Laboratory Strengthening

Introduction

In April 2010, PIHOA Board members endorsed Resolution 48-03 prioritizing laboratory strengthening in USAPI health agencies in support of the WHO’s Asian Pacific Strategy for Strengthening Health Laboratory Services 2010-15.  Today, the USAPI Regional Laboratory Strengthening Initiative continues to be implemented as one of PIHOA’s primary and core areas of work.  The PIHOA Lab Network currently consists of 11 USAPI national/state hospital and public health laboratories located in all 10 USAPI sites/health agencies.

Current Activities

Since 2010, PIHOA’s Regional Laboratory Strengthening Initiative continues to focus on:

1) training and certification on International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations to ensure compliance and effective transport and testing of lab specimens that are referred outside of the USAPIs, including maintaining a USAPI Registry of all current USAPI IATA-certified shippers and packagers in all USAPI labs;

2) development, strengthening and quality assurance of lab standards and protocols;

3) training and technical assistance on lab quality management systems (LQMS);

4) microbiology diagnostic and bio-safety training;

5) delivery of the Strengthening of Medical Laboratories Towards Accreditation (SMLTA) initiative targeting unregulated labs in the FSM, Palau and RMI (the US Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) regulates public health labs in the US territories);

6) administration and management of the USAPI Laboratory Specimen Shipping Mechanism and USAPI Laboratory Revolving Fund (LRF) that enables USAPI labs to ship biological specimens to referral laboratories in Hawai’i, Japan, the mainland US (e.g. CDC’s Fort Collins) and Puerto Rico, and other WHO-certified reference labs in New Caledonia, Fiji and Australia; and

7) support to laboratories in Guam, American Samoa, and CNMI with regards to maintaining/addressing CLIA compliance and troubleshooting Centers for Medicaid/Medicare Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (for hospital labs).

PIHOA Member State Laboratories 

CLIA-Regulated Laboratories

  • American Samoa
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam Department of Public Health Laboratory
  • Guam Memorial Hospital

Non-Regulated Laboratories

  • Belau National Hospital Laboratory, Republic of Palau
  • Chuuk State Hospital Laboratory, FSM
  • Kosrae State Hospital Laboratory, FSM
  • Leroj Kitlang Memorial Health Center, Laboratory, Ebeye, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Majuro Hospital Laboratory, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Pohnpei State Hospital Laboratory, FSM
  • Yap State Hospital Laboratory, FSM

 

Contact Information

Mrs. Vasiti Uluiviti, M(ASCP)CM, MMSc, BAppSc, CMLT

Regional Laboratory Coordinator

Email: vasitiu@pihoa.org

 

Mr. Manasa Mainaqelelevu, MLS(ASCP)CM, PostGradDip MLS, PostGradDip Tchg, BA MLS, Cert ML

Regional Laboratory Program Specialist

Email: manasam@pihoa.org