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Taufete’e appointed to LBJ Board, filling vacancy left by Velega’s resignation

fili@samoanews.com

Former candidate for lieutenant governor, Taufete’e John Faumuina, has been appointed by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga to the LBJ Medical Center board of directors. His nomination requires confirmation by the Senate only, in accordance to local law.
 
Taufete’e fills the vacancy on the board resulting from the recent resignation of board member, Velega Savali Jr., who officially informed the governor last week in a letter that after being on the hospital board for a few months he realized “what is going on at the hospital is something that is too deeply rooted, [and] that any dissenting voice will be meet with strong opposition.”
 
The copy of the letter was also sent to the LBJ Board chairman Mase Akapo. See Samoa News edition Feb. 21 for more details.
 
“Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga and I wish to extend to Velega our appreciation for the time he served the people of American Samoa as a member of the board and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Lolo in his nomination letter of Taufete’e to the Fono leaders.
 
Taufete’e was the first chief executive officer of LBJ, when the government owned hospital separated from the Department of Health and became a semi autonomous agency of ASG.
 
If confirmed, Lolo said the nominee “will bring considerable practical experience” to the board having served as the CEO for many years. Additionally, Taufete’e brings with him “a broad range of senior experience in government operations” having served as Commerce Department director and head of the Criminal Justice Planning Agency (CJPA), along with his many years of experience at the Health Department.
 
“We appreciate Taufete’e accepting our call to use his extensive experience to work with current members of the board of... the Medical Center Authority to resolve the many challenges confronting our healthcare deliver system,” Lolo said, adding that he looks forward to early confirmation of this nomination.
 
Taufete’e left his CEO post at LBJ in 2006 after some eight years. He has also worked within DOH and at the Election Office.
 
In January 2011, he was nominated by then Gov. Togiola Tulafono to serve as director of the Health Department, but the following month, after the House endorsed the nominee, the Senate had yet to hold a confirmation hearing; Togiola withdrew the nomination due to a request by Taufete’e.
 
In April of 2011, he was appointed by Togiola to head the Criminal Justice Planning Agency.
 
In the 2012 gubernatorial race, he was the running mate for candidate for governor, Faoa Aitofele Sunia. The Faoa/Taufete’e team went up against the Lolo/Lemanu team in the run off election to decide the territory’s top leaders — Lolo and Lemanu won.



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