Community group honors 8 at Black History Month gala

The Brooklyn community group, APC (Action, Performance, Commitment) Community Services, on Sunday honored eight outstanding Caribbean nationals during its gala Black History Month/Valentine’s Day celebration at Grace Lifestyle Center in Brooklyn.

The honorees comprised: Drs. Aletha Maybank and Yvonne McCallum-Peters, and Wayne Johnson, Nell Darnley, Cheryl Gerrard, Phyllis Herbert, Stephen Isaac and Illouise Murillo-Tucker.

They also received citations from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Dr. Mathieu Eugene.

Patrons also observed a moment’s silence in honor of the late Guyanese- born educator Dr. Walter Kyte, who served as the first board chair for APC Community Services.

Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, whose parents are from Antigua and Barbuda, is a highly proficient physician with demonstrated excellence in public health, policy development, health communications/media, preventive medicine, leadership, and management performance.

Dr. Maybank said her expertise is in preventive medicine, nutrition and fitness, maternal and child health, cancer, HIV/AIDS, community health, and health inequities.

Currently, Dr. Maybank is an assistant commissioner in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and serves as the director of the Brooklyn District Public Health Office, located in Central Brooklyn since April 2009.

Dr. McCallum-Peters was born and raised in Guyana. She has a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University.

She began her tour of duty at Medgar Evers College (MEC) in the fall semester of 1994. She worked as a part-time Basic Education/GED instructor in the Continuing Education Department, now known as The Department of External Programs.

In the fall of 1998, Dr. McCallum-Peters became a full-time faculty member of the Post Secondary Readiness Center, now renamed Academic Foundations Division.

Dr. McCallum-Peters is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English and the New York College English Association.

Wayne Johnson is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. He has been a fulltime gospel artiste for over 25 years. He is a graduate of Nariva High School in Trinidad.

Johnson has stepped out in faith and has become a full time gospel singer, stating that God has blessed him tremendously. He uses his talent extensively to sing for evangelistic crusades, gospel concerts and community events.

Johnson is a visionary who felt compelled to start a television and radio station, Voices of Praise, dedicated to promoting the gospel. He can be heard on VOPTV, reaching out to bless others through his ministry of music.

Nell Darnley is a Guyanese-born Registered Nurse/Midwife, who boasts of more than 40 years experience in conventional medicine.

She received her basic education in her homeland. Her competencies in health are fully utilized in varying capacities – in both public and private health domains in the U.S., as well as in Guyana. Darnley retired in 2013 from Kings County Medical Center.

Cheryl Gerrard was born and raised in Georgetown, the Guyanese capital. She is the current treasurer of APC Community Services.

She retired as an Audit Assistant in 2012, after 23 years of service with the United Nations – 15 of which was spent in the Internal Audit Division, Office of Internal Oversight Service.

Herbert is a Jamaican-born health ministry coordinator at the Christian Fellowship Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brooklyn, of which she has been a member for over 30 years. Along with her team, she coordinates several community outreach programs throughout the year.

Herbert is a retired registered nurse, after working in the health care system for over 40 years.

Stephen Isaac was born in Mt. St. George, Trinidad and Tobago. He received his early education at Mt. St George Methodist Primary School and his secondary education at the Scarborough, Tobago, Government Secondary school and Emanuel Polytechnic institute.

Isaac worked for 20 years with the Water and Sewage Authority in Tobago and is currently employed in the Electrical Department (FM&D) at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Isaac is the current president of the Trinidad Progressive Association, which has conducted eight medical mission trips and donated millions of dollars in medical supplies and equipment to Tobago.

Murillo-Tucker was born in Belize City, Belize, and migrated to New York in 1980 after completing her basic training in nursing at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Jamaica.

She has worked in mental health most of her nursing career and has held several positions, including director of nursing at a mental health hospital and director of nursing for psychiatry at St. Vincent Hospital in midtown Manhattan until its closing in 2010.

Murillo-Tucker is currently employed at Mount Sinai Hospital as the manager for performance improvement, education and research in psychiatry, and is responsible for quality in the department.

She is also a member of several community organizations, including a board member of APC Community Services.

“It is important to recognize to recognize the contributions of community leaders and the impact they are making on the life of residents,” Dr. Emanuel-Bunn, president of APC Community Services, told Caribbean Life afterwards.

“I think it was very successful, and I want to express deep appreciation to individuals who came out, despite the inclement weather,” she added.

Motivated by the acute need for health awareness and medical care, Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said APC Community Services will be conducting its Fifth Medical Mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines from March 21 – 28 and to Guyana from Aug. 2 – 10, 2014.