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The Micronesian Coalition

 

There are roughly 2,500 Micronesians living in Garfield County, the majority of which are Marshallese, and we must work together to improve the health and lives of all in our community.

 

Understanding the history

 

The area of Micronesia consists of the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Kosrae, Northern Marianas, Guam, Nauru, and Kiribati. After World War II, the U.S. began their Nuclear Weapon Testing Program in this area of the Pacific. The result of exposure to radiation left this population with devastating health issues such as cancers and thyroid problems.

 

In 1977 the islands became Freely Associated States (FAS) and they were given financial, political, and military support by an individual Compact of Free Association (CFA). Islanders were then given broad migration rights allowing them to come to the United States. As they entered the states, their chronic health concerns became more understood. They had higher infectious disease rates due to low immunization access, and high infant mortality rates due to little or no prenatal care. Malnutrition, Obesity, and Diabetes are also common in this community, as well as high suicide rates.

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Coalition:

Mission: Promoting educational, health care, employment, legal and political opportunities affecting the Garfield County Micronesian Community.

Vision: Working together to empower Garfield County Micronesian Community.

The Garfield County Micronesian Coalition was started in January 2015 and meets the first Tuesday every three months at the Garfield County Health Department. The meetings are from 11:30am-1pm, lunch is provided, and all are welcome to attend.  Please call 580-233-0650 for meeting schedule.

The coalition has been organized into subcommittees aimed at education, healthcare, cultural outreach, employment, legal/citizenship, and political advocacy.  The hope is to build trust and relationships through churches, small groups or organizations, and local government.

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