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Pacific Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities

The Pacific Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities (Pacific CEED*) focuses on the peoples of the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI**). The population of the USAPI is spread over one million square miles of ocean, five time zones, and the international date line. Each of the USAPI has unique cultures and histories that are related but distinct.  At least eleven separate languages are spoken.  There are significant health disparities between the U.S. and the Flag territories and appalling health and education disparities between the U.S. and the FAS.

The Center's overarching goal is to reduce health disparities of citizens of the USAPI, both in their home countries and among those now living in Hawai‘i and the continental U.S. with a special emphasis on breast and cervical cancer. 

The mission of the Pacific CEED is to develop a comprehensive model program that promotes the elimination of health disparities that are unequally borne by racial and ethnic populations within the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island populations. 

Both communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases contribute to morbidity and rising health costs. The rise in cancer rates and other chronic diseases outpaces the health systems’ ability to address these issues in a systematic approach. Culturally acceptable cancer screening and preventive services must be systematic and made locally available to remote populations as well as intensified in the few urban centers.

Cancer mortality now ranks as the second most common cause of death in nearly all USAPI jurisdictions.  Cervical cancer was in the top five leading cause of cancer mortality in the RMI, Palau, FSM and CNMI.

Both breast and cervical cancer rank among the top six most prevalent cancers in the region and are underreported and/or diagnosed in the late stages for multiple reasons including; no access to mammography in several jurisdictions, lack of culturally appropriate preventive services and severe challenges in the health infrastructure.

Intervention Strategies:  Focusing on breast and cervical cancer and related intervening factors, the Pacific CEED provides the infrastructure and technical assistance to

  1. Implement the respective community based participatory strategies within the USAPI local  comprehensive cancer plans and the Pacific regional comprehensive cancer plan as they relate to breast and cervical cancer
  2. Works with the USAPI population in Hawaii with evidence based interventions  and
  3. Expand partnerships at the local, regional and U.S. national levels while serving as a national expert resource center for breast and cervical cancer. 

Pacific CEED supports the regional coordination and targeted technical assistance functions of the comprehensive cancer prevention and control program partnership model.  This partnership model includes the Regional Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, the Regional Cancer Registry Program, the Pacific Cancer Coalition, (Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands and the USAPI Comprehensive Cancer Coalitions) and the Pacific CEED.



• For documents about the Pacific Cancer Programs please click here


*The University of Hawai‘i Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH), at the John A. Burns School of Medicine is the lead agency (Central Coordinating Organization) for the Pacific Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities (Pacific CEED).

**The U.S. Affiliated Pacific Island Nations (USAPIN) are: the Territory of Guam, the Territory of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), including the FSM States of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap.



John A. Burns School of Medicine

University of Hawai‛i at Mānoa

95-390 Kuahelani Avenue

Mililani, Hawai‛i  96789

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