September 14, 2022 (Honolulu, HI) – On September 3, 2022, a team of eight (8) health professionals from the Republic of Palau Ministry of Health and Human Services (Palau MHHS), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association (PIHOA), flew to Yap State to assist with a surge in COVID-19 cases. Between mid-August and mid-September, nearly 3,000 positive COVID-19 cases were identified.
The emergency medical team includes Dr. Richard Brostrom, CDC Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support’s ( CDC CSTLTS) Hawaii State COVID-19 Point of Contact, Pacific Regional TB Field Medical Officer, and Hawaii State TB Program Clinical Consultant, and Ms. Stephanie Kern-Allely, PIHOA Regional Communicable Disease Epidemiologist. Dr. Brostrom and Ms. Kern-Allely are also supporting Yap’s epidemiology surveillance team.
The remaining emergency medical team members are health professionals from the Palau MHHS. They are: Dr. Catherine Decherong (physician), Dr. Tzun Rafael (physician), Ms. Minda Benjamin (nurse), as well as members of the COVID-19 testing team: Ms. Roxana Lawichifeg (Environmental Health Technician), Ms. Jane Decherong (Patient Navigator), and Ms. Krystle E. Renguul (Training Officer).
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