Florida Department of Health staffers, Marvin Gifford, Management Analyst; Dr. Mark Whiteside, Medical Director; Peggy Ward-Grant, retiring Prevention Training Consultant, Mechelle Burgohy, Health Educator; and Cyna Wright, Public Health Services Manager.
Long-Time Public Health Advocate Retires
Monroe County, Fla. – Peggy Ward-Grant, Prevention Training Consultant (PTC) for the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, retired today after serving 15 years with the State of Florida. Ward-Grant’s work in public health spans much further back than the start of her career with the department. She has been involved with HIV/AIDS education and counseling since the HIV epidemic started back in the 1980s.
Prior to her role as PTC, Peggy served the community through the Julius Adams AIDS Task Force in Key West. Peggy has performed testing and counseling in her community thousands of times. She was instrumental in starting an HIV testing and counseling program at the Monroe County jail.
“What inspired me to work in public health is very personal. I had a brother that lived with AIDS and he passed away 10 years ago. Watching him for over 21 years with the disease is what got me up to come to work, go to the jails, and into the homeless shelters because I was reaching people that would not have been tested otherwise. I want to be of service to anyone and any family going through this,” Ward-Grant stated.
Peggy has led and organized countless HIV/AIDS events throughout Monroe County, including original plays, educational events in assisted living facilities, and places of worship in partnership with other local community based organizations, including Elks Lodge and AH of Monroe County.