The quarterly PIHOA E-Newsletter features news, upcoming events, and resources for the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands health community. 
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Volume 4, Issue 1
Quarter 1: March 2019
A Message From the PIHOA Board President
Alii, my Pacific Health family!

Hope everyone is having a productive and wonderful year so far. This past week, I joined some of our colleagues in Washington, DC, sharing the message with our policy makers on the need for some policy changes that will benefit our people in the Pacific. Health is a basic need for anyone and bringing parity and equity to even us in far remote lands is essential for all of us to deliver the best care for everyone in our jurisdiction.

As we begin our travel to the beautiful Republic of Palau, I urge you all to start thinking of what you would like to share with your colleagues. Do share the challenges that despite the existing inequity, we have exceptional staff and colleagues who find ways to make great waves in the pursuit of improved health. Especially share your successes! We have so many articulate and innovative ideas that even our counterparts in a bigger and wealthier environment cannot compare with. The upcoming PIHOA meeting is YOUR forum! Please feel free to engage in the conversations of best practices and policy recommendations. If you can’t make it to the meeting, please feel free to message us during the meeting sessions. I am so honored to be a part of this forum and I’m looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you all again.

Safe travels to all of you, my friends!

-CEO Esther Muna, CNMI CHCC & PIHOA Board President
We Would like to Welcome the Newest Executive and Associate Board Members to the PIHOA Family!

Dr. Aileen Tareg
Yap State Department of Health Services (Yap DHS)  
Ms. Lilian Posadas
USAPI Health Leaders Attend ASTHO Hill Day and Advocate for Public Health Programs in the Pacific
On March 13, 2019, health leaders from the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPIs) joined over 80 state, local, and territorial health officials from across the country on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) Hill Day.

The aim of their visit is to share the critical need to sustain investments in public health agencies that protect and promote the health of the U.S. states and territories and prevent sequestered cuts in the FY2020 budget.
USAPI health leaders present include the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Esther Muna, Palau Minister of Health , Dr. Emais Roberts, the Federated States of Micronesia’s Department of Health and Social Affairs Assistant Secretary, Mr. Marcus Samo, and the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services Deputy Director, Lori Duenas.
USAPI health leaders met with policymakers to educate and advocate on the need to provide greater funding for a variety of public health programs in the Pacific. PIHOA Executive Director, Emi Chutaro and CNMI CHCC's Special Assistant for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, Subroto Banerji also represented the USAPIs on Hill Day.
65th PIHOA Executive Board Meeting
March 25-28, 2019
Koror, Palau
Health Emergency Preparedness Workshop Held in the RMI
PIHOA’s Executive Director, Ms. Emi Chutaro, Health Information Management Systems Coordinator, Dr. Mark Durand and Public Health Advisor, Mr. Robert Greathouse attend the World Health Organization’s Health Emergency Preparedness Workshop in Majuro, RMI from January 28-February 1, 2019.  

The five-day workshop focused on reviewing current public health emergency preparedness and response capacities in the RMI to develop a roadmap to further develop preparedness and response systems and address any gaps and weaknesses.  

The International Health Regulations (IHR) is a legally binding international agreement, signed by 196 countries across the globe, including the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), to help the international community prevent and respond to acute public health risks that have the potential to cross borders and threaten people worldwide. The IHR outlines the core capacities needed to detect, assess, report and rapidly respond to public health threats, whether due to natural disasters, disease outbreaks or human-induced threats.
During this multisector workshop, participants monitored and assessed RMI's core capacities using the IHR monitoring and evaluation framework which consists of four components; States Parties Annual Report (SPAR) self-assessment; After Action Review (AAR); Simulation exercises and a Joint external evaluation (JEE). 

RMI experiences multiple natural disasters and outbreaks of various scale every year, in particular natural hazards like flooding and drought, and vector-borne and water-borne diseases. Supporting a multisector response to emergencies and pandemics is critical to mitigating the social, economic and environmental impact of these events.
CDC Project Officers and USAPI Immunization Program Managers Attend NOFO Kickoff Meeting in Atlanta
On January 23-25, 2019, the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) hosted the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Kickoff meeting in Atlanta, GA for it’s next five-year Immunization Cooperative Agreement Project Period which begins on July 1, 2019. The target audience for this Kickoff Meeting were Immunization Program Managers and other staff who support the activities. CDC Program staff outlined program area strategies and required activities for the next five years. The 2019 Immunization Program Operation Manual (IPOM) was also published and released prior to the NOFO meeting. Pictured above is CDC Project Officers Mr. Peter Judicpa and Ms. Mary Hayes with USAPI Immunization Program Managers.
CDC Vaccines for Children Immunization Cooperative Agreement
April 8, 2019 at 11:59pm (EDT)
Fourth DDM Module Delivered in Palau
The Palau Data for Decision Making (DDM) cohort is almost done with the DDM program after the delivery of EPI824.  This is an intensive course that focuses on intermediate epidemiology and data analysis. All 12 students who took this course in Palau passed.  After the delivery of this module, the Palau DDM cohort only has one module left (their independent projects).  These will be completed during a one-week workshop scheduled for March 2019.

