JABSOM NEWS RELEASE: US INDOPACIFIC Command launches high-level partnership with University of Hawaii to improve Pacific region health

Posted on Aug 6, 2019 in Latest News

The U.S. military’s largest command is strengthening its ties with the University of to form a combined network of healthcare and environmental expertise to the Indo-Pacific Region.

A kickoff session today at the UH Kakaʻako Campus brought out high-ranking leaders from each of the military commands, from Rear Admirals and Brigadier Generals to Colonels and Sergeant Majors. The full spectrum of military doctors– flight surgeons, trauma surgeons, military medicine professors and even military pediatricians were there, engaged in conversations and strategy sessions with UH researchers and clinicians, as well as officials from the CDC, US AID and representatives from the embassies of nations and jurisdictions within the massive region.

Every branch of the U.S. military is active in the area, and the UH and its medical school has a long history of health care outreach in the pacific.

“First of all, this is about all of Oceania, so it includes the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Island jurisdictions that UH works with quite a lot, but also the other 22 Pacific Island countries and territories, so there’s a huge burden of both chronic disease or non-communicable disease (like obesity and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer) and also a high burden of infectious disease. The challenge is that most of these countries have insufficient infrastructure to address and prevent these diseases,” said Dr. Lee Bueconsejo-Lum, Professor of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and a lead investigator of cancer in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands.

The Command Surgeon for INDO-PACOM, Rear Admiral Louis Tripoli, sparked the partnership initiative.

“I think in this situation when it comes to all of the health efforts at out there that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” said RDML Louis Tripoli, Command Surgeon, US

INDOPACOM. “We have a lot of great efforts doing a lot of great things, but what I’m trying to do with our partnership at the University of Hawaiʻi is to unite those efforts into one great strategic idea that will help us move forward with regard to improving health, healthcare, and healthcare support in the Pacific Islands and territories.”

Today’s four-hour session was the beginning of what both sides expect to be a sustained discussion. Working groups discussed short-term priorities and said within a month their aim is to get more organized and bring more of voices throughout the region into the conversation.

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https://spaces.hightail.com/space/7d7PzZkUBv

MULTI-MEDIA NEWS RELEASE DETAILS: The video is followed by still photographs from the event by Deborah Manog Dimaya for UH JABSOM

:00-:15 Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum, UH medical school: “First of all, this is about all of Oceania, so it includes the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Island jurisdictions that UH works with quite a lot, but also with the other 22-plus Pacific Island countries and territories, so there’s a huge burden of both chronic disease or non-communicable disease with obesity and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and (many contagious diseases as well. And a serious obstacle is many countries in the region lack) the infrastructure to support it.”

:15-:45 RDML Louis Tripoli, Command Surgeon, US INDOPACOM: “I think in this situation when it comes to all of the health efforts at out there that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And so what we have is a lot of great efforts doing a lot of great things, but what I’m trying to do with our partnership at the University of Hawaiʻi is to unite those efforts into one great strategic idea that will help us move forward with regard to improving health, healthcare, and healthcare support in the Pacific Islands and territories.”

:45-1:30 video b-roll, civilian professors and clinicians in animated discussions with military of all branches, occasional signs showing topics of concern to be discussed. Location: UH Kakaʻako campus

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Aloha,

Tina Shelton

(808) 554-2586 Mobile

[email protected]

Director of Communications, Media

& Government Affairs

University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine