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Pacific Territories, Commonwealth, and Freely Associated States

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Pacific Territories, Commonwealth, and Freely Associated States

The United States has special relationships with six areas in the Pacific. The total population of these jurisdictions is approximately 480,000 people, spread across the ocean covering an area larger than the continental United States.

All of the U.S. affiliated Pacific jurisdictions share some challenges related to health care. Similar to many other rural areas, they struggle with maintaining an adequate health workforce. They also face difficulties in financing health care, and some spend a large portion of their health care budgets transporting patients off-island to receive care that is not available locally. The jurisdictions must address both the health concerns of developing nations in treating malnutrition and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, as well as the chronic health problems faced by developed nations, such as diabetes and cancer.

3 of these jurisdictions, consisting of one commonwealth and two territories, are part of the United States:

Residents of these 3 jurisdictions tend to have better health and socio-economic status than those living in the 3 jurisdictions that are not part of the U.S.

The other three jurisdictions are independent nations that have special relationships with the U.S. through individual agreements, the Compact of Free Association. These countries were formerly part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, administered by the United States. The original Compacts have been amended over time and are now Amended Compacts of Free Association. These locations are sovereign states:

The United States provides assistance to these nations for health services through the Compacts and also through discretionary grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Sources
Pacific Partnerships for Health: Charting a New Course; U.S. Affiliated Pacific Basin Jurisdictions: Legal, Geographic and Demographic Information

Contacts

CAPT Cathy Wasem, RN  MN
US Public Health Service
Senior Public Health Advisor
Office of Pacific Health
Office of the Regional Health Administrator, HHS Region IX
Phone: 808.541.2015
Email: cathy.wasem@HHS.gov

CAPT John Walmsley
Senior Health Advisor
Office of Pacific Health
Office of the Regional Health Administrator
US DHHS/OASH Region IX
90 7th St., Suite 5-100
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.437.8114
Fax:  415.437.8004
Email: john.walmsley@hhs.gov

CAPT Nadine Simons, Regional Health Administrator
Region IX Contact
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
San Francisco Federal Building
90 7th Street, Suite 5-100
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.437.8102
Fax: 415.437.8004
Email: nadine.simons@hhs.gov

There are more organizations related to the Pacific Territories, Commonwealth, and Freely Associated States in the organizations section.

Last Reviewed: 6/3/2014

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Funding for this project was supported by Grant Number U56RH05539 from the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funder.