She was also at her core a pediatrician and neonatologist.  She loved clinical medicine and her patients and she set an example of dedicated and compassionate care.  Her innate exuberance, humor and zest for discovery was the basis of her greatness as a teacher.  She was fun to be around and attracted hordes of students, residents and fellows.  She also attracted untold numbers of women into pediatrics.  She took great pride in their achievements and strove to help them break their own glass ceilings, but insisted on all being part of a meritocracy.  Her trainees today fill positions of leadership throughout the U.S. and internationally.   Once asked what was most important in her professional life she answered: “the most important event, the discovery of surfactant deficiency; the most important thing, the people with whom I have worked.”Her awards were many including the E. Mead Johnson Award from the Academy of Pediatrics in 1969, the Chadwick Medal from the Massachusetts Thoracic Society in 1982, The Trudeau Medal from the American Lung Association in 1984, the Virginia Apgar Award from the Academy of Pediatrics in 1991, the National Medal of Science in 1991, the Philipson Prize in Pediatric Medicine from the Nobel Committee in 1998 and the most prestigious award in academic pediatrics, the Howland Medal, from the American Pediatric Society in 2005.  She was the recipient of 14 honorary degrees including degrees from her alma maters, Wheaton College and Johns Hopkins University as well as Radcliffe College.  Hers was a life of firsts: the first woman to be selected as President of the Society for Pediatric Research, among a very few women to be President of the American Pediatric Society and the first pediatrician to lead the American Association for the Advancement of Science.Most, however, will remember Dr. Avery as an immensely human, human being.  Images of her ability to connect abound – residents at their final senior dinner surrounding her as she explored with each their future careers or probing or critiquing a research presentation by a fellow or showing as much interest in the janitor who cleaned her office as those in the highest positions of authority.   People loved and enjoyed her company whether the conversation was professional or social.   Finally her loves ran deep, love of her institutions, Wheaton, Johns Hopkins and Harvard, affection and respect for her lifelong mentor, Clement Smith and love of her sister Jane, her brother-in-law Carl, and her nieces Sue and Jennifer and her nephew Bill.   The human qualities shown through like a clarion and galvanized her success:  strongly held beliefs, the highest professional standards, remarkable courage and a profound passion for her work.Over the library at Wheaton College is the inscription, “That they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Dr. Avery lived out her college motto to its fullest; most assuredly her life was abundantly lived.Respectfully Submitted,Frederick H. Lovejoy, Jr., M.D., ChairpersonJohn F. Crigler, Jr., M.D.Stella Kourembanas, M.D.Marie McCormack, M.D.Lynne M. Reid, M.D.Charles R. Scriver, M.D.H. William Taeusch, M.D.last_img read more

Bangladesh: Illegally Armed and Dangerous

first_img Members of Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion present suspected members of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), along with confiscated weapons, including bombs and bombmaking materials. ULFA, the major Indian separatist group, has turned to new sources for illegal weapons, including Burma’s United Wa State Army (UWSA) an ethnic, left-wing rebel militia with close ties to China. The group is allegedly acquiring “Chinese” weapons, Bangladeshi and Indian intelligence officials told the BBC. During the past decade or so, ULFA has become a key player in arms trafficking in South Asia, peddling weapons through the Chittagong hub to buyers in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, officials allege. Burma rebels, besides trafficking in secondhand weapons and drugs, are now manufacturing rifles and machine guns. “The Chinese factories are desperate for profits, and they have not cared who the weapons are reaching. Now they are outsourcing” their know-how, Binalaxmi Nephram, a renowned activist against small arms proliferation, told the BBC. Since 2009, the Rapid Action Battalion began arresting ULFA leaders and freezing their assets. As a result, the UWSA rebels are seeking “direct contact” with Indian Maoists. By Dialogo July 01, 2011last_img read more

