The PIHOA Secretariat & Staff

The PIHOA Staff works in Guam, the Republic of Palau, and Honolulu. The Staff includes a full-time Executive Director, Regional Laboratory Coordinator, Regional Human Resources for Health (HRH) Coordinator, Regional PM/QA/QI and Health Information Management Systems Coordinator, Pacific Basin Primary Care Office (PCO) Coordinator, Finance Officer, Accountant, Honolulu Administrative Officer, Guam Administrative Officer, and a Communications Officer.

Mrs. Emi Chutaro, Executive Director, MSc

Emi Chutaro

Emi Chutaro is the Executive Director of the Secretariat Staff. She is from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)and has worked in the Pacific as a health and education professional for the past 16 years. Emi was an Instructor at the College of the Marshall Islands, Grants Director for the RMI Ministry of Education, and Program Manager for the UNDP and the Marshall Islands Economic Policy Planning and Statistics Office. In addtion, she was the Chair of the RMI Ministry of Health Institutional Review Board. For the past 8 years, she worked for the Public Health Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), first as the Behavior Change Communication Officer, and subsequently as the Grants Coordinator for the Northern Pacific. Emi has worked extensively with the NGO community in Kiribati, Fiji, New Zealand, Cook Islands, RMI, and the Federeates States of Micronesia (FSM) in grant writing, grants management, institutional strengthening, community health outreach training, adolescent sexual and reproductive health clinical service delivery and health program development. She also has worked across a number of countries includinf Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Nauru, FSM, RMI, Cook Islands, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and Australia. Emi has a Master's in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries (Health and Education) from the London School of Economics and a Bachelors' in French and International Politics from Bryn Mawr College.

Mrs. Vasiti Uluiviti, MS, Regional Laboratory Coordinator

Vasiti Uluiviti, MS

Vasiti manages PIHOA's regional laboratory system and offers technical assistance to hospital laboratories for the six US-affiliated Pacific Islands and to reference laboratories in Guam and Hawaii. She has been with PIHOA since 2005 and is based in the Guam Public Health Laboratory. She also provides training, quality assurance, and other needed technical support to clinical and reference laboratories. She holds a Master of Medical Science (Pathology) and is Board certified with the American Society of Clinical Pathology as Technologist Microbiology. Vasiti is a pacific islander from Fiji, she is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in microbiology.

Dr. Gregory Dever, M.D., Regional Human Resources for Health (HRH) Coordinator

Greg Dever, M.D.

Dr. Dever acts as a focal point for health workforce development among the six PIHOA members with the overall objective of developing a sustainable, appropriate and skilled workforce that can meet the health care needs of USAPI communities. Dr. Dever assists PIHOA members to articulate health workforce policy and strategies. He coordinates resources and provides technical assistance by developing regional partnerships and implementing programs with health departments, hospitals and community colleges and health centers. Dr. Dever has lived and worked in the Pacific since 1968; he is a Pediatrician and Clinical Faculty at John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii and is a past Director of Clinical Services, Belau National Hospital, Ministry of Health of Palau. He is the current director of the Palau Area Health Education Center and is author/or PI of numerous publications and several HRSA grants related to health workforce development.

Dr. Mark Durand, M.D., MPH, Regional PM/QA/QI and Health Information Management Systems Coordinator

Mark Durand, M.D.

Dr. Durand provides technical assistance and leadership to the PIHOA in areas related to Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement and Health Information Systems. He has worked extensively in health agencies throughout the USAPI in areas such as health workforce planning and development, development of disease surveillance systems, health information systems, strategic planning for health agencies, and quality assurance program development. He is the former director of health services in Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia, a public health administrator/ medical director in the Northern Mariana Islands, and director of the Yap Area Health Education Center and a faculty member in the University of Hawaii- John A Burns School of Medicine- Palau Area Health Education Center -Community Health residency program for physicians. Dr. Durand has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers related to health services in the Pacific.

Dr. Angela (Angie) Techur-Pedro, MO., MPH., MA., Ph.D, PIHOA Pacific Basin Primary Care Office (PCO) Coordinator

Angela (Angie) Techur-Pedro, MO/MPH/MA

Angie has experience as a Medical Officer and was a 1994 graduate of the Pacific Basin Medical Officers Training Program under UH John A Burns School of Medicine. She also has an incredible educational background as an Epidemiologist with a MPH in Epidemiology, an MA in Medical Sociology and rerecently graduated with her Ph.D in Epidemiology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Since 2010 Angie served as a Health Data Specialist consultant for the Pacific Basin PCO responsible for improvements in HPSA/MUA/P data collection, reporting and designation updates, and NHSC site certification, health professional recruitment, and retention in the USAPIs. Under the new Pacific Basin PCO grant, Ms. Techur-Pedro, will continue in her current role for health data collection, including HPSA/MUA/P data collection, analysis and reporting; and assisting Dr. Dever in updating USAPI designations in support of on-going NHSC/Nurse Corps recruitment and retention processes and information-sharing/dialogue with USAPI health leadership.

