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Local students collaborate to find opportunities for American Samoa students within UH

Ms. Bonnelley Pauulu (ASG-Hawaii), Ms. Oilau Lutali (UH), Ms. H. Gingerlei Porter (UH), Ms. Britanica Sene (UH) and Mr. Soliali’i Falepo (ASG-Hawaii)
Source: PITD and PBTRC media release

Honolulu, Hawaii – Ms. Gingerlei Porter and students from the UH Manoa, Ms. Oilau Lutali and Ms. Britanica Sene, met with officials at the American Samoa Government Hawaii Office recently on potential areas for collaboration and opportunities for students from American Samoa within UH Manoa specifically the Pacific International Training Desk (PITD) and the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC)

Ms. Porter is the associate director of PITD and the program coordinator of the PBTRC at the University of Hawaii.

The PBTRC is a telehealth information resource center that services US Affiliated Pacific Islands including American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.  The goal of the PBTRC is to assist in the development of existing and new Telehealth networks and offer education, training, strategic planning and background information regarding Telehealth technology, medical information technology infrastructure, mobile health applications, and Telehealth creation, growth and maintenance.  “American Samoa DOH and LBJ Hospital have been at the forefront of using telehealth and health information systems for many years and we need to continue to build the next generation of technical experts who upon returning back to American Samoa would have the skills to support some of these systems and programs” says Porter. 

The Pacific International Training Desk (PITD) offers training on meteorology and communication systems for weather and emergency managers with training sites at the National Weather Service Honolulu and Guam.  This year (August 2018), the PITD hosted its first Roving Workshop at the National Weather Service, Pago Pago with participants from American Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau and Samoa.  “I would also like express our appreciation to Governor Lolo and Lt. Governor Lemanu for their support of that initiative and we look forward to continuing to work together on future training opportunities on telehealth, meteorology and satellite communication” says Porter. 

Currently working with Ms. Porter at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa are two students from American Samoa - Ms. Oilau Lutali from Taputimu and Ms. Britanica Sene from Auto. Ms. Lutali is in her Junior Year and majoring in Public Health with a focus in Medical Anthropology. Ms. Sene studied Microbiology for her undergraduate degree and is working towards entry requirements to the Masters in Public Health. They both intend to take what they have learned in their academic journeys at UH Manoa, along with the experience they have gained at UH TASI (Telecommunications and Social Informatics), and integrate it into their community to better serve their people and island.

For more information:

Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center - or
Pacific International Training Desk or