TAMC provides medical care to Palau residents

| November 10, 2016 | 0 Comments
Anthony Tolisano, Chief Resident with the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, inserts tubes into a Palau childÕs ear drum to drain the fluid build-up in his ear. Tolisano was in Palau as part of a mission requested by the Palau Ministry of Health to provide specialty care to the people of Palau.

Anthony Tolisano, Chief Resident with the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, inserts tubes into a Palau child’s ear drum to drain the fluid build-up in his ear. Tolisano was in Palau as part of a mission requested by the Palau Ministry of Health to provide specialty care to the people of Palau.


Story and photo by

William Sallette
Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs
HONOLULU — On the small Pacific island of Palau, medical care can be limited.

Although it has a hospital and multiple clinics, specialty care such as cardiology, urology and ear, nose and throat, or ENT, doctors are in short supply.

In conjunction with the Palau Ministry of Health, the specialty clinics at Tripler Army Medical Center, here, are making care more easily accessible to the island nation.

Recently, the ENT clinic conducted a rotation to Palau to perform screenings and surgeries on patients who needed this type of specialty care.

Nathanial Duff, Physicians Assistant with the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat clinic performs a screening for possible surgery during a recent mission to the island nation of Palau. Recently, the Ear, Nose and Throat clinic conducted a rotation to Palau to perform screenings and surgeries on patients that needed this type of specialty care.

Nathanial Duff, Physicians Assistant with the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat clinic performs a screening for possible surgery during a recent mission to the island nation of Palau.

David Ngeskesuk, a 10-year-old boy from Koror, Palau, showed up on the first day of screening with a little more than just an ear infection.

“David had hearing loss because of the fluid in his ears. He was falling asleep in class because his severely enlarged tonsils were causing sleep apnea at night, and he had significant drainage from his nose because of his enlarged adenoids,” said Jennifer Bager, chief of the TAMC ENT Clinic.

All of these issues combined made it difficult for David to hear in school and made him more prone to infections. David’s tonsils and adenoids were removed, and tubes were put in his ears to drain the fluid that caused the hearing loss.

“I am so very happy now,” said Everlyne Ngeskesuk, mother of David. “He can actually hear me now without having to scream at him. I know that it is supposed to take some healing time before he fully recovers, but I can already tell the difference in his abilities.”

Dr. Jennifer Bager, Chief of the TAMC Otolaryngology clinic, and Nathaniel Duff, PhysicianÕs Assistant with the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat clinic, screens a patient for possible surgery during a recent mission to the island nation of Palau. Recently, the Ear, Nose and Throat clinic conducted a rotation to Palau to perform screenings and surgeries on patients that needed this type of specialty care.

Dr. Jennifer Bager, Chief of the TAMC Otolaryngology clinic, and Nathaniel Duff, Physicians Assistant with the TAMC Ear, Nose and Throat clinic, screens a patient for possible surgery during a recent mission to the island nation of Palau.

Global Health Engagements (GHE) enhance ready and deployable medical forces by placing Soldiers in more austere environments while meeting medical training requirements. These activities also present opportunities for key medical professionals to deploy in support of their operational unit, thereby further developing relationships in times of peace.

“Because of the limited access to care on the island, this mission gives us the opportunity to treat and learn about ear disease that is commonly not seen in the U.S.,” said Anthony Tolisano, chief resident with the TAMC ENT Clinic. “We train and prepare for large-scale deployments in the military to provide care to the local populace in a resource constrained environment. These types of missions prepare you for that.”

During this trip, the ENT team conducted 110 audiograms, screened and evaluated 247 patients and performed nearly 50 surgeries.

“This gives me a great opportunity to truly improve the quality of life for an under-served population,” said Bager. “This isn’t lifesaving surgery that we are doing here, but we are definitely improving the quality of life for the people that we help.”

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Health

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