The DDM program is a Fiji National University (FNU) accredited certificate program that aims to train epidemiology technicians. The DDM program consists of five modules delivered in-country to a cohort of health workers who have data-related roles throughout the health department. In order to receive their certificates, DDM students must pass all modules and complete a final project. 
Hilton Prize Coalition and Global Health Task Force Fellow Assists the Lymphatic Filiriasis Program in American Samoa
Ms. Lynette Fa’alupe Suiaunoa-Scanlan is a Hilton Fellow from the Hilton Prize Coalition and Global Health Task Force and has been assigned to assist the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Global Health (CDCCGH) and PIHOA with implementing a coverage evaluation survey for preventative chemotherapy aimed to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in American Samoa.  

Ms. Suiaunoa-Scanlan recently moved back to American Samoa and is originally from the village of Mapusaga Fou. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia with a concentration in Global Health and a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Communication from the University of Hawaii at Hilo

During the coverage survey Ms. Suiaunoa-Scanlan assisted with conducting and supervising community-based coverage survey interviews at selected households across American Samoa. 
She also assisted but was not limited to data collection and entry into survey tablets and is currently assisting CDC and PIHOA with finalizing the LF survey coverage report. 

Through the fellowship, Ms. Suiaunoa-Scanlan was able to develop both personally and professionally by gaining leadership skills and hands on experience.  She learned strategic ways and methodologies on how to successfully execute a coverage survey.  Ms. Suiaunoa-Scanlan is humbled by the opportunity and grateful for the wonderful experience.  She is thankful for the mentors and colleagues who have helped her along this project.  Ms. Suiaunoa-Scanlan strives to continue to work towards achieving more health goals and ultimately to eliminate Lymphatic Filiriasis and other diseases in American Samoa. 
Palau Primary Health Care for All!
From February 21-March 4, 2019, PIHOA Pacific Basin Primary Care Office Coordinator, Dr. Angela Techur-Pedro conducted a site visit in Palau and had the great fortune of accompanying two outreach primary care physicians (PCPs) assigned to the Community Health Centers (CHCs) located in Ngaremlengui (West CHC) and Ngarchelong (North CHC).  

The North CHC of Ngarchelong is approximately 31 miles or roughly 40-minute drive from the main hospital, Belau National Hospital (BNH) in Meyuns, Koror, and serves a total population of approximately 316 residents. The West CHC in Ngaremlengui is about 13 miles or roughly a 15-20 minute drive from BNH and serves a total population of approximately 350 residents.

Overall, there are four full-time physicians who provide primary care services on a rotation basis to six CHCs in Palau, Koror (Central), BNH Outpatient, West, North, Melekeok (East), and South (Peleliu) on weekdays. Each CHC also has a regular nursing staff.

The CHCs’ seen were well-maintained, have open waiting rooms for patients and separate, private rooms for physical examinations and treatments, medical records, and dental services (with a dental chair). The CHC facilities were impressive and the Ngarchelong CHC staff’s knowledge of their target population and the commitment to provide access to quality primary care services was demonstrated during a home visit to a bed-ridden disabled patient who needed a physician follow-up consultation. This is  Palau Primary Health Care for All !
CDC Project Officer Peter Judicpa Provides Technical Assistance to the CNMI CHCC Immunization Program
On February 19-21, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Project Officer Mr. Peter Judicpa visited the CNMI Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CNMI CHCC) Immunization Program and provided technical assistance with the planning and preparation of their new Immunization Cooperative Agreement Application. This activity was in direct response to the NOFO Kickoff meeting held in January 2019. 

Technical assistance with the local program included review of the Program’s mid-year progress, comparison of changes between the current Immunization Program Operations Manual and the 2019 update, discussion and brainstorming of awardee-defined activities and five year Strategic plan activities and all the requirements for the cooperative agreement application.

Pictured to the right is CDC Project Officer Peter Judicpa’s courtesy office visit with CNMI CHCC Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Esther Muna, Mr. Subroto Banerji, CNMI CHCC Special Assistant for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation, Ms. Margarita Aldan, CNMI CHCC Public Health Director and Mr. Jeremy Sasamoto , CNMI CHCC Immunization Program Manager.
The Pacific Basin Dental Association (PBDA) Meeting Analyzes Oral Health Needs in the USAPIs
The 2019 Pacific Basin Dental Association (PBDA) Meeting was held in Honolulu, Hawaii from February 4-5, 2019. The meeting focused on reviewing, reaffirming and revising the PBDA roadmap, including goals, objectives and priorities for the next three years, discussion on advancing oral health workforce development in the Pacific, and discussion on continuing professional development opportunities.  

