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Mrs. Mary Pérez de Marranzini from the Dominican Republic

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The Pan American Health and Education Foundation presented this year's Clarence H. Moore Award for voluntarism in health services to Mary Pérez de Marranzini, for her outstanding work, leadership and dedication to improve health care conditions in persons with physical and mental disabilities in the Dominican Republic. This Award recognizes outstanding contributions to health by national or local non-governmental or private voluntary organizations or personnel in areas related to the Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) program of work.

Certificate of honor and cash prize of $2,500 were presented by Dr. Socorro Gross, PAHO/WHO Representative, in the context of the National Disability Day celebration in a ceremony held on December 2 by the Minister of Health of Dominican Republic. Dr. Gross noted that for more than 40 years Mrs. Pérez de Marranzini has led, managed and directed the Asociación Dominicana de Rehabilitación (ADR), a non profit institution, founded with its own resources that gradually has incorporated human and financial resources for its development.

During all these years, Mrs. Pérez de Marranzini and ADR have been working actively with health authorities in establishing national polices of care and protection of disabled people in her country. ADR provides physical and physiological rehabilitation for disable children and adults. Its objectives are to achieve neuro-rehabiltation in patients with special needs, considering basic aspects related to continuity and frequency, in which the treatments are developed, as well as providing treatment on language, pedagogy and social problems. Currently, ADR has 17 centers in different regions of the country, providing treatment and services to 2, 600 disable patients daily.

Among national, international and local health authorities, attendees included, Mrs. Milagros Ortíz Bosch, Vice-president of the Republic, Dr. José Rodríguez Soldevilla, Secretary of Health, Ms. Peggy Cabral, member of the Cabinet, Dr. Socorro Gross, PAHO/WHO Representative in the Dominican Republic.

Clarence H. Moore was a distinguished public administrator serving in the Unites Nations, PAHO, and the Foundation. A man of high idealism and altruistic motivation whose formative years were colored by the Great Depression. He believed that collective action, both through the public sector and on a voluntary basis, could play a leading role in fighting poverty and maintaining human dignity.

As a public foundation based in Washington DC, the Pan American Health and Education Foundation raises funds for public health needs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Foundation works closely with its partner, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization for the Region of the Americas, to combat disease, vaccinate children, improve sanitation, make safe drinking water available, improve maternal/child care, and expand medical care services, health research and the training of healthcare students and workers.

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