THE HON FENTON RUDYARD IGNATIUS FERGUSON CD DDS FICD MP
Dr. Fenton Ferguson entered representational politics in 1989, and in 1993, on his first attempt, he was elected to the Jamaican House of Representatives as the Member for St. Thomas Eastern. He has won all the subsequent general elections of 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2011.
In the process he has rewritten the history books by becoming, since the grant of Universal Adult suffrage in 1944, the longest serving Member of the Honourable House of Representatives for the Parish of St. Thomas.
For this outstanding service to Parliament, Dr. Ferguson has been awarded the Order of Distinction, in the Rank of Commander Class.
His dedicated Parliamentary service has earned for him the distinguished Executive positions of:
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture for the period 1995 to1998;
Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture between 1998 & 2002;
Minister of State (with responsibility for Works) in the Ministry of Transport and Works between 2002 & 2006;
Minister of State (with responsibility for Water) in the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works between 2006 & 2007; and now as
The Minister of Health, since January 6, 2012.
Other areas of service within the Legislature and the Executive have included appointments as:
Chairman of the Human Resources and Social Development Committee of the Parliament,
Member of the National Honours and Awards Committee of the Cabinet
Member of The Joint Select Committee on Electoral and Constitutional Reform
Member of the Infrastructure, Human Resources and Social Development,
Public Order and the International Relations and Trade Sub-committees of the Cabinet.
Highlights of his leadership in the Ministry of Health include:
Promulgation in July 2013, of Regulations prohibiting smoking in specified public places; thereby making Jamaica, the 45th country worldwide to promulgate this bold legislation, garnering in the process a nationwide 83% approval rating;
Leadership of a team of delegates to the 2012 World HIV/AIDS conference in Washington DC where several interventions were made on sustaining the HIV response through high level political action;
The restructuring of the HIV response in Jamaica through integrating elements of the HIV Programme into the Sexual Reproductive Health Programme of the National Family Planning Board;
Continuous advocacy to the Global Fund and other international bodies leading to Jamaica’s response being further recognized as a best practice and the country receiving financial support as bridging funds;
Representing the Prime Minister of Jamaica on the UNAIDS Lancet Commission in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Construction of Centres of Excellence in Primary Health Care in all four Health Regions.
Spearheading initiatives for Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements for the construction of an ultra-modern Specialist Child/Adolescent Hospital in Western Jamaica and
Championing the establishment of systems of excellence for cancer care and centres of excellence for the delivery of services.
Chairmanship of Regional Organisations:
The Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA);
The Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and the CARICOM Caucus of Health Ministers and;
The Executive Board of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP).
The Honourable Dr. Fenton Ferguson received his education at the Ardenne High School in Kingston and Howard University in the USA, where he made the Dean’s Honour Roll for three consecutive years on his way toward earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry in 1974.
Also, in 1974, he was the winner of the four-year Government of Jamaica Dental Scholarship to pursue Dental Surgery at his Alma Mater, where he gained the post-graduate degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1978.
More recently he was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the International College of Dentists, (FICD).
Dr. Ferguson has brought to the Ministry of Health a wealth of professional experience gained as a Dental Surgeon for over 35 years in the parish of St Thomas. For over fifteen of those years he provided service at the community level in the Public Service as the Government’s Dental Surgeon for the parish of St. Thomas.
The Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, as might be expected has held several positions within the governing People’s National Party namely:
- Chairman of St Thomas Eastern Constituency
- Member of National Executive Council
- Past Chairman of Region 2
- Vice-President, and Officer as well as a member of the Party’s Executive Committee.
- His organizational, management, and leadership skills have been long recognized at many levels.
From as early as 1996, at the behest of the governing Party’s Leadership, he was asked to, and successfully undertook the re-organization of the Party’s Youth Organisation.
Elsewhere, he has served as First Vice-President of the Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League, Chairman of the National Board of Management of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, President of the Friends of Princess Margaret Hospital, Chairman of The St. Thomas 4-H Advisory Council, Chairman of Board of Governors of St. Thomas Technical High School, Director of The St. Thomas Co-operative Credit Union, Honourary member of the Lions’ Club of Portmore, and he is still a member of The St. Thomas Lodge No. 4338EC, and the Chairman of the Saunders Basic School, a position he has held for the past 33 years.
It is not surprising therefore that he has been the recipient of over a dozen awards including:
The Washington Research Club Award in 1970 for Outstanding Scholastic Performance
The Jaycees of Jamaica – Distinguished Award for 1983 in the Field of Health
The Lions Club of Portmore and Spanish Town - Distinguished Service Award 1993, in the Field of Health.
Ministry of Health Dental Surgeon of the Year Award in 1989.
- The Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union League and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs
Chairman’s Award 1996 for Outstanding Leadership
- The Happy Grove High School Special Award for distinguished and Unselfish Service given to Young People June 28, 2003.
The National Council for Senior Citizens of St. Thomas Award in 2004 for Exemplary and Continuous Service
The Jamaica National Movement N.Y. Inc. Distinguished Service Award on June 30, 2012, for Outstanding Service
The University of Technology, Rosalie Warpeha Caribbean Institute Distinguished Fellow Award in 2012 for Strategic Planning & Research in Oral Health
The Caribbean American Association’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award for Diverse Accomplishments in Political, Medical and Health Care.
- The South East Regional Health Authority 2013 Award for Sterling Contribution to the Development of the Health Sector and particularly the Advancement of Dental Health Services.
The National Council for Drug Abuse 2013 Award for Most Impactful Legislation - (Public Health Tobacco Control Regulations 2013).
The New York City Council 2013 Award for Outstanding Contribution to The Jamaican Community
The New York City Council 2013 Citation in Recognition of Outstanding and Esteemed Statesmanship.
Member of The USA Congress Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition Award for Outstanding and Invaluable Contribution to The Community
The Borough of Brooklyn Special Recognition Award for Ongoing Service and Dedication to the Health and Welfare of the People of The Caribbean and The USA.
The 2014 Presidential Citation Award from the International College of Dentists (ICD), for outstanding achievements and contribution to numerous areas of the Caribbean and Jamaica (thus becoming only the third person worldwide to have been so awarded in the Twelve Thousand Membership and 85 year old college)
- The Jamaica Gleaner 2013 Honour Award in the category “Health and Wellness” - for the bold and courageous implementation of the Tobacco Control Regulations 2013.