Peace Corps Mourns the Loss of Volunteer Catherine Saltwick
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2008 - The Peace Corps is mourning the loss of Catherine "Cathy" Saltwick, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana. Cathy was killed in an automobile accident Friday night, May 30th.
"Cathy was an outstanding Volunteer, and I had the privilege of meeting her in Botswana last year," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. "Cathy was devoted to helping the people of her community combat HIV/AIDS, and her death is a loss for her loved ones, her family, the Peace Corps, and the people of Botswana."
Cathy, 35, worked in a rural clinic to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and she particularly worked on the prevention of mother to child transmission program. She assisted peer mother support groups in developing an outreach program to demonstrate safe infant feeding to HIV positive mothers in their homes.
In her aspiration statement, Cathy said, "I believe that volunteering for the Peace Corps is the most effective way of combining my unique set of professional skills with my values and other life goals in order to continue to make a valuable contribution to the world."
Cathy is a native of Seattle, Washington, and she is survived by her parents, John and Jeanette Saltwick, also of Seattle. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in cellular and molecular biology, and she also completed her eye bank technician certification in 1998. Before her Peace Corps service, Cathy worked for the Northwest Tissue Center and the Northwest Lions Eye Bank. Cathy also volunteered at the Childrens Hospital Medical Center in Seattle.
In 1988 Cathy graduated from Ballard High School in Seattle at the age of 15. At the time of her graduation, Cathy was the youngest graduate in the school's 85 year history. In a local Seattle news report following her graduation, a reporter was quoted as saying, "She is not old enough to drive and she is not old enough to get a job, but at 15 she was old enough to graduate from Ballard High School."
Since 1961, more than 190,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. In Botswana, there are currently 117 Volunteers working in HIV/AIDS Prevention. Almost 2,000 Volunteers have served in the country since 1966.