Tuesday 22 September 2009 12:30pm
The University of Otago's Division of Health Sciences has appointed Dr Faafetai Sopoaga as its first Associate Dean (Pacific). The new role involves co-ordinating efforts to support current and prospective Pacific students seeking to enter the health workforce.
Dr Sopoaga takes up the Associate Dean position in addition to her current roles in the Dunedin School of Medicine's Department of Preventive and Social Medicine.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) Professor Don Roberton says that he is delighted that Dr Sopoaga has accepted the position.
"Dr Sopoaga has a strong interest in support for undergraduate and postgraduate Pacific students in our health professional programmes, and also in linkages with Pacific communities in New Zealand the Pacific region.
"Her new role will provide a substantial focus for Divisional support for our Pacific students, and in planning for further curriculum development in relation to the needs of Pacific peoples," Professor Roberton says.
Dr Sopoaga says that the University has a unique opportunity to improve the health of Pacific peoples in a number of ways. These include increasing the number of Pacific health professionals, improving the understanding of all health professionals about Pacific health, and providing excellent service to communities through research.
"I hope to facilitate this process, and look forward to developing networks within the University and collaborations with external organisations and Pacific communities", she says.
Dr Sopoaga takes up the position at the beginning of October.
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