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AMERICAN SAMOA NEWS Thursday, October 7, 1999 Samoa News

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (October 7, 1999 – Samoa News)---Governor Tauese Sunia was released from Straub Clinic in Honolulu yesterday after spending a few days under observation for kidney stones.

The Governor’s doctors had thought he required a surgical procedure not available locally, but he appears to be doing well enough to avoid the surgery.

Accompanied by his wife, Fagaoalii, the Governor left Friday night for Hawai‘i and was admitted Sunday to Straub Clinic.

Tauese returned to the Territory on September 27th following a two-week visit to Denmark. On the way back he "experienced serious pain to his back" according to a press statement released by acting Governor Togiola Tulafono.

The Governor consulted with LBJ Medical Center physicians, who used the new CT scanner ("catscan") for the first time to diagnose the Governor’s illness.

"It is unfortunate that the Governor had to visit our new Diagnostic Image Center under these circumstances," said Taufetee John Faumuina, Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital Authority.

Dr. Iotamo Saleapaga and Radiologist Dr. Lindahl reviewed the results and recommended that Tauese return to Hawai‘i to have kidney stones removed by lithotripsy procedure (which is not available in American Samoa), instead of open surgery.

The Governor’s condition is not life threatening, according to Dr. Saleapaga, but should be treated to prevent further discomfort and complication.

"Barring any complications, the Governor should have a fast recovery and be up and ready to go very soon," he said.

But now it appears that surgical treatment will not be necessary, for which "we thank God," Togiola said.

And if all goes well, the Governor is expected back in the Territory next week Monday.

In the meantime, Taufetee said it is reassuring to know that "we now have this diagnostic facility which will be beneficial to everyone in American Samoa."

"This is a big step forward in improving our health and patient care capabilities," Taufetee concluded.

The Diagnostic Image Center will be dedicated tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.



PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (October 7, 1999 – Samoa News)---Mentally ill patients will soon have their own acute care wing at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center, thanks to a five-year old court order that won’t go away and a hospital authority administration that is receptive to the idea.

Issued in September 1994, the court order had specifically barred the use of the Territorial Correctional Facility for patient custody and care and ordered the Director of Health to find "a suitable care facility" for patient placement.

The order came out of a case that involved the continued commitment of a mentally ill patient that "was unable to care for herself to such a degree as to make continual care necessary…"

The order also "committed" the patient "to the care and custody of the Director of Health".



PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (October 7, 1999 – Samoa News)---Representatives from the Honolulu Campus of Education America have been on island for several weeks recruiting prospective students.

Education America is a small vocational training school located in downtown Honolulu. It offers a 60-week program in four disciplines: Clinical Medical Assisting, Criminal Justice, International Business, and Medical Office Administration.

Graduates are conferred with an Associate of Applied Science degree.

There are no SAT requirements or entrance tests required for enrollment.

The school’s Director of Financial Assistance and the President of the Hawaii campus are arriving Friday, October 8 to interview potential applicants.



PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (October 7, 1999 – Samoa News)---Construction of the new Juvenile Detention Center is almost complete and the Center is expected to be in use before the year is out.

The new center includes eight cell-rooms (four each for boys and girls) plus four isolation cells.

The cells are 14 feet by 14 feet and are designed to hold two inmates.

The 8,000 sq. ft. facility includes a full kitchen, two full bathrooms, a recreation room that doubles as a classroom, and a multi-colored eggshell blue and coral pink pastel interior decoration scheme.



PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (October 7, 1999 – Samoa News)---The Pago Pago Village Council was surprised to learn earlier this week that the Port of Administration is planning to use part of Pago Park as a temporary storage container facility.

Speaking on behalf of the PPVC, Pulenu’u Leasina Tufele commented that they are "very disappointed" with the government for agreeing to Port Director Abe Malae’s idea.

"I’m very disappointed with them. The government and Pago village have an agreement that this park is for recreation," said Tufele.

He doesn’t think that the village council will agree with the container facility, which is located near the ocean on the other side of the field from Korea House. However, he didn’t immediately comment on what the PPVC plans to do about the container facility.

In the meantime, the area continues to be leveled and prepped.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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