Foundation Scholarship Brings Nurses from Pohnpei to Guam for Training

An underutilized scholarship through the University of Guam Endowment Foundation funded an intensive ten-day training at the University of Guam and Guam Memorial Hospital for four nurses and two nurse educators from Pohnpei. The Pohnpei nurses completed their training on July 13 under the guidance of the UOG School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“This was an amazing collaboration that will directly improve the quality of the FSM’s existing and upcoming health care workforce as well as the health of their people,” said Dr. Margaret Hattori-Uchima, Dean of UOG’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “And when the islands of Micronesia are strong individually, our region is stronger as a whole.”

The Charles H. Parent Scholarship was established by Dr. Charles H. Parent, a former physician at the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services who passed away in 2007. It was intended to provide funding for students from Micronesia to pursue nursing degrees at UOG starting in Fanuchånan 2017, but the UOG Nursing program did not have enough Micronesian nursing students to fully utilize the funds, with just two students from Chuuk graduating in the past year.

Dr. Hattori-Uchima approached the Endowment Foundation Board with a proposal that the scholarship funds be used to fund a 10-day training opportunity at GMH for working nurses and nurse educators in Micronesia, and the board approved it the same day.

“The Foundation reviewed the request and came to the conclusion that this training opportunity was in line with the intent of the donor,” said Melanie Mendiola, Executive Director of the UOG Endowment Foundation. “Dr. Parent was passionate about meeting the needs of the underserved — most especially, individuals from the outer islands.”

Many of the health care workers in the Federated States of Micronesia have inadequate foundational training and are trained on-site by others working in the same position, according to a cancer control plan published by the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs.

Dr. Hattori-Uchima verified the need for training first-hand when she toured the Pohnpei State Hospital and spoke with the nursing staff there in her role as acting director of Guam/Micronesia Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The AHEC is a grant program administered by UOG’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences that is meant to improve health care in underserved communities by increasing the number and skills of health care workers.

The collaboration between UOG’s School of Nursing, the AHEC offices, Guam Memorial Hospital, and the UOG Endowment Foundation ultimately brought four nurses from Pohnpei State Hospital and two nursing educators from the College of Micronesia-FSM to Guam on July 1 for 10 days of intensive training on basic procedures and skills specific to their units.

An AHEC office at the College of Micronesia used its grant funds to pay for the participants’ travel costs.

In order to have the broadest impact on the hospital overall, the UOG School of Nursing chose nurses from four different departments of the Pohnpei hospital — labor and delivery, the emergency room, the surgical ward, and obstetrics and pediatrics. Nursing educators from the College of Micronesia were also selected to participate.

“The intent was that they needed to come to Guam with an idea of an improvement project at their hospital or school,” Dr. Hattori-Uchima said. “They did a great job. They all had really great ideas.”

In particular, the nurses wanted to improve their hospital’s abilities for triage, wound care, and infection control.

Their first day of training was at UOG. UOG School of Nursing faculty Dr. Kathryn Wood, Dr. James Finch, and Veronica Alave taught them health assessment, infection control, and delivering babies with limited resources. They engaged in simulation exercises to prepare them for GMH.

Dr. James Finch, a nursing instructor at the University of Guam, looks on as Jessica Kerman, an emergency room nurse from Pohnpei State Hospital, performs a procedure during a training session on helping newborns to breathe.
Dr. James Finch, a nursing instructor at the University of Guam, looks on as Jessica Kerman, an emergency room nurse from Pohnpei State Hospital, performs a procedure during a training session on helping newborns to breathe. Kerman was one of six nurses to attend the 10-day training arranged by UOG’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences.

 

Then GMH Director of Nursing Zennia Pecina assigned the trainees to appropriate units of GMH, where they shadowed the staff and learned how to use certain equipment, like an electrocardiogram.

“Training is really a strength of GMH nurses,” Pecina said. “Most of them are UOG graduates, so they were trained well. This partnership allowed them to pass on their knowledge using the same training techniques.”

Additionally, she said the exchange was beneficial for Guam’s nurses and nurse educators as well. “GMH sees a lot of patients from other islands, and the exchange has been good training in terms of cultural sensitivity with matters of health care,” Pecina said.