Gretchen Carlson, Major Garrett to keynote NAFCU’s Caucus

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Hundreds of credit union representatives who attend NAFCU’s 2019 Congressional Caucus will have the opportunity to hear from renowned journalists Gretchen Carlson and Major Garrett. Not yet registered for this year’s Caucus? Register before July 12 and save $200 with code CAUCUSAVINGS.“NAFCU and our award-winning advocacy team love having the opportunity to connect our credit union members with prominent lawmakers, administration officials and regulators during our Congressional Caucus,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. “This premier event allows credit unions to highlight the good work they do in their communities and for their 117 million members, in addition to effecting change on key policy issues, such as housing finance reform and regulatory relief.”Happening Sept. 8-11, NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus – sponsored this year by Visa – provides credit unions the opportunity to meet directly with their representatives and senators on Capitol Hill. Throughout the week, attendees will hear from influential decision makers and thought leaders on key issues affecting the industry and nation as a whole.Carlson will deliver Caucus’ opening keynote Monday. She is one of America’s most successful news anchors and a globally recognized advocate for women’s empowerment. In addition to hosting news programs and documentaries, Carlson is a New York Times bestselling author and was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”last_img read more

Credit union budgeting for weird times: Double down on different

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Brian Wringer Former watermelon farmer Brian Wringer wears several hats for iDiz Incorporated, including Web Projects Manager, Wordsmith, and Big Idea Guy. He builds better credit unions by day and weird old … Web: www.cuidiz.com Details It’s budget season for credit unions, but it’s also silly season in politics and wacky times in finance. Even the weather is off-the-charts odd, and strange growth-eating monsters are creeping over the horizon in every direction.In times like these, how do you even begin to make your plans for the strange and stranger times to come in 2020?Weird is what credit unions are made forStrange times are a golden opportunity for credit unions to grow market share and wallet share. Credit unions will always be key to helping regular folks weather whatever storms are brewing.Credit unions at their best represent safety, security, and sanity. These are important emotional needs, and they’re only going to get more important.Get to know your monstersMonsters are the problems, big and small, now and in the future, that keep you from growing. Whether you’re facing the Wimpy Website Monster, the Static Strategy Monster, or the horrible Bankthink Behemoth, you’ll need to be brave and snuggle up to find their weak spots.Fixing these growth-blockers must be a high priority when you’re building budgets; credit unions simply can’t afford any added barriers. For example, if your website is still screaming “2002” (or even “2012”), it’s costing you members every day and needs to get fixed, pronto.Emotions are the keyNo one knows what the Fed is going to do in 2020, but with a little imagination you can pretty accurately predict what sort of emotional needs your members will have.How will you fulfill these needs better than anyone else? And what do you need to change and budget for in order to more clearly communicate the differences?Differentiation is the secret sauceYou can’t be bigger than the big banks, you can’t always be cheaper, but you can always be “Differenter”, and meet these emotional needs in a different and better way.Credit unions absolutely own concepts like warmth, humanity, and caring. Make the most of that. Make sure everyone can really feel and see an authentic difference.Different is your best investmentAnd that’s the key to sorting out the best places to invest money, time, and energy: what’s going to get you the biggest, most emotional, and most different bang for the buck? You are what you spend.Here’s an example: if community service is an important part of your “different DNA”, turn it up to 11. Instead of writing the same checks every year, how can you donate more time to multiply the effectiveness of the dollars? Are you supporting causes your members and employees are truly passionate about? Is there a plucky little nonprofit working on a little-known but important local cause where your involvement could change lives?Or maybe your website is OK, but there’s no “WOW!” factor any more. Tech changes fast, so maybe it’s time for a re-skin. Challenge your website developers to make your site simpler, faster, more finger-friendly, easier to update, and more integrated with your digital marketing.What if your credit union could do a better job of being where members turn for trusted answers? Maybe it’s time to focus on creating and sharing great online content fine-tuned for the issues folks in your town are worried about.If you’re wondering where all the younger members went, maybe it’s time to give them a CU to believe in. Younger people are very worried about the economy, and looking for answers. They naturally “get” the credit union difference, but only if they know about it. Make sure your tech is up to snuff and everything online is 100% mobile friendly.Budget more than moneyDon’t forget to budget and manage time, energy, attention, goals, and expectations as well as dollars and cents. Leverage professionals to make the most of your time and bring more spark to your creative.You’ll need to bring your marketing and branding “A” game. The credit unions that thrive in weird times will be the ones that make the smartest investments in amplifying and refining their unique, emotional connections to their members.last_img read more

