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Two Doctors Receive Special Awards for TB Work in Chuuk, the Pacific

Dr. Brostrom and Dr. Fred with their awards. 
Photo courtesy of CDC.

On June 18, the last day of the 2009 National TB Conference, Dr. Philip LoBue, Associate Director for Science for the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), presented special awards to two individuals at the conference.  A summary of the presentation follows:

Dr. LoBue announced, “We have two special awards we would like to make at this time. We would first like to recognize Dr. Dorina Fred, Chuuk TB clinician, for her work. Dr. Fred has been quietly and competently managing 16 multidrug-resistant patients in the TB isolation ward since she opened it in August 2008. Ten of these patients are children. In addition to these 16, on any given day, she is managing 50 to 60 active, drug-susceptible TB cases on her island, the island of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. Her program has also initiated LTBI therapy for over 100 MDR contacts using daily DOT.  One year ago, she had three staff members; she now manages 21.

“Her work has brought calm to the storm of MDR in her community, and she has reduced the number of TB deaths by 90 percent in one year. Dr. Fred has become a respected leader in her community, and through her actions she has improved the overall health of that community. For her continued efforts, we would like to present her with this small token of our appreciation.”

She was presented with a plaque, which reads, The Division of Tuberculosis Elimination presents a Special CDC Service Award to Dr. Dorina Fred.

For gentle compassion to your tuberculosis patients
For untiring commitment to your community
For remarkable advances to your State program
For exemplary performance to the Nation's TB Controllers
For valuable service to the entire Pacific Region

Given this 18th day of June, 2009.

Mr. Phil Talboy, Deputy Director, DTBE, escorted Dr. Fred to the stage, where she received the award. The audience gave her a standing ovation for this recognition.

Dr. LoBue continued, “We would also like to acknowledge Dr. Richard Brostrom. When the Federated States of Micronesia requested assistance and additional regional support was required, Dr. Brostrom made it his priority to roll up his sleeves, and join the local Chuuk TB program and the CDC team for the outbreak investigation.

“Since that time, Dr. Brostrom has returned to Chuuk almost every month to help Dr. Fred with treatment of the cases and administrative support to implement the changes you just heard about. While providing crucial expertise, Dr. Brostrom never forgot about the patients—soliciting support, delivering gifts, and helping to arrange classroom education for the patients. He was instrumental in making life at the hospital the best it could be.

“Dr. Brostrom has been a humble, unifying presence in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands for the last 12 years. For his tireless service, we would like to acknowledge him with this small token of our appreciation.”

Dr. Brostrom also received a standing ovation from the audience. He received a plaque as well; the inscription reads,
The Division of Tuberculosis Elimination presents a Special CDC Service Award to Dr. Richard Brostrom.

It is with great esteem that we acknowledge the significant contributions of a thoughtful person whose efforts have indeed changed the world for TB patients, health care workers, and fellow residents in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands.

Given this 18th day of June, 2009.

Drs. Fred and Brostrom are richly deserving of this recognition.  They also won one of the first-place awards in the poster competition, and everyone present was clearly delighted to see them receive these awards.

Speaking for our colleagues in DTBE, we thank Drs. Fred and Brostrom for their dedication and hard work on behalf of the citizens of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. We are honored to work with such outstanding partners.