Later that week, PBDA met with representatives from the Association of States and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) to analyze the oral health program infrastructure and capacity in the USAPIs. 
PIHOA Conducts HRM Training at the Chuuk CHC
From November 19-22, 2018, PIHOA Human Resources for Health consultant, Ms. Mindy Sugiyama and PIHOA Program Support Officer, Ms. Andrea Whitt conducts Human Resources Management (HRM) training at the Chuuk Community Health Center in Weno, Chuuk.

Ms. Sugiyama trained Chuuk CHC staff on the HRM System OrangeHRM , a free web based HR software that is the leading open source Human Resource Information System (HRIS) in the world. OrangeHRM provides a better platform built for managing HR processes and provides a great HR professional workflow and operations system.
New PIHOA Secretariat Deputy Director
Ms. Janet Camacho, APRN, MSN, MPH
Deputy Director, Programs and Operations
PIHOA Secretariat
Honolulu, Hawaii

Ms. Janet Camacho is the Deputy Director of Programs and Operations, a new position for the PIHOA Secretariat.  She is from the island of Guam and has worked in Honolulu for 25 years as a health professional serving in several roles with major health care organizations.  Ms. Camacho has a diverse management background with extensive training in leadership, strategic planning, quality and patient safety, health care operations, and program development.   

She has held director positions in quality and patient safety and clinical analytics, and for the past seven years, Ms. Camacho has had accountability for various regulatory quality reporting programs including, NCQA PCMH Designation, NCQA Accreditation and HEDIS quality reporting, Meaningful Use of EHR, CMS Medicare Stars, Merit Based Incentive Program (MIPS), and Comprehensive Primary Care Plus programs under the CMS Quality Payment Program.  

Ms. Camacho has a Master’s Degree in Nursing and Public Health with a focus on health outcomes of special populations and maternal and child health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Schools of Nursing and Public Health , and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Marquette University in Wisconsin. Welcome back to the USAPIs Ms. Camacho!
CDC Project Officer Peter Judicpa Provides Technical Assistance to the FSM National and States Immunization Program Managers
On February 26 -March 1, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Project Officer Mr. Peter Judicpa met with the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) National and States Immunization Program Managers to provide technical assistance with the planning and preparation of their new Immunization Cooperative Agreement Application. This activity was in direct response to the NOFO Kickoff meeting held in January 2019.  The initial plan was for the meeting to be held in Yap State, FSM. However, due to Super Typhoon Wutip, the flights were cancelled.  
The meeting would have been cancelled as well if not for the assistance of the PIHOA Guam Office who were able to accommodate Mr. Judicpa’s request to utilize their conference room to salvage the FSM Meeting by having it on Guam. Because of PIHOA’s support, the meeting was successfully held.  
Technical assistance to the FSM National and State programs included review of the Program’s mid-year progress, comparison of changes between the current Immunization Program Operations Manual and the 2019 update, discussion and brainstorming of awardee-defined activities and five year Strategic plan activities and all the requirements for the cooperative agreement application.
Palau MOH Staff Participate in HRM Training
On December 28, 2018, the Palau Ministry of Health Staff participated in a Human Resources Management (HRM) Training focused on retention strategies and customer service. This training session was conducted by Ms. Marleen Ngirametuker and funded through PIHOA’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) HRM grant. 
Million Hearts Webinar
March 19, 2019 at 2:00PM (HST)
Learn more about how the Palau Community Health Center (CHC) implemented the Million Hearts program to improve uncontrolled hypertension. This webinar is hosted by the Pacific islands Primary Care Association (PIPCA) .
Other Pacific Island Health News
Local & National Events

March 25-29, 2019
Location: Koror, Palau

March 29-30, 2019
Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN) Meeting
Location: Fiji

April 3-5, 2019
Location: Fiji

April 24, 2019
Location: Guam

April 22-25, 2019
Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands (CCPI) Meeting
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

May 21-24, 2019
6th PIHOA LabNet and AUL Meeting
Location: Guam

June 18-20, 2019
Location: Sydney, Australia

June 21, 2019
Location: Noumea, New Caledonia

July 15-19, 2019
Sub-Regional Blood-borne Pathogens Training
Location: Pohnpei, FSM

September 10-13, 2019
Location: Washington DC

September 23-25, 2019
Location: Bethesda, MD

February 2020 (tentative)
Location: TBD
Other News & Resources
Have something to share?

If your agency or organization would like to contribute to the Quarterly PIHOA  newsletter, please  contact us . Content should be of interest to public health professionals in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, and should concern the public health and healthcare system field and related activities.