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NMI’s first bleeding disorder conference a success

(Press Release) — The first ever CNMI Bleeding Disorder Conference and Family Camp saw a very successful turnout.

The conference, which covered disorders such as hemophilia and von Willebrand’s disease, was held on Dec. 14-21 for medical providers, nurses, dentists, therapists, school trainers, coaches, and families.

Led by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation’s Dr. Tiffany Lin and Pam Carhill, MPT, of Marianas Health, the overall goal of the conference was to raise awareness in the CNMI and educate providers and affected families about these uncommon diseases.

The event was sponsored by the Division of Public Health Services, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Biogen Idec., Los Angeles Orthopedic Institute for Children, and Marianas Health.

The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association and Western States Hemophilia Network also provided volunteers and technical assistance.

The conference comprised of three different learning sessions for providers and two days for the families affected by a bleeding disorder.

Dr. Tiffany Lin involves the youth in the discussion of bleeding disorders.Dr. Tiffany Lin involves the youth in the discussion of bleeding disorders.

On Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, more than 50 coaches, PE teachers, and trainers attended the Hemophilia and von Willebrand’s Disease 101 session.

According to a post conference evaluation, almost 90 percent of the coaches and PE teachers learned something new and approximately 70 percent found the materials used in the sports preparation lecture useful.

Dental hygienists, social workers, social worker assistants, certified nurses assistants, NMC nursing students, and physical therapists participated in the invitation-only event on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

The providers also had the opportunity to meet Saipan’s bleeding disorder team and learn more about their goals and how they can collaborate to serve this unique population.

The last session for physicians, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives, dentists, and pharmacists held on Friday, Dec. 19, received the best review with 100 percent of attendees noting that they enjoyed attending the conference.

Participants listen as Dr. Tiffany Lin discusses bleeding disorders.Participants listen as Dr. Tiffany Lin discusses bleeding disorders.

One of the providers stated, “Thanks for providing this learning opportunity to benefit our pts (patients) and community.”

The most exciting part of the conference was the family events on Saturday, Dec. 20, and Sunday, Dec. 21.

The overnight camp included educational sessions such as how to manage injuries for members with a bleeding disorder.  

This event was also the first time the group of patients were able to meet other families of patients with similar disorders and learn about their diseases.

Moreover, this was an opportunity for them to support each other and meet the bleeding disorder team.

Pam Carhill engages providers in a stretching energizer.  Contributed photosPam Carhill engages providers in a stretching energizer. Contributed photos

“It (the conference) lessened our fears and worries,” stated one of the family members.

Another one added, “I learned more about my disease than I did before. Thank you!”

The Saipan bleeding disorder team includes Dr. Tiffany Lin and Pam Carhill, MPT.

Dr. Lin is the department chair of pediatrics at CHCC and also a pediatric hematology and oncology fellow with UC San Francisco.

Pam Carhill is a physical therapist at Marianas Health who has been working with bleeding disorder patients since 2004.

For more information about bleeding disorders or if you feel you or a family member might have a bleeding disorder, contact your family physician.