End the Epidemics / Champion

Dr. Germaine “Gerry” Jacquette

Dr. Germaine (Gerry) Jacquette is a volunteer with ACTION partner RESULTS Educational Fund (USA). Her initial interest in tuberculosis (TB) was forged at Harlem Hospital in the 1980s, when the difficulties in diagnosing TB in HIV/AIDS patients were just being recognized.

From 2007-2008, Gerry served as Co-Chair of the Coalition for a TB-Free NYC, a group representing official agencies, NGOs, and community-based organizations with an interest in TB elimination, serving populations where TB may be an issue. The Coalition educated local members of Congress on TB and presented TB Community Forums in 2007 and 2008.  More recently, Gerry co-authored a case of prosthetic knee tuberculosis.

During Gerry's 15 of years work on tuberculosis control in health departments in and around New York City, she developed a special interest in TB among Andean Ecuadorians, both in the U.S. and their home country. Through visits to the Ecuadorian highlands, contact with health professionals, and the insights of an anthropologist, the special challenge of TB among indigenous Cañaris (a group which experiences severe discrimination) emerged. "The challenge for us in the U.S.," Gerry recalls, "was to create welcoming environments for these indigenous immigrants so that their TB could be diagnosed early before major complications occur."

In Rockland County, with the help of Kichwa speakers, Gerry and her colleagues conducted special outreach to current and potential TB patients. They were then able to share their understanding of this group of patients with other providers in the Northeast who treat similar new arrivals, such as staff in Milford, Massachusetts, and several communities in New Jersey.