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Health Ed center has teens shadowing health professionals

[SN file photo]
compiled by Samoa News staff

The American Samoa Area Health Education Center (AHEC) summer program is in full swing and the participants have been engaged in various activities. Thursday, the group made their first of three planned visits to the LBJ Medical Center in Fagaalu for orientation, after which they will begin shadowing health professionals.

Program coordinator Monica Afalava told Samoa News yesterday that the two-week event, called the 2017 Summer Health Academy, is free of charge and targets 16-18 year olds.

"Our mission statement is 'Improving the health of our community through education and health workforce development' because we believe that American Samoa is capable of 'Growing Our Own Healers'," Afalava explained.

According to her, the academy was designed to:

1.       Expose students to various health professions available in American Samoa;

2.       Educate them about how to lead healthy lifestyles;

3.       Introduce them to services that government agencies and departments provide to protect and enhance our health; and

4.       Provide training to gain leadership and clinical skills

The American Samoa AHEC program is under the umbrella of the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) and will be ongoing daily from 9 a.m. - 3p.m. until next Friday, August 4th.

"The academy was designed to expose students to various careers in the health field, while also educating them about how to lead healthy lifestyles, in hopes that they would be interested in pursuing a career in the health field," said Afalava.

The program is sponsored by the Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs and GHC Reid & Company, Ltd.

Partners include the AS-EPA, ASPA, ASCC Land Grant, ASCC Nursing program, DHSS, DOH, DOA's Veterinary Clinic, LBJ Medical Center, OPAD, Voc Rehab, Veterans Affairs' community based outpatient clinic, Aj Bok Dalmacio, Cassandra Bess Lund, Erica Afalava-Magalei, Florence Wasko, Ioane Vaimaona, Peteru Lam Yuen, and Toefuataina Taai.