The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) held a grand opening for their new Wellness Center yesterday, and it is located next to the Tauiliili Pemerika Center, at ASCC Land Grant/ CNR.


The building is a two-story 7,050 square foot affair, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Hatch and Housing Urban Development (HUD) funding. Its primary purpose is to seek evidence-based and culturally sensitive interventions to improve the health of the people of American Samoa.


Keynote speaker for the Grand Opening was Lieutenant Governor Lemanu P. Mauga who spoke about the chronic and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) of the territory, and he remarked on how many in the territory have diabetes.


In speaking about hypertension and cardiovascular disease in American Samoa the Lt. Governor stated that as parents and adults we must look at the numbers of cases of these diseases here. “The numbers are growing, just like our habits, they are growing and growing, with our children taking after us,” said the Lt. Governor.


“Those high numbers tell us something. I either have to slow down, or change my habits of eating. And guess who will follow if I change my habits of eating — it will be my children,” he said.


Before the ribbon cutting ceremony with First Lady Cynthia Moliga doing the honors, there was an Umusaga and Ava ceremony for the VIPs and guests, conducted by members of the ASCC/CNR Land Grant staff, who also led a tour of the Wellness Center afterward.


The new center contains a Triage for private consultation in nutrition, exercise and health assessment. It also contains an Exercise Lab that will be equipped with brand new state of the art equipment. A Nutrition Center in the building will be utilized for nutrition education, classes and food demonstrations by the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program according to grand opening literature.


The second floor of the Wellness Center houses offices and rooms for a Food Policy Analyst, Exercise Physiologist and Community Nutritionist in addition to a Health Communications Room, Media Center, EFNEP Offices, and the CHL Research Project-Principal Investigator Office and a Library.

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