The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. had named Samantha Birmingham-Babauta as its public information officer.
A CNMI native, Birmingham-Babauta obtained her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Northridge. She is also the CNMI’s first Gates Millennium scholar in 2011.
After a post-graduate internship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Birmingham-Babauta returned to Saipan to work for CHCC as a service navigator for the Division of Public Health where she was primarily responsible for outreach and education to the community about the Zika virus and associated birth defects.
In her most recent role, Birmingham-Babauta served as the research associate for Policy, Sustainability, and Development. She was responsible for planning and analyzing evidence-based practices in health, mobilizing community partners, and supporting in developmental projects for the hospital and public health.
“I’m excited to take on the PIO role for CHCC. Communication is important in any agency and I think that much of the misunderstanding that occurs is because of gaps in communication and therefore a gap in information. There’s a lot of great work that happens behind the scenes and I’m enthusiastic about sharing that work with the community,” she said.
While the role of PIO was held by different persons in the past and used mainly during emergencies, CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña said that Birmingham-Babauta’s appointment is an acknowledgement “more than ever [of] the need to have a specific individual focused in being the conduit of information to all of CHCC’s internal and external stakeholders. Sami brings her recent experience and her background in health to accomplish CHCC’s goal to bring information to stakeholders early and engage them with CHCC’s board of trustees, administration, management, and staff.” (PR)