AGANA—Special envoy of the President for Global Health Initiatives (GHI) and former Health Undersecretary Dr. Susan P. Mercado visited Micronesia and Guam to campaign for her candidature as regional director of the World Health Organization-Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO-WPRO).
During her visit to Micronesia, Mercado paid a courtesy call on the Secretary of Health and Social Affairs Magdalena A. Walter, as the former discussed her work with the WHO and her advocacy in promoting public health in the Western-Pacific region.
In Guam Mercado met with Department of Public Health and Social Services Acting Director Leo Casil. The two officials discussed the effects of tobacco, alcohol and vaping on Guam’s population, especially the youth.
Mercado shared some best practices being implemented by other countries in the areas of mental health and prevention of noncommunicable diseases. She also mentioned various health initiatives and reforms she will pursue if elected regional director of the WHO.
On July 13 the Legislature of Guam headed by Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz presented Resolution 468-34, which recognized and commended Mercado for her 30 years of service, as well as outstanding contribution in the fields of medicine and public health.
Mercado is a recognized national public-health champion, with extensive experiences in managing large health organizations and effectively carrying out health-systems reforms. If elected, she will be the first female regional director of the WHO-WPRO.
The elections for WHO-WPRO regional director will be held at its regional office in Manila in October 2018.