Pacific Island Health Officers met in Majuro
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): February 12, 2009 - Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Affairs, Dr. Vita Skilling, returned to Pohnpei on January 25th, 2009 after attending the Pacific Island Health Officers Association meeting in Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Health leaders from Palau, FSM, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, and American Samoa were all in attendance. The meeting was one of two regular meetings per year for the Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA), represented by the ministers, secretaries and directors of health for the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).
One of the issues that was discussed at the meeting was partnering with community colleges in the Micronesia region to launch the first accredited public health training program for health workers.
Secretary Skilling said that the Associate Degree in Public Health will start at the COM-FSM national campus in the fall, but current health workers may start registering for the courses now. This program is designed to improve the training of the current work force and stimulate the interest of the young scholars in public health to pursue higher degrees in the health fields.
In addition to the first accredited public health training program for health workers, Secretary Skilling said that a proposal for a dental training program was also discussed and has been endorsed by PIHOA, and that Pohnpei State has agreed to host the training program.
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