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Gov. Togiola nominates reps to trainer development launch in Guam

UTULEI, AS – Governor Togiola Tulafono has nominated two American Samoa professionals as trainer candidates for the PacificM Region Master Trainer Development Program (MTDP) to be launched in Guam on Monday, March 5.

Governor Togiola said the MTDP is an initiative developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in partnership with the Pacific Behavioral Collaborating Council (PBHCC) to prepare a group of qualified personnel in the Pacific Islands who will provide college-linked or profession certification-linked pre-service and in-service behavioral health training and education for the foreseeable future.

Governor Togiola nominated Rosevonne Pato, Director of Institutional Advancement & Effectiveness at the American Samoa Community College, and Margaret Jennings Lealofi, Supervisor of Substance Abuse Treatment at Behavioral Health of the Department of Human and Social Services.

“It is with great pleasure that I submit these nominations and I believe that Mrs. Rosevonne Pato has been instrumental in developing certification programs for academic and behavioral health counseling and serves in a leadership capacity at ASCC, and Mrs. Margaret Lealofi has over ten years of working experience providing direct client services in substance abuse treatment and has completed a full range of certification and training specific to the field,” said Governor Togiola. “I am satisfied that both candidates meet the qualification criteria for the program and demonstrate a high level of commitment to improving the quality of behavioral health services in American Samoa. I have full confidence the nominees will complete the MTDP and effectively build the local capacity of behavioral health professionals in American Samoa and throughout the Pacific Region.”

The long-term goal of the MTDP is to certify trainers who will become part of course offering by regional higher education institutions and that, as trainers, they will be utilized by SAMHSA as trainers in the Pacific region.

Participating at the launch of MTDP will be two representatives from the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia and two trainers each from American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Marshall Islands and Palau. Jurisdictions were required to nominate one educator or community college faculty representative and one behavioral health specialist.

The MTDP launch in Guam is scheduled for March 5 to 10.