Pacific Partnership Teams Up with University of Hawaii to provide Humanitarian Assistance to the Pacific
POHNPEI, Federated States of Micronesia (July 7, 2011) University of Hawaii School of Nursing faculty member Teresa Parsons sees a patient at Nanpei High School as part of Pacific Partnership. (Royal Australian Navy Leading Seaman Imagery Specialist Helen Frank)
Pacific Partnership Teams Up with University of Hawaii to provide Humanitarian Assistance to the Pacific
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Farrington, Pacific Partnership 2011 Public Affairs
POHNPEI, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) – The University of Hawaii teamed up with Pacific Partnership 2011 to beginning a partnership with the university’s School of Nursing, July 7.

The University of Hawaii's School of Nursing will work with Pacific Partnership, an annual humanitarian assistance initiative sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, to provide medical aid and educational outreach to the South Pacific and Oceania regions.

“Pacific Partnership is a great opportunity to work together on numerous humanitarian projects that will benefit the people of the region,” said Teresa Parsons, a retired Army colonel and professor of nursing at the University of Hawaii. “The Navy is able to transport a large amount of supplies and personnel to the Pacific. At the same time, the university has long standing relationships with these countries that have been strengthened through various volunteer and study abroad programs over the years.”

Parsons is the first representative from the University of Hawaii to participate in Pacific Partnership. She is currently embarked aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD7), which is the flagship for Pacific Partnership 2011. She travels ashore almost everyday to engage in medical capacity programs for the people of FSM.

“The university has a robust group of individuals, faculty and students, with diverse backgrounds in medical care that are eager to interact with the people in the region,” Parson’s continued. “Students will also learn about the local culture and about the different types of medicine and diseases in that part of the world.”

Although only two members of the university faculty are participating this year, the university plans to assign more faculty and students to the Pacific Partnership 2012 mission, when they will be working side by side with Navy corpsmen and doctors, and medical contingents from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and other countries.

“The growth of the University of Hawaii program will bring an even larger ‘whole of government’ approach to humanitarian assistance missions like Pacific Partnership,” Said Capt. Jesse A. Wilson, Pacific Partnership 2011 mission commander and Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23. “Pacific Partnership will be able to benefit from the University of Hawaii's longstanding relationships with the people of the pacific and utilize subject matter experts like Professor Parsons.”

Wilson believes this partnership will expand the vision for Pacific Partnership and help improve lasting relationships in the region.

“It will be a unique experience for our Navy and partner nation medical contingent working together with the University of Hawaii's School of Nursing,” continued Wilson. “Our combined team will be able to share experiences and expertise to the benefit of the host nation people we work with and serve.”

Aimed at improving interoperability between host and partner nations, Pacific Partnership 2011 has completed its mission in Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste and is currently in the Federated States of Micronesia.

During the past five years, Pacific Partnership has provided medical, dental, educational, and preventive medicine services to more than 241,000 people and completed more than 150 engineering projects in 15 countries.
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