Meals on Wheels needs your help after demand increases

first_imgThey are now returning to five days a week, but they need your help to make sure meals are delivered. Prior to the pandemic, Meals on Wheels would typically serve about 350 people a day. With many elderly individuals staying at home, that demand has now skyrocketed. Between Meals on Wheels and the Office for Aging, they are now feeding more than 1,000 people a day. “We’re really in need of some other volunteers because some of our regular volunteers are still trying to social distance and socially isolate in their homes,” said Schuhle. Without Meals on Wheels delivering ready-to-eat food, Schuhle says a lot of people would struggle, as many cannot stand up long enough to cook and prepare food. However, by signing up to volunteer, you’ll be doing more than making sure people are fed. “It’s the daily check also, we run across a number of people that were medically in distress, or that had a medical emergency,” said Schuhle. “We have been able to save quite a few lives during this pandemic by having volunteers call 911 and get emergency services in there.” center_img “We’ve gone up 79 percent,” said Broome County Office for Aging Director Lisa Schuhle. “During the first few weeks of the pandemic, we went down to serving three days a week with frozen or shelf-stable food,” said Schuhle. If you would like to volunteer, you can call Meals on Wheels at (607) 778-6205. You can also sign up by calling the Office for Aging at (607) 778-2411. (WBNG) — The Broome County Office for Aging and Meals on Wheels say they have seen an increased demand for delivered meals. Now, they are calling all volunteers to help deliver those meals to those who need them most. last_img read more

Will Every Vote Count in Pennsylvania?

first_imgtranscriptWill Every Vote Count in Pennsylvania?The day after Election Day, the count continues across Pennsylvania. But the rules are still in dispute, and legal battles raise questions about whether every vote will be counted. transcriptBack Catch up on the latest news from the 2020 campaign trail.Catch up on the latest news from the 2020 campaign trail.Show more videos from 2020 Elections new video loaded: Will Every Vote Count in Pennsylvania?- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Recent episodes in 2020 Elections- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The election in Pennsylvania is still far from over, with legal teams and counties across the state arguing over the technicalities. “Certain ballots are coming back naked, meaning that they lack their internal privacy sleeve.” And in Pennsylvania, that means they get rejected. “I’m opening up the initial envelope for them to open up to see if there’s any naked ballot or not.” “The Democratic party plans to contact them and provide the resources necessary for them to be able to vote in person today. Because otherwise they’ll be disenfranchised.” Republicans filed a lawsuit late Tuesday objecting to any attempts to correct naked ballots. “It is my understanding that it is not permitted, based on a ruling by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and I’ll leave that up to the lawyers who are in court fighting about that to determine what to do about it.” But this is just one of the many legal battles over mail ballots. “As the election starts moving over to the mail system, new things start becoming issues and all these things become cause for really hard-fought court cases.” Ballots are still being counted the day after the election in Lancaster. “So what you’re seeing right now are racks of mail ballots that had been received Monday and Tuesday and are going to be opened here today. And then scanned in.” More are expected between now and Friday. Ballots postmarked by Election Day, but delivered late by the United States Postal Service. What isn’t clear yet is whether they’ll be counted. “The law says that they basically won’t be counted, if they came in by 8:00. What the PA Supreme Court says as long as they’re postmarked or even if there’s not a postmark, then they should be counted. That was challenged to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court said that it’s a little late right now. We’re not going to expedite that decision on that, but we will make a decision after the election. So we’re just sticking those mail ballots aside. And so either the U.S. Supreme Court makes a decision, or we can actually then go ahead and scan them.” “That sounds very confusing.” “Yes. Hello.” Not all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties are handling the uncertainty the same way. In Lehigh County, they’re taking the time to scan the ballots and keeping a separate tally until the lawsuits are resolved. “We will be receiving ballots all week long. And we time-stamp them when we receive them to make sure we know exactly when they were received by our office.” The confusion has put Pennsylvania in the spotlight in a way that has some officials feeling déjà vu. “You can see the potential for Pennsylvania to be like Florida in 2000, where the eyes of the nation are on us. We don’t have the hanging chad issue. But we have the issue of ballots coming in for three days after the election. We have the issue of naked ballots. I was worried about what would happen. And maybe some of that is coming true. We’ll see as we get further into this.”last_img read more

