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Dr. G. ValerieBeckles-Neblett

Year of Birth / Death

b. 1952

Medical School

University of the West Indies



Career Path

Pediatric medicine
Dr. G. ValerieBeckles-Neblett


I decided that I wanted to be a doctor, a pediatrician, when I was eight years old and I never changed my mind. Babies and children have always fascinated me — their trusting innocence, and their unique view of life. Consequently, when children hurt or are ill, I feel compelled to offer help, protection and healing whenever possible. Children need strong advocates to ensure their well being, as do so many other underrepresented or disadvantaged populations in the world. I enjoy being able to contribute and help, and where healing is not completely possible, to be able to provide love, support and comfort to families.


G. Valerie Beckles-Neblett, M.D., manages medical costs and patient services as network medical director for Aetna Southwest. She also organizes and leads medical missions to Haiti and Honduras, two of the poorest countries in the world. Along with the other doctors she recruits for her trips, Dr. Beckles has treated thousands of people — many who have never visited a doctor before.

A native of Trinidad, Dr. Beckles completed her undergraduate education and medical school in Jamaica at the University of the West Indies. After her internship in Nassau, Bahamas, she pursued postgraduate training in pediatrics at the London Hospital in England.

Before moving to Florida in 1992, Dr. Beckles-Neblett served on the clinical faculty of the pediatric residency program at the Children's Hospital in Austin, Texas, where she also ran her own private pediatrics practice.

Describing her recent trip to Honduras, Dr. Beckles-Neblett directed a thirteen-member medical team operating a clinic in Hogar De Ninos Nazareth Orphanage in Comayagua. While there, she explained, "We saw a total of 1,106 patients of all ages in the five-day clinic, and even with that volume, we were forced to turn away several hundred who waited daily to be seen. An additional 255 patients were examined and fitted with eyeglasses, a true wonder to witness."

In addition to this Honduras trip, Dr. Beckles-Neblett has organized and led two medical missions to Haiti and is currently planning a return trip to Honduras. Between missions, Dr. Beckles-Neblett raises funds and receives contributions of medicine and medical supplies from pharmaceutical companies in the United States.

Between medical missions, Dr. Beckles-Neblett returns to her desk where, for the last ten years, she has worked in managed care as a medical director for various Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).

Of her career in administrative medicine, Dr. Beckles-Neblett said, "While this has been a very rewarding endeavor, I have never lost my love for hands-on medical care, particularly for the less fortunate. Medical mission trips abroad, and the months of preparation involved in planning and leading those mission trips allow me to fulfill that passion for direct service and continues to give me the chance to "make a difference." For her humanitarian services, Dr. Beckles-Neblett was named the National Aetna Voice of Conscience Winner for 2002.

Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

At times, I have felt that being a woman, and being black, has created challenges for me that others may not have had to face. In the male-dominated clinical arena, and now even more in the arena of corporate medicine, one has to constantly prove oneself to be proficient, equal and able, relative to one's peers. These challenges, however, have made me grow and have given me an appreciation of my unique assets as well as my limitations and, ultimately, have made me more confident.

How do I make a difference?

My current role allows me to grow and learn in medical areas outside pediatrics. My background in private practice, academia and administration allows me to interact with today's treating physicians with understanding and appreciation of their operational issues, as well as their patient-care concerns. It is a rewarding experience to help identify and arrange for services for specific patients with complex medical conditions, or to implement programs that benefit large groups of patients, while at the same time working with individual physician offices to smooth and simplify communications and processes with the managed care organization.

Who was my mentor?

I have had many mentors — my parents, and my family physician, all of whom taught me important ethical lessons even before I began medical school, and many teachers who, over the years, have encouraged me, challenged me, and never allowed me to slacken the pace.

How has my career evolved over time?

Following medical training and residency, I joined a private pediatric practice. Over the ensuing years, I became more and more involved with a local pediatric residency program — acting as attending physician and active in teaching residents. I subsequently accepted a position with the same residency program as a clinical faculty member, working with young physicians to supply outpatient and inpatient services to patients from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. In 1992, I was given the opportunity to practice medicine on a different scale, as medical director for a managed care organization. Over these past ten years, I have been active in a medical administrative role monitoring the provision and financing of medical care on a larger, population-based level. While this has been a very rewarding endeavor, I have never lost my love for hands-on medical care, particularly for the less fortunate. Medical mission trips abroad, and the months of preparation involved in planning and leading those mission trips, allow me to fulfill that passion for direct service and continue to give me the chance to "make a difference."

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