HONOLULU (August 28, 2017) - The Armed Services Joint Blood Program at Tripler Army Medical Center, also known as TAMC, shares knowledge and education throughout the world. In support of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Blood Safety Program, the TAMC Department of Pathology contributes to building a sustainable blood program in Cambodia by leveraging subject matter experts in blood product utilization.

Recently returning from Cambodia in late July, Chief of the TAMC Transfusion Medicine Service, Lt. Col. Teresa Terry reports, "Myself and Sgt. 1st Class (Jason) Timberlake (non-commissioned officer in charge of TAMC Transfusion Medicine Service) are proud to announce another successful engagement."

Terry and Timberlake are a part of a collaborative international and interagency partnership including both military and civilian organizations such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the Center of Disease Control, the Australian Red Cross, Global Fund, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Cambodian Ministry of Health.

The partners are working side-by-side to develop a National Blood Transfusion Center (NBTC) and four Regional Blood Transfusion Centers (RBTC) in the country of Cambodia, with standardized quality management teams throughout.

Earlier this year the partners assisted Cambodian medical teams transition to three new blood centers, and helped prepare the Cambodia NBTC for accreditation processes.

"One of the main objectives for the July Cambodia mission was to conduct a Blood Safety Quality Assurance Workshop to provide education on the collection, storage, processing and use of blood and blood products. Over 60 attendees from 26 providential blood centers and nine hospitals participated in this collaborative training, provided by the PACOM Area Joint Blood Program Team, the NBTC, the WHO and the Australian Red Cross," said Timberlake.

During a construction site assessment, Terry and Timberlake report on plans to open the Battambang RTBC remain on schedule for early next year.

"I cannot say enough about the encouraging feedback and forward momentum gained from the in-country team for this on-going mission," added Terry.

Terry and Timberlake will attend the Cambodia national strategic plan and transition partners planning meeting in the next few months and continue to assist the international and interagency community to build a sustainable blood program in Cambodia and support humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts in the Pacific region.