Canada confirms 7th BSE case; US joins probe

first_img The United States banned imports of Canadian cattle and beef after Canada’s first BSE case in May 2003. The border was reopened to boneless beef from young cattle a few months later, but live cattle were banned until July 2005, when officials reopened the border to cattle intended for slaughter before reaching 30 months of age. See also: The case was in a 50-month-old dairy cow from Alberta, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The cow was born several years after Canada banned the use of cattle protein in feed for cattle and other ruminants in 1997. Canada’s sixth case, in a cow from Manitoba, was confirmed Jul 4. The latest case was detected through Canada’s BSE surveillance program, which focuses on high-risk cattle. It was first announced as a potential case on Jul 10. The carcass was burned, and none of it entered the human or animal feed systems, the CFIA said. The new case drew concern from US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who said he was sending a US expert to join the investigation. Finding the disease in a cow born more than 4 years after the feed ban took effect “does raise questions that must be answered,” he commented in a prepared statement. Jul 13 statement by USDA Secretary Johannscenter_img The CFIA said other countries have had BSE cases in cattle born after ruminant-to-ruminant feed bans. “Nonetheless, a full accounting and determination of how this animal was exposed to BSE will be the primary focus of the CFIA’s investigation,” the statement said, adding that US officials have been invited to participate. “We need a thorough understanding of all the circumstances involved in this case to assure our consumers that Canada’s regulatory system is effectively providing the utmost protections to consumers and livestock,” Johanns said. Jul 14, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Canada yesterday confirmed its seventh case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, the second case verified this month. The agency said it has found the farm where the cow was born and is tracing other cattle born there within a year before and after the animal’s birth. The location of the farm was not given.last_img read more

UK roundup: BT scheme buys software firm

first_imgPPF confirms levy rules for 2020/21 The UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has announced that levy rules for 2020/21, the final year in the current three-year levy cycle, will remain stable and broadly unchanged from the previous levy year.The announcement follows a six-week consultation which invited PPF levy payers and industry stakeholders to comment on the proposed 2020/21 levy rules.The policy statement, which is published on the PPF website, highlights key findings from the consultation and confirms that the levy estimate for the next levy year will be £620m (€741.6m). Established in 2002, Procentia has more than 30 clients, including many household names and FTSE100 companies, which it serves from offices in Bristol in the UK and Chicago in the US. More than two million pension scheme members are administered on Procentia’s systems. It also supplies software to third party administrators, systems integrators, technology companies and other product providers.Procentia’s founders Steven Donkin, Trevor Scurr, Ian Dowler, Paul Jones and Daniel Osicka will remain with the business. Smart Pension to provide services for Guernsey schemeWorkplace pension savings and investments technology provider Smart Pension will operate the States of Guernsey’s Your Island Pension Scheme which will see all Guernsey employees automatically enrolled for the first time.Legislation is expected to be ratified by the States of Guernsey parliament in 2020.Michelle Le Clerc, president of the States of Guernsey Committee for Employment and Social Security, said: “Throughout the tender process Smart [Pension] impressed us with their cutting edge technology and a ‘can-do’ attitude.”She added that the scheme “will change the pension landscape in Guernsey, ensuring every islander has access to a product which is affordable but doesn’t compromise on service standards.”Andrew Evans, co-founder and cheif executive officer of Smart Pension, said: “The introduction of auto enrolment in the UK has transformed the retirement savings culture for workers and undoubtedly it will have the same impact in Guernsey.”He added: “The fact that employees will make contributions from their very first pound of earnings shows the commitment that the States of Guernsey has to deliver a better retirement outcome for their residents. This element will undoubtedly be closely observed by the UK government as it evolves.”Your Island scheme detailsAlthough very similar to auto-enrolment in the UK, Your Island Pension will be a single private scheme, overseen by the State’s Committee for Employment and Social Security, more like the UK’s government-funded NEST.Under the new secondary pension legislation, employees will have the ability to opt out, and like the UK, there will be an obligation on the employer to re-enrol employees every three years. At that point the employee is, again, able to opt out.Employers will be required to contribute at a minimum level into the State’s secondary pension scheme, or a private qualifying scheme. Contributions will start at 1% and increase to 3.5% over a nine-year period so that by 2030, all employers will be required to contribute 3.5%.Employees will also start by paying in 1% increasing to 6.5% over the nine years.Those who already pay into a private pension or Retirement Annuity Trust Scheme (RATS) will not be required to pay into a new scheme as well, provided that the private pension or RATS meets the qualification criteria.The scheme is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022.center_img BT Pension Scheme Management (BTPSM), the executive arm of the UK’s largest private sector pension scheme, has acquired a majority stake in Procentia, a market-leading pensions software company, for an undisclosed sum.BTPSM has also announced that it will be implementing Procentia’s IntelliPen system for the scheme’s member administration services, which it brought in-house last year.Morten Nilsson, chief executive officer of BTPSM, said: “In Procentia, not only have we found a market-leading system that will future proof our member services, but a great long-term investment in its own right.”The BT Pension Scheme has around 300,000 members of which 200,000 are pensioners or beneficiaries. It has approximatly £50bn (€59.8bn) in total assets and pays out more than £2.5bn in pensions and other benefits every year.last_img read more