Six nurses from Pohnpei underwent training at the University of Guam and Guam Memorial Hospital from July 2–12 using the Charles H. Parent Scholarship through the UOG Endowment Foundation.
Six nurses from Pohnpei underwent training at the University of Guam and Guam Memorial Hospital from July 2–12 using the Charles H. Parent Scholarship through the UOG Endowment Foundation. (From left) Jessica Kerman, emergency room nurse, Pohnpei State Hospital; Zennia Pecina, Director of Nursing, GMH; Wesihner John, obstetrics and pediatrics nurse; Aireen Ezekias, surgical nurse, both from Pohnpei State Hospital; Rudelyn Dacanay, nursing instructor, College of Micronesia-FSM; Mary Victor, nurse midwife, Pohnpei State Hospital; and Garnette Gorospe, nursing instructor, College of Micronesia-FSM.


During a debriefing meeting at the conclusion of their training, the nurses shared how much they had learned and what they plan to implement back at their hospital.

“I learned more about patient bedside care, infection control, and new technologies they’re using,” said Wesihner John, an obstetrics and pediatrics nurse at Pohnpei State Hospital. “It’s about time for us to make changes in our hospital. What we learned here, we can go back and use to improve patient care and the settings in our workplace.”

The UOG School of Nursing wants to extend this training to other islands in Micronesia and plans to make the request to the Endowment Foundation Board again next year. Yap and the Marshall Islands have also expressed interest in training opportunities for their nurses and associate degree candidates.

“If the needs of our students are in line with the intentions of the donor, I would expect that this gift would continue benefitting our island neighbors in the way that Dr. Parent intended, whether through individual scholarships, group training opportunities, or other related activities,” Mendiola said.

Mary Victor, a nurse midwife from Pohnpei State Hospital, receives a certificate of completion following her 10-day training at Guam Memorial Hospital.
Mary Victor, a nurse midwife from Pohnpei State Hospital, receives a certificate of completion following her 10-day training at Guam Memorial Hospital. (From left) Veronica Alave, nursing instructor, University of Guam’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences; Rhodora Cruz, registered nurse, GMH; Victor; Zennia Pecina, Director of Nursing, GMH; and Dr. Margaret Hattori-Uchima, Dean, UOG’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences.

 

Pohnpei nurses and nursing educators complete their training program.
Dr. Margaret Hattori-Uchima, Dean, University of Guam’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences; Rudelyn Dacanay, nursing instructor, College of Micronesia-FSM; Jessica Kerman, emergency room nurse; Wesihner John, obstetrics and pediatrics nurse; Aireen Ezekias, surgical nurse; Mary Victor, nurse midwife, all from Pohnpei State Hospital; Garnette Gorospe, nursing instructor, College of Micronesia-FSM; and Zennia Pecina, Director of Nursing, GMH.

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G is for Giving 2018 is here!

Society of Emeritus Professors and Retired Scholars donated to fund their own scholarship

It's that time of year again- G is for Giving, our annual end-of-year fundraising campaign kicks off officially on Tuesday, November 27 (#GivingTuesday). G is for Giving is a time for the UOG community, including students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, and community members, to come together and support UOG students by donating with the Triton spirit. 

Last year the G is for Giving campaign raised over $21,000 for student scholarships. This year, we are hoping to raise even more, with a goal of $25,000 to support student scholarships, research, and programs. 

What makes G is for Giving special is two main things. First, it's way for people who love UOG to make a gift that has a big impact- even gifts of $5 or $10 dollars, when added together with hundreds of other donors, can pay for a student's education! And second, it is a chance for a donor to support a scholarship or program that matters to them. Donors who donated to CLASS last year, for example, saw 5 students in that school receive academic scholarships as a result of their gift!

CLASS students receiving their G is for Giving scholarships

By giving donors the chance to choose where their donation will go, we allow people to support the schools (like the School of Education) and programs (like the Center for Island Sustainability) that matter the most to them. And these scholarships can be flexible, to suit the needs of students- perhaps a student has a loan for tuition but needs extra money to fund a research project, or afford their textbooks... G is for Giving makes this rich academic experience possible.