Ms. Luana Bass, MBA, Financial Officer

Luana Bass

Luana is born-and-raised on the North shore of O'ahu, as well as in American Samoa. Luana has over ten years of experience in the non-profit sector, and twenty+ years in private/public sector, providing fiscal and administrative support. Luana recently completed her Master's in Business Management (MBA) in 2016 from Argosy University. Luana comes to PIHOA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Office of Public Health Studies (OPHS) department, where she provided overall management for State of Hawai’i Dept. of Health (DOH) funded projects, housed under Research Corp. of the University of Hawai’i (RCUH). These DOH funding primarily focused on chronic disease management programs: implementing policies and programs to create sustainable systematic changes by supporting healthy lifestyles changes in Hawaii's communities, schools and workplaces. Funding was for a statewide effort to reduce core behaviors that contributed to chronic disease e.g. smoking, inactivity and poor diet. She provided Human Resource and Project management in the areas of planning, development, implementation and evaluation for all related projects assigned. Her desire is to work and serve the communities of USAPI, supports local farmers and companies. Luana is very active in her local community, and enjoys canoe paddling.

Mrs. Elisa Dunlap, Accountant

Elisa Dunlap

Elisa works closely with the Finance Officer as the new Accountant for PIHOA. She provides accounting and fiscal functions to support the daily operations of the Administrative, Management and Program staff. She graduated from Saint Martins University with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and a minor in Business. Elisa has over 20 years of accounting experience and 10 of those years were working for the Washington State Department of Early Learning in the accounting department and her last two years she helped support the IT Help Desk where she acquired knowledge about networking and computers. Elisa was born in Mexico City and moved to the US to attend college in Texas and her first language is Spanish.

Mr. Regie Tolentino, Honolulu Administrative Officer

Regie Tolentino

Regie provides the overall administrative support and logistical functions for the organization and its members. In addition, he is also responsible for coordinating meetings and conference calls; assisting with procurement, accounting and finance; maintaining PIHOA calendars, listservers and the website. Regie is originally from the Island of Maui and is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He served four years active duty in the US Air Force and has extensive work experience in event planning, office management, and logistics.

Mrs. Andrea Whitt, Office and Program Support Officer

Andrea Whitt

Andrea works closely with the PIHOA Guam staff as well as the Executive Director as the Office and Program Support Officer. She graduated from the University of Guam with a Bachelor of Arts in Consumer and Family Sciences. Andrea also attended Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with an emphasis in Customer Focus and Executive Programs. She has extensive Human Resources experience in Telecommunications Industry as well as executive Leadership Experience of over 10 years in Retail. Besides her role in PIHOA, Andrea and her husband run a Martial Arts School in Guam.

Ms. Billie Hiraishi, MA., Communications Officer & Admin. Support

Billie Hiraishi

Billie works closely with the Honolulu Administrative Officer providing administrative support and has started implementing communications tactics within PIHOA as the Communications Officer. Billie manages the PIHOA website, Facebook page, E-Newsletters, E-Blasts, and overall marketing components for PIHOA. Billie is also a Pacific Islander, born and raised in Hilo on Hawaii Island and fluent in the Hawaiian Language. Billie has a Bachelor's degree in Communication with a minor in Business Administration from Notre Dame de Namur Unviersity and a Master's degree in Communications from Hawaii Pacific University. She has work experience in event planning, public relations, marketing, management and communications.

 

Other Organization Staff Placements in PIHOA

Dr. Haley Cash, MPH, Ph.D, NCD Regional Epidemiologist

Haley Cash

Dr. Haley Cash works closely with PIHOA as the NCD Regional Epidemiologist for the USAPI under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She provides epidemiological support to the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands and is responsible for supporting chronic disease surveillance and epidemiologic capacity in the region. She is the former epidemiologist for the Ministry of Health, Republic of Palau. Dr. Cash is originally from Rhode Island and completed her graduate studies at Brown University.

Dr. W. Thane Hancock, MD, MPH, Career Epidemiology Field Officer

W. Thane Hancock

W. Thane Hancock, MD, MPH Thane was born and raised in Hawaii with an older adopted brother from the Federated States of Micronesia. While growing up, he spent summers with his brother's family on Ulithi Atoll in Yap State. When he was 14, during one of the visits, he fell ill and quickly appreciated the impact of being in a resource-limited health system. He decided that he would later come back to Micronesia to serve as a health professional.

He received his BA in Anthropology from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and then returned to the Pacific for his MPH, MD, and residency training at the University of Hawaii. Upon completing his family medicine residency, Thane accepted a job with the Wa'ab Community Health Center in Yap, Micronesia where he fulfilled his National Health Service Corps commitment working as a family physician. In 2011, Thane joined C.D.C.'s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) where he worked in the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch of the Division of Foodborne Waterborne and Environmental Diseases. In 2013, he returned to Yap State to serve as a physician with a focus on non-communicable diseases and to assist the Yap EpiNet Team with outbreak surveillance and response. After a year and half of service in Yap, he joined the Pacific Island Health Officers' Association and C.D.C. as the new Career Epidemiology Field Officer for the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. He values the opportunity to serve with other public health professionals to help strengthen epidemiology across the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands.

Previous Executive Directors

A list of previous Executive Directors of PIHOA follows below.

  • Roylinne Wada (1987-1998)
  • D. William Wood (1999)
  • Stephen Karel (2000)
  • Robert Tucker (2002 - 2005)
  • Pete Untalan (2005) Interim
  • Dave Rykken (2006) Interim
  • Gregory Dever (2007) Interim
  • Michael Epp (2007 - 2013)
  • Emi Chutaro (2013 - present)

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