Former secretary general begins historic ‘third relationship’ with CARICOM

first_img Tweet Share NewsRegional Former secretary general begins historic ‘third relationship’ with CARICOM by: – November 17, 2011 38 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!center_img Share Sir Edwin Carrington. Image via: trulycaribbean.netGEORGETOWN, Guyana — Sir Edwin Carrington, Trinidad and Tobago’s plenipotentiary representative to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), presented his credentials to Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday, signaling the start of his third relationship with the CARICOM Secretariat. Accepting Carrington’s credentials, LaRocque, who succeeded him as secretary-general, said it was a rare occasion that the Community had the opportunity to receive an accredited diplomat and a distinguished son of the soil who was instrumental in advancing the regional integration movement and in building the Community. Carrington’s selection as ambassador to CARICOM, LaRocque said, was testimony to Trinidad and Tobago’s commitment to the continued advancement of the region. With an 18-year tenure at the helm of the Secretariat under his belt, earning him the distinction of the longest serving secretary-general, Carrington also previously served as Chief of Economic and Statistics and a Director of Trade and Integration at the CARICOM Secretariat. He demitted office in December 2010. LaRocque, in his remarks at the ceremony, referred to Trinidad and Tobago’s “tremendous” contribution to the development of the Community, and told Carrington that his extensive and expansive career in the Community allowed him to attain a level of “enviable familiarity and profound understanding of the issues” with which member states grapple as well as the goals of the region. “It is my full expectation that in your new capacity, you will bring your repository of knowledge and expertise to the table during the deliberations of the Community, so that we may continue to benefit from your breadth of insight and experience,” LaRocque said. The secretary-general added that he was certain that, in the new role as ambassador, any advice Carrington or his government offered would serve to strengthen even further, Trinidad and Tobago’s commitment to regionalism. Concurring with LaRocque’s remarks, Carrington said that his new role was an opportunity through which his government hoped to enhance its contribution to CARICOM’s development “to which it is firmly committed”. For Carrington, the occasion was an historic one that ranked alongside the highest of “all my life’s professional experiences”. He was entering this new relationship, he said, looking forward to another opportunity to contribute to the development of CARICOM “this time from the outside, as it were, of the Secretariat” He pointed out that the Community had made significant progress under its four pillars – human and social development, foreign policy coordination, economic integration, and security — but juxtaposed those strides with the increasing challenges the region faced, particularly those related to the external economic and political environments and “our own implementation deficit”. “It is the recognition of this overall difficult situation, Mr Secretary-General, that has driven me and some others to recommit to and to redouble our efforts to see in what way we can contribute to this struggle. For there is, in our view, no more effective way in which we can help to build a Caribbean Community worthy of our future and of that of our children, and I dare say our grandchildren as well. And, as you know, Mr Secretary-General – and I believe we share the following perspective – I have always firmly believed that the involvement and participation of our youth in the integration process is of paramount importance to its future success,” Carrington said.Caribbean News Now Sharelast_img read more