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Jamaican wins 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Award

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 | 7:14 PM    

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WASHINGTON, United States (JIS) -- Jamaican-born Howard University assistant Professor of Medicine Dr Goulda Downer is the recipient of the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Leadership in Advocacy Award.

Dr Downer is also the recipient of the 2013 Health Care Leadership Award from the Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives.

Her work has helped to strengthen the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) clinical workforce across the USA and she has been instrumental in educating and training more than 46,000 clinicians and care providers to deliver culturally competent, quality HIV care. Her work has also been credited with helping to stem the tide of HIV/AIDS within the US.

“I am deeply honoured to be recognised for my work, and to receive the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Leadership in Advocacy Award. I accept the award on behalf of my colleagues and Howard University,” said Dr Downer.

In her position with Howard University’s College of Medicine, she oversees the mission of the university’s Capital Region AETC Telehealth Training Centre’s distance-based HIV technology programme. The Centre is currently funded by the US federal government.

A graduate of Providence Primary School, Excelsior High School and the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), [now the University of Technology, UTech] Dr Downer received her undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

She then pursued her Master and Doctoral degrees at Howard University, focusing on clinical, public health, international and sports nutrition. She won a postdoctoral fellowship in paediatric nutrition at Georgetown University and was also trained by the Johns Hopkins University in nutritional epidemiology.

Dr Downer established the Howard University Caribbean Clinicians Preceptorship Programme (HUCCPP). Its goal is to strengthen the health workforce of HIV clinicians in the Caribbean.

Under the programme, 47 clinicians from the eight Caribbean countries with the highest HIV rates received training at Howard University in the skills necessary to provide competent, state-of-the-art HIV management in their native countries.

Dr Downer has also been involved in several international initiatives to assess the impact of the USAID Title II programme on food security, food aid and the health and nutritional status of country participants in Sub-Saharan Africa.  She has also worked on nutrition and food related strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

She is the founder, president, and CEO of the Washington, DC-based METROPLEX Health and Nutrition Services, which was established in 1994.

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