Story by Emily Yeh on 12/21/2017HONOLULU - In 2017, Regional Health Command Pacific continued to provide valuable health capacity and capability through global health engagements in the Pacific arena.
RHC-P also focused on strengthening its global health engagement foundation by increasing its joint synchronization in health engagement planning, coordination and execution this year.
"The focused efforts meant that other service component health personnel assisted with fulfilling and enhancing capability requirements for RHC-P's global health engagement activities," said Brad Cogswell, Global Health Engagements, RHC-P.
This designed approach can enhance joint readiness and provide Army personnel with more of a sustained presence and awareness in certain partner nations.
"We have made strides in working toward an enhanced joint service global health model, and Army health personnel still held key roles in planning and participating in over 60 health engagements such as subject matter expert exchanges, exercises and senior leader engagements in 2017," said Cogswell.
Throughout the year RHC-P remained committed to the readiness of its medical force which included sharing its medical expertise. By engaging in health engagements, the region is better trained and prepared to strengthen relationships at home and internationally. The ability to use the knowledge to build and strengthen relationships throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region is an integral part of accomplishing lifesaving missions in diverse environments.
Here is a quick look back at some of the health missions and senior leader engagements RHC-P conducted or participated in during 2017.
Bangladesh: The region conducted three missions in Bangladesh, two fistula repair missions and a clinical laboratory subject matter expert exchange. During the fistula repair missions, a surgical team from RHC-P's Tripler Army Medical Center performed over 80 total surgeries, conducted multiple lectures, trained local hospital personnel and met with Bangladeshi leadership.
During the clinical laboratory subject matter expert exchange, one of RHC-Ps direct reporting units, the18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) led a global health security agenda engagement in Dhaka, Bangladesh to increase theater security cooperation and gain a better appreciation for the Bangladesh Armed Forces capacity to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats.
Cambodia: In July and Sept. Tripler once again supported the U.S. Pacific Command's Blood Safety Program in Cambodia. During the July engagement, blood centers and hospitals conducted collaborative training during a workshop. In Sept. Tripler personnel attended the transition planning partners meeting at the Cambodia National Blood Transfusion Center. The engagement enhanced Cambodia's professionalization in biosecurity, supported land forces contribution to regional and global security and advanced a whole of government approach.
China: During July, subject matter experts from Tripler joined colleagues from other services for a recurring joint force exchange. The exchange focused on alternative treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder and other medical issues utilizing traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture.
Hong Kong: Veterinary specialists from Public Health Activity delivered a two-day, hands-on, continuing education course in veterinary emergency surgical procedures as part of a continuing education series for veterinarians from Asia and the United Kingdom.
Indonesia: Public Health Command-Pacific supported a team consisting of members from the Office of the Surgeon General, (Deputy-Chief of Staff Public Health), 95th Chemical Company and the Hawaii National Guard to conduct a bilateral chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear medical engagement in Jakarta, Indonesia. The exchange supported the establishment of sustainable military capability for the Indonesian Armed Forces.
Mongolia: In June and Sept. a team of nurses and medical logistics subject matter experts executed a bilateral exchange with the Mongolian Armed Forces. Personnel from RHC-P, Tripler, Pacific Air Forces and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences provided training on biomedical equipment, and covered nursing subjects such as palliative care, nursing leadership, emergency care and the assessment and treatment of casualties.
Palau: In July and Aug. military and civilian personnel from RHC-P's military treatment facilities provided medical support to Palau. In July, a six person military and civilian ear, nose and throat team from Tripler once again provided care in Palau as part of the on-going Compact of Free Association (COFA) agreement. Through this long standing agreement, RHC-P and Tripler have provided high end surgical needs requested by Palau's Ministry of Health. This mission enhances operation and deployment skill sets of our providers. In Aug. a three person team from Madigan Army Medical Center's cardiology service provided cardiovascular consultative services to the medically underserved population in Koror, Palau.
Philippines: In Oct., Public Health Command-Pacific representatives led a hands-on seminar on emergency veterinary medical procedures at the Philippine Animal Hospital Association's annual conference. The seminar enhanced the capabilities of local practitioners and built relationships between local veterinarians and U.S. military veterinarians.
Singapore: In May, RHC-P participated in the Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange, co-sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and the Singapore Armed Forces, in Singapore. The scientific meeting consisted of plenary and break-out sessions, invited speakers, oral presentations and scientific poster presentations.
Thailand: RHC-P and PHA-Japan conducted subject matter expert exchanges in Thailand in Feb. and Aug. 2017. RHC-P, alongside the Uniformed Services University Center for Global Health Engagement and the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group, engaged with the Royal Thai Army to assist with their U.N. missions in South Sudan deployment.
PHA-Japan sent veterinary officers to support a food safety and zoonotic disease exchange which included various scenarios that required regional public health response to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief events.
Vietnam: During Feb., July and Sept., teams from units around the U.S. Army in the Pacific participated in on-going humanitarian mine assistance medical training in Vietnam. The participants planned and developed medical capabilities, as well as conducted training which consisted of tactical combat casualty care and other basic clinical operations.