Joanne Letchford, Recipient of University of Sydney Faculty of Science Alumni Award for Service to Humanity

We are pleased to announce that Joanne Letchford, BS, MPH, Diagnostic Microbiology Program (DMDP) Country Director, is this year’s recipient of the University of Sydney Faculty of Science Alumni Award for Service to Humanity. This award recognizes the personal contributions of alumni who, through service or philanthropy, improve the lives of those in need. This award also recognizes the significant involvement of alumni in projects that enrich local or international communities through activities such as volunteering, philanthropy and service to the community. Ms. Letchford came to Cambodia in 2009 as a Volunteer with Volunteers for International Development from Australia (ViDA). DMDP had just finished implementing a laboratory in Kampong Cham, the first of several diagnostic microbiology laboratories in Cambodian government hospitals. Ms. Letchford arrived and provided essential bench training to the laboratory staff. After serving as a ViDA Volunteer for 18 months, Ms. Letchford served as a World Health Organization Consultant continuing her work in developing capacity in diagnostic microbiology laboratories in other government hospitals. Joanne has worked with DMDP since 2013 providing leadership for DMDP activities that include training and mentoring of laboratory staff in provincial and national hospitals, participation in national programs including Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) surveillance, and production of quality microbiological growth media for laboratories throughout Cambodia. Joanne was the only employee of DMDP in 2013 and has been key to our growth and involvement in various programs supporting the government of Cambodia. Joanne now oversees DMDP staff of 12 Cambodian employees and six expert consultants contributing to the strengthening of infectious disease testing and surveillance in Cambodia. Please join us in congratulating Joanne for the work she has done and for the recognition of that work by the University of Sydney Faculty of Science.