UPDATE: Click on this link to read a wonderful tribute by Robert G Travnicek MD MPH https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QuSOjEtvFBkgl9sOvb4nkDJoOWNj1gOULy6g9WY0u1g/edit?usp=sharing
This Mississippi Legislature proposed resolutions copied below says it best - Alfio Rausa MD MPH was an extraordinary public health physician and he will be missed. Click reply to add your memories.
As introduced -
2018 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Jackson (11th), Norwood
Senate Concurrent Resolution 557
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND RECOGNIZING THE VISIONARY MISSISSIPPI DELTA PUBLIC HEALTH ADVOCACY OF DR. ALFIO RAUSA AND EXTENDING THE CONDOLENCES OF THE LEGISLATURE ON HIS PASSING.
WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of Mississippi Delta public health leader Dr. Alfio Rausa on January 3, 2018. Dr. Rausa will forever be remembered for his public health advocacy, his love for the Delta, his devotion to his grandchildren, and his boisterous personality. During his more than 50 years of public health service, Dr. Rausa worked tirelessly to improve the health of his community and the health of his state; and
WHEREAS; Dr. Rausa's public health career began with the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps as a Lieutenant Commander from 1966-1970. His original intent was to live and work in Mississippi for one year, but he ended up staying a lifetime. Dr. Rausa was named Regional Public Health Officer in Greenwood with the Mississippi State Department of Health in 1970 and was promoted to District Health Officer in 1980. He was actively involved in managing a diphtheria outbreak in 1960, a hepatitis A outbreak affecting 8,000 people in the late 1990s, a measles outbreak at a major university in 1990, and syphilis and tuberculosis outbreaks over the years; and
WHEREAS; Dr. Rausa received many accolades and honors throughout his career, including serving as the Mississippi Public Health Association President in 1992, receiving the Felix J. Underwood Award for public health service in 1992, creating the Alfio Rausa Medical Care Section Award, and being awarded a Lifetime Membership in the Association in 2015 (one of only three in MPHA history). Just recently, the Mississippi State Board of Health adopted a resolution in recognition and appreciation for his distinguished service; and
WHEREAS; Dr. Rausa was Chair of the Fannie Lou Hamer Cameron Foundation Board since 2015; and
WHEREAS; MPHA Executive Director Buddy Daughdrill called Dr. Rausa a visionary leader for public health in Mississippi. "It is truly a sad day for me and public health in Mississippi. I had the pleasure to work with and learn from him for the past 35 years. His legacy is enormous. He epitomized what it means to be a strong public health advocate and the dedication it takes to make a difference in the lives of Delta residents." State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier stated, "He was a dedicated public health advocate and could collaborate and develop partnerships with anyone to improve the health of his community and the state. He was a pioneer in realizing that health was directly related to the environmental and social factors in which an individual lives." Dr. Rausa's longtime colleague and Chief Nurse Laura Tucker described her boss as a man of deliberation and drive to change and improve health in the Delta. "He really understood that there was such a strong need in the Delta and was able to see the public health improvements over the decades"; and
WHEREAS; Dr. Rausa is survived by his wife, Sylvanna; his two children; and three grandchildren with whom he loved to travel. Dr. Rausa was well-loved and will be missed by so many in the public health arena, his family and the residents of the Delta where he dedicated his life, and the state that he loved:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and recognize the visionary Mississippi Delta Public Health Advocacy of Dr. Alfio Rausa and extend the condolences of the Legislature on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Dr. Rausa, forwarded to the Mississippi Public Health Association and the State Board of Health, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.