‘Excellent and compassionate leadership” – Guyanese doctor to receive prestigious OAS award


Dr. Tracey Bovell, part of the team leading Guyana’s COVID-19 fight, will receive a prestigious award from the Organization of American States (OAS) for good practices in women’s leadership.

Dr Bovell is attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

A press release from the Ministry of Health on Wednesday congratulated Dr Bovell and noted that she will receive the award during a ceremony at the IX Summit of the Americas slated for June 9, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.

According to the release, Dr Bovell was one of the nominees made by Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony.

“The Minister of Health, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, joins with the GPHC to extend congratulations to Dr. Tracey Bovell, a consultant in Emergency Medicine at the GPHC on her being recognized internationally for the distinguished, excellent and compassionate leadership she provided in the treatment and care of COVID-19 patients in Guyana.

“This award is for women leaders in the whole of the Americas. The Ministry of Health and the GPHC are proud of the achievement of a young professional at the GPHC. Dr. Tracey Bovell’s accomplishment is one that every Guyanese can be proud of,” the press release noted.

Dr. Bovell is presently the doctor-in-charge and the lead doctor in the Infectious Disease Hospital at Lillendall.

“The Ministry of Health nominated Dr. Bovell and a group of distinguished citizens from around the Americas selected Dr. Bovell as one of the awardees at the upcoming OAS Summit. Dr. Tracey Bovell will receive the award for Good Practices in Women’s Leadership under the category of Women’s Leadership in the Response to the COVID-19 Crisis.”

The Infectious Disease Hospital (COVID-19 Hospital) opened its doors for operation in September 2020.

The government noted that the hospital has often been fully occupied with more than 100 critically-ill patients and often with more than 30 patients in ICU, ventilator-dependent treatment.

“Since September 2020, the Infectious Disease Hospital has treated more than 3,500 patients. The infectious Disease Hospital is a one-hundred and ninety five-bed hospital with capacity for ventilator-based treatment, surgeries, dialysis, radiological and imaging interventions,” the release noted.

While Dr Bovell has been in charge of the hospital, her leadership in the fight against COVID-19 started even before that, the release noted.

She was part of the clinical team that crafted the COVID-19 response from the time the disease became a pandemic. Guyana’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on March 11, 2020, and at the time, Dr Bovell was the Chairperson of the GPHC COVID-19 Taskforce.

“She led a team of specialists from various departments of the hospital to craft the first set of protocols and guidelines for COVID-19, including the protocols for diagnosis, treatment and occupational health and safety. As part of her responsibilities, Dr Bovell led sensitization sessions with health care providers and other staff in the health sector and other sectors in all ten geographic regions of Guyana.”

The release noted that in the early days when COVID-19 caused intense illness and had a high mortality rate, “Dr Bovell fearlessly became the face of the treatment program. Yet, she found time to communicate with family and friends of those who were critically ill and who could not benefit from families being around them.”

The release further noted, “in the face of high mortality among critically-ill COVID-19 patients, Dr Bovell remained resilient, determined and compassionate in her quest to ensure that patients were receiving quality care.”

“Dr Bovell’s leadership in the COVID-19 response has made an indelible mark in the story of public health in Guyana. Dr Bovell is a Woman of Worth in our country.”

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