The Yap AHEC: an update 2002-2006

A Mark Durand, Leona Tamag, Arthur Yolwa, Victor A Ngaden, Anna Boliy, Vincent Tafleimal, Kelley Withy, Gregory J Dever, Pedro T Untalan, Faye Untalan, Marcus Samo, Nena S Nena
Pacific Health Dialog 2007, 14 (1): 234-8
The Yap Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is one of three U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration-funded AHEC programs in the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Island jurisdictions (together with those in Palau and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). The Pacific Island AHECs are administered through the University of Hawai'i, John A. Burns School of Medicine and were founded in response to recommendations for development of the local health workforce by the U.S. Institute of Medicine in its 1998 report, "Pacific Partnerships for Health". The goal of the Yap AHEC is to build human capacity in the health workforce, and thereby strengthen the health service and improve health status for the people of Yap State. An ancillary goal is to pilot test new approaches to health workforce development, which might be shared with others in the region. These goals have been pursued by building partnerships with colleges in the region, with the new Wa'ab Community Health Center project in Yap and the Yap State Department of Health Services to bring formal college programs for students and health service staff to Yap State. To date, formal relationships have been established with five colleges; Palau Community College (PCC), the College of Micronesia-Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji School of Medicine (Department of Public Health & Primary Care), University of Hawai'i, Hilo, and the University of Alaska, Anchorage. A total of 143 students have been enrolled in 48 courses in several health worker disciplines, including clinical nurses, health assistant/dispensary managers, community health outreach workers, public health program staff pharmacy technicians and x-ray technicians. In addition to facilitating the delivery of courses in Yap, a new 6-course certificate program has been developed for community outreach workers in collaboration with the College of Micronesia, FSM and the Wa'ab Community Health Center (Wa'ab CHC) in order to support the CHC's innovative health service delivery model. The Yap AHEC has also assisted the College of Micronesia-FSM in the World Health Organization sponsored development of a proposal for the establishment of a nursing program, which is based on the decentralized, on-site (DC-OS) nursing training model that has been pilot tested in partnership with PCC at Yap State Hospital.

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