Osan Airmen participate in fourth annual Asia-Pacific Military Nursing Symposium

Master Sgt. Mark Picchione, 51st Medical Group, briefs Thai nurses on the Hand-hygiene Pilot Program at the Asia-Pacific Military Nursing Symposium, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. (Courtesy photo)

Master Sgt. Mark Picchione, 51st Medical Group, briefs Thai nurses on the Hand-hygiene Pilot Program at the Asia-Pacific Military Nursing Symposium, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. (Courtesy photo)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 200 military nurses from 13 Asian-Pacific countries gathered at the Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, for the fourth annual Asia-Pacific Military Nursing Symposium August 29 - September 4.

The U.S. military sent 44 personnel to participate in the symposium, including three delegates from Osan. Serving as Senior Leadership for the symposium was Brig. Gen. Buenaflor, the Chief Nurse, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Maj. Gen. Siniscalchi, the Assistant Surgeon General, Nursing Services.

The symposium's theme, "Strengthening Asia-Pacific Military Nursing Cooperation through Inquiry, Research and Action" highlighted nursing education, career development, global pandemic preparedness and disaster management. For the U.S. delegates the symposium provided the opportunity to share the impact of nursing care, collaborate, and network with other nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The five-day agenda included presentations by two of the three Osan delegates, Lt. Col. Pairin Skaggs, podium presentation of hand-hygiene pilot study; and Master Sgt. Mark Picchione, poster session. All delegates were also invited to tour the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center, where the capabilities and future growth of the facility were on display for attendees. Included in this year's symposium was a trip to Corregidor, where the delegates learned about the World War II experiences of American and Philippine forces defending the island.

Previous Asia-Pacific nurses' symposiums were hosted in Hawaii in 2007, the Republic of Korea in 2008, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 2009. This year's symposium was a phenomenal success thanks to the 13th Air Force international health specialist team which included Maj. Chung Lee, Maj. Nerriza Brooks, Master Sgt. Enrique Ferreira, and Tech. Sgt. Carlos Limo.