MONROVIA – In observance and celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of Liberia, the City of Philadelphia has honored several American women of Liberian descent, including health workers, who are immensely contributing to the economic and cultural enrichment of Philadelphia and other surrounding communities.
Those honored and certificated were Christine Maycole and her partner Edith Walters Wilson of Caring Hearts Health Services, Dr. Achima Major, an eye doctor; Dr Vera Tolbert, a research pharmacologist; Ms Oni Ricks, Executive Director of the African Health Organization; Ambassador Marron D. Cassell, the well-known Gospel artist and Sarian Broderick Jabeteh, Chief Financial Officer of African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA).
Others were Dr, Nettie Johnson, a graduate of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia who runs the Health Department of the African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA), Mrs. Portia Kamara, Executive Director of the Multicultural Community Services, Rev Mother Edith Neh Rick’s who runs a safe house for abused women and an empowerment program that has put dozens of young women through high school and college.
They were honored at a colorful ceremony held at the Philadelphia City Hall on Thursday, March31, 2022.
The organizers for the event included Ms Kou Dolo, Principal Organizer; Honorable Jannie Blackwell, Chuar of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrants Affairs among others.
The organizers disclosed that both Madam Edith Walters-Wilson and her partner Christine L. Maycole “are two strong Liberian born women living in and worked hard in America to realize the American dream”.
They maintained that the pair “met right in Philadelphia some 30 plus years ago and they have consummated their relationship through several business enterprises over the years, noting that, “through it all, they have put their relation first, allowing nothing to come between their sisterhood”.
“The name of their ‘Caring Hearts’, represent who they are-Women with Caring Hearts. They believe that one cannot give that which they don’t have”.
The organizers maintained that being from Liberia, both Madam Walters-Wilson and Maycole were raised watching their parents and other young adults provide care and comfort for the elderly, adding that, “it is from that culture that Caring Hearts Healthcare Services was born.
They maintained that seven years now, the institution remains one of the fastest growing home health companies in the Philadelphia area.
Caring Hearts Healthcare Services also serves about 26 counties in Pennsylvania.
“What sets them apart is their relationship with each client. It begins at first encounter with the goal of providing exceptional care at every stage. Caring for the heart is what they do best. They personally meet each client and know them by name. Their motto is ‘We Care Like Family’ and that is truly what they try to accomplish everyday”, the organizers emphasized.
As for Madam Maron Dweh-Cassell, the organizers disclosed that the renowned Liberian gospel musician has inspired and impacted the lives of both Americans and other nationals through music.
They added that Ambassador Cassell has also stood the test of times and underwent multiple trials.
She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Kingdom Praise Revolution Ministries, an institution that has and is still impacting the lives of many people through music, arts and culture, and many relief programs.
“After the 14 years of civil war in Liberia, that affected many lives including that of children, depriving them of necessities of a normal life, Kingdom Praise Revolution Ministries started a program where children were gathered and trained in cultural arts and technology to help them become productive citizens”, the Organizers stated.
They continued: “Around the same time, a song arose by the Spirit of the Lord through this servant, Marron D. Cassell that helped the process of restoration in Liberia, a nation whose hope seems to be very bleak because of the civil war. All activities of the ministry are sponsored solely through her musical career”.
As for Dr. Nettie Johnson, who is the Executive Director of the Health Department at the African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA) in Philadelphia, USA, the Organizers pointed out that, she served as Project Lead on several federally funded, foundations and local projects to reduce health disparities and advance health equity for mainly the African and Caribbean communities.
They emphasized that as member of the Liberia Medical Mission, Dr. Johnson travels regularly to Liberia along with a team of USA based medical and mental health practitioners to provide free medical services to the people of Liberia.
Dr. Johnson previously worked as an Emergency Department Physician at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and a Histology lecturer at the School of pharmacy.
Mrs. Portia Kamara, Executive Director of the Multicultural Community Services was honored and certificated for the “deep passion” she has for her community, its diversity and people.
“Her life’s works involve supporting individuals and families experiencing social determinants of health challenges and works in partnership with organizations, institutions, municipal and legislative leaders to improve health outcomes for community residents.
The honorees expressed thanks and appreciation to the organizers and vowed to continue to support the ‘American Dream’ and help contribute towards the socio-economic development of their motherland-Liberia and its citizens back home.
Apart from some officials of Philadelphia City who attended the well-organized honoring ceremony were some eminent Liberians including Christopher Neyor, CEO of ZDH International, former Energy Advisor to ex-Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President and CEO of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), popular talk show host Henry Costa, Rev. Charles Martin, Pastor of Unity Fellowship Baptist Church, who delivered a powerful message on the role of women in Liberia’s founding and its peace-building and Voffee Jabateh, President and CEO of ACANA.