On August 6, 2019, more than 100 people gathered at the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (UH JABSOM) to attend the “Finding Sustainable Healthcare Solutions for Oceania” conference! The U.S. military is launching a new effort to support and coordinate health care efforts across Pacific islands and discussed the new Indo-Pacific Command’s initiative. Participants included military doctors, local physicians, academics, public health workers, U.S. government officials, USAID officials, pacific health organizations and associations, and embassy officials from Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Rear Adm. Louis C. Tripoli addressed the group, emphasizing that the Indo-Pacific Command does not want to to re-invent the wheel but rather learn about existing programs, leverage current funding and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ongoing regional health care efforts. He noted that the U.S. military already supports health care in the Pacific island nations and territories but this would be a more collaborative effort to find solutions that are both sustainable and self-sufficient. Rear Adm. Tripoli attended the 65th PIHOA Executive Board Meeting in Palau this past March, starting the conversation with USAPI Ministers, Directors and Secretaries of Health on ways he can better support and strengthen infrastructure and improve health care workforces within the Pacific islands.