“Ebola Taught Us Serious Lessons”

first_imgFormer Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn-Dr. Dahn Says at stakeholders meeting on Public Health ProgramsBy Bill E. Diggs (UL Intern)Dr. Bernice Dahn, former Health Minister and a faculty member of the A. M. Dogliotti School of Medicine, on Thursday said that lessons learned from the devastating Ebola epidemic (2014, 2015) has been a catalyst for stakeholders to strengthen its public health workforce to respond to any disease outbreak.“We all remember Ebola, because the virus thought us some serious lessons, but the one good lesson we learned from there is that if you have a weak public health system, diseases can overwhelm the country and can carry its development programs backward,” Dr. Dahn said.She said that while the country was responding to Ebola, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners developed an investment plan for building a resilient healthcare delivery system.“That plan,”  the former Health Minster said, “has led to the development of a three-level public health program at the University of Liberia (UL).Dr. Dahn further said “globally there is a continuous emergence of diseases which nations including Liberia need to continuously addressed.”She spoke at a public health stakeholder’s meeting held at the UL Fendell Campus, where a public health program has been approved to train some high school graduates, graduates and undergraduate students, to ensure that the health workforce is ready to carry on public health function effectively.The first level of the program will be to enroll high school graduates to receive training that will prepare them to enter into public health workforce in entry-level positions and function effectively in those roles.Also, the program will focus on training for middle-level health professionals and serve as a bridge program to provide complete undergraduate education and prepare them for graduate-level programs such as the UL Masters of Public Health Program.UL President, Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks, who said that although the Faculty-senate has approved the curricula for the program, it would begin only if the University Board of Trustees approved.She said the program was part of the many indicators that the UL was starting to reach new heights in providing Liberians the kind of academic environment that is needed to propel the country forward in all sectors.“I cannot think of any place for any program to be that is more sustainable than the UL campus, because institutions can come and go, but higher education institutions are the most stable ones that can be counted on to sustain these kinds of programs,” Dr. Dahn said.Sonpon Sieh, One Health Coordinator; Dr. Masoka Fallah, Deputy Director General for Technical Services at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia; and Dr. William E. Allen, Vice President of Academic Affairs, were part of Thursday’s event. They spoke separately on topics such as, “Vision for a School of Public Health, Public Health Workforce Support under Regional One Health Initiative and the next steps for Operating School of Public Health.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

AT&T chief announces surprise June retirement

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN ANTONIO — Edward Whitacre Jr., the blunt-talking Texan who led AT&T Inc.’s growth from the smallest of the Baby Bells into the nation’s largest telecommunications company, announced Friday he will retire as chairman and chief executive in June. He’ll be replaced in both roles on June 3 by Chief Operating Officer Randall Stephenson, 47. “I’ve always considered it my main priority to ensure the long-term viability of the company,” said Whitacre at the annual shareholders meeting, where he unexpectedly announced his retirement. “I have great confidence in the next generation of leadership.” Stephenson, who has been the chief operating officer since 2004, rose through the ranks of AT&T and its predecessors. Formerly the chief financial officer, Stephenson is credited with overseeing the company’s drive to reduce debt, which allowed it to make an aggressive string of acquisitions, most recently the $86 billion purchase of BellSouth. Whitacre, 65, had another year on his contract, but Patrick Comack, an analyst for Zachary Investment Research, said Whitacre’s decision to leave sends him out on top. “He built AT&T into a juggernaut,” said Comack, who is often critical of AT&T because of the ongoing competition it faces from cable television. “He’s highly respected on Wall Street, a straight shooter.” In Whitacre’s 17 years at the helm, he presided over the company’s growth from a regional telephone provider to the nation’s largest provider of wireless, broadband and traditional phone service. Recently, some shareholders and advocacy groups have criticized how much Whitacre earns, however. He’ll collect more than $161.6 million, including $73.8 million in deferred compensation and the $84.7 million in his pension fund in his retirement package. He’ll also make more than $1 million per year for three years as a consultant for the company, according to AT&T’s proxy statement. During that time, his benefits will continue and he’ll get some tax help, including the payment of about $15,600 in taxes per year. But with the stock trading at a five-year high, three shareholder-driven initiatives to limit compensation and pension funds for AT&T executives failed shareholder votes Friday. “I’m not sure anyone is worth that kind of money, but if anybody is going to get it, at least he did his job,” Comack said of Whitacre. Because of recent successes, the board approved a 6.2 percent increase in monthly benefits for AT&T’s oldest and poorest retirees. Roughly 88,000 former employees who retired before 1996 and receive less than $1,200 per month will get the increase starting in October, Whitacre announced Friday. AT&T, formerly named Southwestern Bell and then SBC Communications, was the smallest of the seven “Baby Bells” spun off in the 1984 government-ordered breakup of the national AT&T monopoly. Under Whitacre, who began at Southwestern Bell in 1963 as a facility engineer, the company acquired three of its larger Bell siblings, as well as its former corporate parent, the AT&T long-distance business created in the breakup, and renamed itself AT&T in the process. The acquisition of BellSouth gave AT&T full ownership of Cingular Wireless, which had been a joint venture and is the nation’s largest wireless carrier with 62 million subscribers. The selection of Stephenson, who began with Southwestern Bell in 1982, was not a surprise. Whitacre is known to be loyal to his team, with many of the management changes being internal promotions. David Dorman, the chief executive of the acquired AT&T long distance business, had wanted to be designated the heir apparent and resigned when it was clear Stephenson would likely get the nod, Comack said. AT&T’s stock dipped on the news of Whitacre’s departure, falling 32 cents to close at $38.64 in trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.last_img read more

Watford thrashing piles pressure on Conte

first_img0Shares0000Antonio Conte suffers further misery as Chelsea are rocked by Watford © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 6 – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insisted he “wasn’t worried” about his job despite seeing his 10 men suffer a second consecutive humiliating defeat on Monday, going down 4-1 at Watford.Goals from Daryl Janmaat, Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra in the final six minutes handed Watford a welcome first win in six games to move the Hornets six points clear of the relegation zone. Chelsea, beaten 3-0 at home by Bournemouth on their last outing, had already been reduced to 10 men by Tiemoue Bakayoko’s first-half red card before Troy Deeney’s penalty put Watford in front just before the break.Eden Hazard’s brilliant strike eight minutes from time briefly handed the visitors hope, but they remain fourth, just a point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, with Conte’s chances of remaining in charge for the rest of the season under the spotlight.“I work every day and I give 120 percent, if this is enough, okay, otherwise the club can take a decision, but I’m not worried,” said Conte.“(There is) great disappointment for sure because I think our performance was very poor. We started very badly and without personality. We played with fear.”Conte insisted ahead of the match he intended to see out his contract to 2019 despite a series of complaints this season over his lack of influence over the club’s recruitment strategy.The Italian once again named a side without a recognised striker with new signing Olivier Giroud only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench in the absence of Alvaro Morata due to a back injury.A makeshift front three of Hazard, Pedro Rodriguez and Willian struggled to get involved as Watford dominated on new boss Javi Gracia’s home bow.“It is an unforgettable night,” said Gracia. “A great victory and a great match. I am very proud of my players today.“The match changed after the sending-off, but I am happy for all the match not only after the sending-off.“I don’t think we have only a good result because Chelsea played with 10 players.”Watford had a series of chances to go in front as Chelsea started slowly with Abdoulaye Doucoure, Deulofeu and Deeney failing to hit the target.– Bakayoko misery –Having been let off by Watford’s wayward finishing, Chelsea weren’t handed such a reprieve from referee Mike Dean as Bakayoko’s miserable first season in England continued.The French midfielder was dismissed for two bookable offences within five minutes to leave the visitors a man light for the final hour.Conte immediately responded by replacing Willian with Cesc Fabregas.However, that did little to stem Watford’s tide and they went in front when Thibaut Courtois brought down Deulofeu as he rounded the goalkeeper.Deeney made amends for his previous miss by burying the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.Watford continued to pose the greater threat after the break as Deulofeu and Richarlison sent shots inches wide of Courtois’ left-hand post.The Belgian keeper then had to be at his best to turn Doucoure’s drive behind.Giroud was finally handed his debut for the final 25 minutes in place of Pedro, who hobbled off with a nasty looking injury that could make him a doubt to face old side Barcelona in Chelsea’s Champions League last 16 tie in two weeks’ time.An individual moment of magic from Hazard gave Chelsea hope when he curled into the far corner from 25 yards for his 13th goal of the season.Daryl Janmaat fires Watford back in front with a brilliant solo goal © AFP / Glyn KIRKParity only lasted two minutes, though, as Janmaat played a brilliant one-two with Pereyra before slotting past a helpless Courtois to spark wild scenes of celebration at Vicarage Road.Deulofeu sealed the points two minutes later when he fired across Courtois with Chelsea’s tired defence pulled apart.And Pereyra rubbed salt in the champions’ wounds with a brilliant finish from a narrow angle in stoppage time.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more