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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pacific islands gearing up for historic regional meet
Over 150 participants to hear presentations on preparedness, emergency response

Over 100 guests and participants from the Pacific and the federal government are scheduled to gather on Saipan for the historic 2012 Regional Pacific Island Preparedness and Emergency Response meeting this month.

The event, to be held at the Kanoa Resort, is slated from Oct. 22 to 26 and is being organized by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of State and Local Readiness.

Warren Villagomez, the corporation’s director for emergency and preparedness program, told Saipan Tribune that the assembly has two main focus points. The first day is designed as a training session with CDC’s procurement and grants office staff conducting presentations on grants management issues. On the second day, federal representatives will be providing one-on-one individual technical assistance to attendees.

Villagomez said that among the prime objectives of this session are to provide Pacific Islands and its partners basic understanding of the grants management process, provide references to U.S. laws and policies that govern grants management, discuss the steps involved in completing grant applications, and provide an overview of the payment management system and how it relates to grants management, and many others.

Participants will also be provided hands-on experience in Strategic National Stockpile Warehouse operations and learn about SNS inventory management, mass antibiotic dispensing, SNS site security and risk communication.

Among the event’s presenters are Alison Johnson, Glynnis Taylor, Barbara Cooper, Adam Lofton, Ron Halverson, Doug Moscovic, Patrick Lujan, Warren Villagomez, Laura Ross, Janice McMichael, Erik Vincent, Tia Lemusu, Simpson Lanwi, Arthy Nena, Josie O’Mallan, and Fabian Iyar.

Villagomez said it is hoped that Pacific islands and their partners will get more knowledge and skills that are vital in the exercise of preparedness programs throughout the Pacific. The event will be funded by federal grants.

U.S. territories and Pacific nations expected to send representatives to the event are the CNMI, Guam, Hawaii, Marshall Islands, and Federated States of Micronesia.

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