Former Public Health secretary Dr. Isamu J. Abraham passed away on Thursday morning due to a massive stroke at his residence in Finasisu. He was 68.
Abraham served as public health secretary for four years that ended in 1997, during the term of Gov. Froilan Tenorio.
Until his passing, Dr. Abraham was a member of the World Health Organization Sub-regional Committee working on polio eradication. Since 2011, he was a member of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant Evidence-based Intervention Workgroup, Project Brabu, CNMI.
He is survived by his wife Felicitas “Tee” Pangelinan Abraham and their four children: Lisa Kimberly A. Rengechel, Joanna Dolores “Jody” P. Abraham, Jon Christopher P. Abraham, and Michelle Kerin A. Scholz.
Memorial Mass will be at Mt. Carmel Cathedral on Friday at 11:30am. Visitation to pay last respects will begin at 9:30am at the Cathedral.
Federated States of Micronesia President Emanuel “Manny” Mori has expressed his condolences to Felicitas Abraham.
“I am really sorry to hear about Isamu's untimely passing. I still have a very vivid impression of our last meeting [on] Saipan,” said Mori in an email to Felicitas Abraham on Sunday.
The president said he will be sending official condolences to the family.
Joanna Dolores “Jody” P. Abraham, a prevention specialist at Public Health, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that their father's remains will be cremated at his behest. They will keep half of the ashes on Saipan, while the other half will be scattered in Kosrae, where their father was born.
She described her father as very humble and hardworking.
“He would do everything for his family. He believed in working hard, giving back to his community,” the daughter said.
Dr. Abraham wrote numerous articles and papers on Pacific health issues. He was the author of the CNMI's 2000 Youth Tobacco Survey.
From 1998 to August 2002, Dr. Abraham was a special health adviser for the CNMI government, and the Department of Public Health.
In 2003, Dr. Abraham was a special health adviser to the CNMI Legislature's Committee on Health.
In October 2000, former Secretary Donna E. Shalala of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services appointed him to the “Secretary's Advisory Committee on Minority Health.”
Dr. Abraham was president of a Kosraean Christian Endeavor Organization on Saipan. He was a past chairman of the CNMI Council for the Humanities. He was also a member of the CNMI Task Force working on cancer issues.