U.S. GRANT TARGETS PACIFIC HEALTH PROBLEMS

News Release

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye Washington, D.C. Sept. 20, 2007

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye announced today that the University of Hawaii at Manoa has been awarded a federal grant of $850,000 to launch a healthcare initiative for citizens of the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands.

The program will aid the people of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas Islands, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia in their homelands, and the more than 100,000 who have migrated to Hawaii and the continental United States. It will also have a special emphasis on breast and cervical cancer prevention.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health will use the grant to establish the Pacific Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities to carry out the initiative.

"The U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands suffer significant disparities in healthcare access and outcomes when compared to the United States," Senator Inouye said. "Cancer mortality, for example, is the second most common cause of death in nearly very USAPI jurisdiction. Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in the region, and both breast and cervical cancer are very prevalent.

"The Pacific Center can play a crucial role in ensuring that culturally acceptable cancer screening and preventive services can reach people in remote rural areas, as well as in urban centers."

The Pacific Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities, envisioned to be a national expert resource center for breast and cervical cancer, will provide the technical assistance for comprehensive, community-oriented healthcare strategies

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