Think about what your college experience meant to you, and imagine how it would feel to give the gift of that experience to a student today. Consider making a tax-deductible contribution- you can donate online here. Biba UOG! 

Super Typhoon Yutu Relief Drive

The UOG Student Government Association is organizing a Super Typhoon Yutu Relief Drive to support students impacted by the devastating storm in Saipan and Tinian. The UOG Endowment Foundation is collecting donations on their behalf for a short time. You may also donate items in need. Click here for a list of item requests, or to donate funds. Si Yu'os Ma'åse'!

Boys and Girls Soccer Camps Summer 2018

Join Triton Athletics at the University of Guam for the Summer 2018 Boys and Girls Soccer Camps! All Camps are Co-Ed for ages 8 to 15. 

Camps Dates this year:

July 9-13

July 16-20

July 23-27

Camp Site: UOG Soccer/Football Field, behind the UOG Calvo Field House 

Camps will teach the fundamentals of the game, to include dribbling, passing, shooting, footwork, heading, trapping, ball control, running with the ball, turning with ball, team defense, individual defense, goal-keeping as well as playing games, situations, one of one and fitness development.

To register, please visit the registration site here:

UOG Soccer Camp 2018 Registration

 

Notre Dame High School Leads Winners of Sixth Annual Harold Dean Gillham Bridge Design and Build Competition

Notre Dame High School students swept the competition at the sixth annual Harold Dean Gillham Bridge Design/Build Competition on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at the Jesus & Eugenia Leon Guerrero School of Business & Public Administration Building at the University of Guam. High school students from throughout the island competed in the design and building of model bridges.

Notre Dame students won at all levels and include Sara Sahagon winning first place, Notre Dame Team (consisting of Javier Garrido, Josiah Mesngon, Brendan Valera, and Julia Brin) winning second, and Precious and Tasi Mesa placing third.

The competition was sponsored by GHD, Guam Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, the Guam Society of Professional Engineers, GK2 Inc. and the UOG Endowment Foundation. 

Participating schools were given free bridge building kits by GHD, who also provided mentoring sessions with students with their engineers. The object of the competition was not only to build a bridge that was designed to carry the most weight but to determine which design was the strongest while weighing the least.  Bridges were also judged on overall appearance, neatness and conformance with the requirements.

The goal of the annual event is to expose the island’s youth to engineering and increase conversation about the critical need for professional engineers in the region.

The bridge competition also coincided with the recent March 19th dedication ceremony for the University of Guam’s highly anticipated School of Engineering building and announcement of a four-year Bachelor of Science Civil-Environmental Engineering program for 2019.

 

UOG Breaks Ground for School of Engineering Building

The University of Guam community hosted a dedication ceremony for its highly anticipated School of Engineering building on Monday, March 19, 2018. The new facility will be located in front of the Agriculture and Life Sciences building at the university campus in Mangilao.

The new facility will help the School of Engineering as it expands to a full, four-year Bachelor of Science in Civil-Environmental Engineering program in 2019.

The 16,000-square feet building will feature:

  • six faculty offices
  • two state-of-the-art student classrooms
  • three laboratories for soil-structure, hydraulics, and environmental engineering
  • computer lab


"I can't overemphasize what it means to have a school that is devoted to this profession," stated President Robert A. Underwood. "Not only as we look to the impending military buildup, but just looking at the way we live and the way that we construct our lives. The way we deal with the man-made part of our environment. Engineers are at the forefront."

The University established the School of Engineering in 2016 to address a shortage of local engineers in Guam and other islands in the Western Pacific. Currently, the School of Engineering offers a two-year Pre-Engineering program, and students then transfer elsewhere to complete their engineering degree at partner institutions such as the University of Iowa and Mapua University in the Philippines.

The School of Engineering is one of the capital improvement projects under the University’s Vision 2025 Physical Master Plan. This new facility was made possible through a USDA loan secured through the UOG Endowment Foundation.

 

School of Engineering students with UOG administrators and members of the community

 

Dr. Shahram Khosrowpanah, Interim Dean, School of Engineering