Interior provides grant funding to A. Samoa


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Acting assistant secretary Nikolao Pula made available yesterday $212,800 in technical assistance funding from the Office of Insular Affairs to support three initiatives supported by American Samoa Gov. Lolo Moliga that will improve critical health care services in the territory.

“We are pleased to support the Governor in improving responsiveness to critical health care needs for the residents,” said Pula. “With the limited healthcare that exists on the island, we must help patients gain access to more advanced treatment while also ensuring efficiency of treatment on island.”

The projects funded from FY2017 OIA Technical Assistance Funds are as follows:

Cancer Patient Navigator Program – $108,320 is provided to the American Samoa Cancer Coalition to assess and modify the community-based Patient Navigation System which will be implemented through the Lyndon Baines Johnson Tropical Medical Center to improve access and guidance in cancer treatment healthcare for affected American Samoa residents.  Currently, there is a lack of coordination in the territory for proper diagnosis and treatment once a patient has received a suspicious clinical finding indicative of cancer. Patients beginning their fight against cancer in the territory are without proper support and guidance to seek and navigate advanced cancer treatments in the more complex and expensive healthcare systems off-island.

Comprehensive Clinical Documentation Improvement Initiative – $80,200 is provided to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Tropical Medical Center to improve clinical charting and documentation amongst physicians, medical coders and billers to improve patient safety outcomes, accountability, clinical preparedness, billing procedures, and overall quality of patient care. This funding is provided as a follow-up on recommendations provided through a Physician Assessment and Clinical Education program conducted by the University of California, San Diego, and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services facility surveys conducted in the territory.

Surgical Wound Care and Certified Hyperbaric Technological Training – $24,280 is funded to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Tropical Medical Center to provide for professional training and workforce development and capacity building of the local medical professional workforce, particularly in surgical wound care and certified hyperbaric therapy.  Given the rising increase of incidences of diabetes, obesity and vascular diseases in American Samoa, this funding supports the growing need for improved and enhanced strategies to manage wound care on the island. (OIA)

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