Former Saint Lucia Chief Medical Officer Merlene Fredericks Joins Rutgers School of Public Health

Newswise – Merlene Fredricks, MBBS, MPH, has joined Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Urban and Global Public Health as an associate professor and will play a pivotal role in the development and launch of the first all-in-one Master of Public Health. online degree offered by the school.

Fredricks is a seasoned public health leader, having served as Saint Lucia’s first female chief medical officer, where she spent nearly a decade overseeing the country’s public health response, including outbreak and disaster preparedness. disasters, risk communication, policy and program development, budget development and fundraising, and legislative negotiations. Under his leadership, the Saint Lucia Department of Health established its current public health structure, which enabled it to oversee a wide range of programs. She has managed public health emergencies such as H1N1, Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya and Pertussis outbreaks. Passionate about maternal and child health, Fredricks has also strengthened programs in Saint Lucia that meet the needs of mothers and babies and conducted research on maternal mortality.

Working with the Pan American Health Organization’s Biennial Work Program, Fredericks oversaw the implementation of initiatives focused on reducing tobacco use and increasing mental health resilience. Under his leadership, Saint Lucia was the first in the Eastern Caribbean to conduct a repeated island-wide behavioral risk factor survey.

“We are delighted that Dr. Merlene Fredricks has joined the Department of Urban and Global Public Health,” said Leslie M. Kantor, chair of the department. “Having faculty members who have been world leaders in public health contributes to the essential skills and knowledge of our students.”

Fredricks is a passionate mentor, contributing to the professional development and training of public health workers, doctors, nurses, health educators and other public health practitioners. During her tenure at the Ministry of Health of Saint Lucia, she strengthened its human resources and managed projects, which trained young professionals in medicine, nursing, midwifery, environmental and public health, promotion of health, entomology, epidemiology and other fields, ensuring continuity of care when workers have retired from the health sector. Fredricks already mentors many Rutgers School of Public Health students for their experiences and syntheses in applied global health practice.

“Dr. Fredricks is a wonderful addition to the school who will help advance our offerings in global public health,” said Perry N. Halkitis, Dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health. , she has trained dozens of public health leaders and helped build a public health infrastructure guided by science, social justice, and health equity.”

“I am thrilled to join the Rutgers School of Public Health and help train the next generation of global public health professionals,” says Fredericks. “The school’s commitment to its students and its dedication to equity make me honored to be a member of the faculty.”

About the Rutgers School of Public Health

The Rutgers School of Public Health is New Jersey’s only accredited public health school that seeks to improve health and prevent disease in diverse populations in New Jersey and around the world by educating students to be leaders, researchers, and qualified and effective public health researchers. practitioners; conduct research to advance science and public health policy; and deliver service programs that promote population and individual health. Visit us at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to learn about how we’re “keeping the ‘public’ in public health.”