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by Dr. Adrian Fraser 25.APR.08

It is with a deep feeling of sadness that we at the UWI School of Continuing Studies report the death in Jamaica of Dr. the Honourable Phyllis Macpherson-Russell, O.J. Dr Macpherson- Russell will be remembered by a number of persons here in the areas of Health and Education, since she was a regular visitor to St. Vincent in the 1990s and early years of the 21st century) where through the University Centre and the Teachers’ College she spearheaded the training of persons in Health and Family Life Education (HFLE).

As Outreach Coordinator for Health and Family Life Education in the Fertility Management Unit at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI, Mona, she organized in the countries of the Eastern Caribbean Trainer of Trainers programmes, a Certificate in Family Life Education, HFLE workshops. She was also a strong advocate for putting Family Life Education on the syllabuses of schools in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and the Eastern Caribbean. In preparation for a CARICOM Multi-Agency HFLE Project, Dr. Macpherson saw to the establishment of an inter-sectoral group from Health, Education, Community Development/Services to form a national team to assist practitioners in developing formal and non-formal Health and Family Life Education programmes. A number of Vincentians were trained to be HFLE facilitators. A significant number of teachers, nurses and personnel from the Ministries of Health and Education and representatives of NGOs were trained in Health and Family Life Education through the initiative of Dr. Macpherson-Russell. In later years she was actively involved in the University’s HIV/AIDS Response Programme (UWI HARP) and pushed for its extension in the Eastern Caribbean.

Even though officially retired from the University she served as Honorary Consultant and was particularly involved in the work of the School of Continuing Studies and was a strong advocate for its Outreach work.