A night of triumph
for the AMHE (Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad), South Florida Chapter

Marlène Rigaud Apollon

On Saturday, November 2, at the invitation of Dr. Carmel Barrau, president of the AMHE, South Florida Chapter, I had the privilege of attending  ICABA’s first gala celebration of “South Florida’s Most Ac-complished Professionals and Entrepreneurs” with my husband, Dr. Fritz Apollon, Chairman of the Board of the Central Executive Committee of the AMHE.

ICABA.  An acronym that stands for Identify, Connect, Activate, the Black, Acomplished, the basis of their mission to provide platforms to do so  “for individual AND collective benefit.”  That was my first exposure to them and I was most impressed.

Magnificent!  Outstanding!  are the words that come readily to my mind to describe the sold- out event held in the beautiful Ballrooms of the Graham University Center, Modesto A. Maidique Campus of the Florida International University. Respect and Joy are those that the accomplishments of the people  honored in various fields and the  ambient atmosphere conveyed to me as each winner’s name was called.

We certainly knew that both Dr. Barrau personally and the AMHE SF as a whole,  had a good chance to win, Dr. Barrau, the “Professional of the Year”  award and the AMHE, the “Organisation of the Year” one for which they were nominated, since winning was based on how many total votes you received. However, there was still the factor of how many people contacted had actually followed the advice to vote as often as possible. We soon found out when Dr. Barrau won the “Professional of the year in Healthcare” award, a personnal success that also reflected positively on the AMHE South Florida chapter that he presides.  A couple of rounds later, this was followed by the announcement that the winner of the “Organization of the Year” award was none other than the “Association of Haitian Physican Abroad, South Florida chapter and this, with more than 11,000 votes, a record that took everyone by surprise.

The excitement at our table reached its paroxysm when Dr. Barrau was called to the podium to accept the award and invited all of us to join him and his wife Josée for official pictures.  The five of us of Haitian Heritage did and we exchanged plenty of hand shakes and responded to plenty of congratulations before the photograph was able to do his job.  At least, he didn’t have to ask anyone to smile.  Afterwards, as the rest of the group returned to the table, Dr Barrau, Dr Apollon and Dr. Francelot Moise, 2nd Vice President, remained on the podium to accept the $1,000 award check paid to the order of AMHE and signed on the spot by IBACA’s President and CEO, Jerome Hutchinson, Jr.

“Amazing and Inspiring” were the sentiments that remained with me as the evening came to an end.  To some, it may not look like much but it had taken the Vision, Confidence, Planning and Determination of 1 person being able to convince thousands to support him in reaching his goal to make it to happen.    Well done, Dr. Barrau.

What I liked the most about the event was symbolized in the picture selected for the cover of ICABA’s  souvenir book:  the two winners of the “Most Accomplished Legends” award framing the two winners of the “Most Accomplished Rising Stars” award. What a powerful message!

Our congratulations go also to Gepsie M. Metellus, Executive Director of Sant La, a Haitian Neighborhood Clinic, Inc. and well-deserved winner of the Professional of the Year award in Community/Civic  service, for the tremendous work she has been doing for decades for the Haitian Community.


Marlène Rigaud Apollon
I Want to Dance,
La Mystique de la Citadelle/The Mystique of the Citadelle,
Louis Mercier, A la Reconquête de l’Idéal Haitien ….Louis Mercier, To Re-conquer the Haitian Ideal, A voice from yesterday for today and tomorrow
Si je n’avais que des regrets
Contributor to Haiti Rising Anthology (Finalist for Book of the year 2011)
Author-in-Signature “Livres en Folie” 2009


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