Press Release

Department of Information and Public Relations
Department of Human Resources
Release Date:
Thursday, 2 July 2020 - 3:51pm

The Department of Information and Public Relations and individual team members who form the Joint Information Cell (JIC) are being recognised for their exemplary and stellar performance as the COVID-19 Heroes recognitions continue this week.

This combined team of communication professionals who provide services to ministries and departments also known as the Government Information Service (GIS) is regarded as the ‘blood line or heartbeat of the Government of the Virgin Islands’ and is tasked with ensuring that Government initiatives are shared with the public and media, locally, regionally and internationally.

This set of COVID-19 Heroes is the third group to be recognised since the launch of the programme by the Department of Human Resources. The group was acknowledged for disseminating information around-the-clock in a timely manner, packaging the information in different ways including videos, e-fliers, and audio for every demographic to benefit from the information.

Director of Communications, Mrs. Arliene T. Penn who is a member of both the Health Emergency Operations Centre and the Unified Command Centre, and also serves as advisor to the communications and public relations team stated that she was pleased that her team is recognised and chosen as COVID-19 heroes, but this came as no surprise.

“I work with a team of professionals who are creative, innovative and dedicated. I am extremely excited for the recognition given to the team, who continues to go the extra mile to ensure that the public is aware of COVID-19. Very often, together we have worked until wee hours of the morning to ensure the public’s access to constant information.”

Mrs. Penn said, “The team rose to the occasion. ‘You think it; they created it and executed it’. They are heroes all the time. So, I am indeed excited for their success as part of COVID-19 Heroes list.  Their success is what brings me ultimate gratification in leading the team. I thank the families of each person for supporting them as they worked diligently to meet the demands and deadlines for information.”

The Director of Communications said she appreciates and applauds the team and looks forward to their continued support in taking communications to the next level. She further thanked the Employee Assistance Programme’s (EAP) committee members for the vote of confidence.

The Joint information Cell was established under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Social Development's Public Health Communications Specialist to provide the public with daily COVID-19 messages with the support of the Director of Communications, Chief Information Officer, and Ministerial and Statutory Body Information/Communications Officers and the Department of Information and Public Relations.

Individual recognitions were extended to Communication Specialist at the Ministry of Health and Social Development and Head of JIC, Ms. Adrianna Soverall; Graphic Artist, Mr. Jehiah Maduro; Interim Production Supervisor, Mr. Dorian Hodge; and Production Technician, Mr. Glenn Cherubim for going the extra mile in a work environment which consists of fast-paced, quick turnaround of information with minimal margin for error.

Chief Information Officer, Ms. Desiree Smith added her voice in extoling the value of GIS as honourees.

Ms. Smith said, “I am very pleased to see this group of talented professionals be recognised in this way for the significant contribution they make to the Public Service and even more so during this critical time in the history of the Virgin Islands and the world. It is truly gratifying for me to work in such close proximity to such expert and committed officers. I am truly proud to be part of this team.”

Nominations continue and persons can complete the form by visiting, and have it submitted electronically to

The COVID-19 Public Service Heroes will be posted on various platforms including the Government of the Virgin Islands’ website: and its Facebook page at username: @BVIGovernment.  Honourees will also receive a written commendation.

The Department of Human Resources thanks all public officers, particularly those who have been on the frontline and behind the scenes providing essential services during all stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.   


Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740