From Scoop.co (17 April 2012)

Sela Panapasa

Sela Panapasa
Dr Sela Panapasa

Dr  Sela Panapasa will be the keynote speaker at Fono 2012. Fono 2012, through its theme – Pacific Edge – Transforming Knowledge into Innovative Practice –will provide an opportunity for Pacific and non-Pacific peoples, researchers and health professionals from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific to discuss Pacific health research knowledge that will inform innovative practice.

The Fono is being hosted by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC), and is being held at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre in Auckland on 18 and 19 April 2012.

Dr Panapasa is the Assistant Research Scientist in the Program for Research on Black Americans at the US University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR). Her work includes research on family support and intergenerational exchanges, population dynamics, racial/ethnic disparities and population-based survey research. She is Principal Investigator for numerous projects, including a study of Pacific Islander American health, the assessment of federal data on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, an examination of cancer disparities among US Pacific Islanders, and a consultant on the development of a Comprehensive Plan for Pacific Island United Methodism in the United States.

Dr Panapasa is presently an investigator for the Future Public Health Leaders Program at the University of Michigan, designed to introduce minority and underrepresented undergraduate students to the field of Public Health. For the past three years she has chaired the US Census Advisory Committee on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders. She continues to publish on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health, including a recent article in the American Journal of Public Health on Native Hawaiian mortality patterns across the lifespan. She has received several awards, including the 2011 Health Disparities Research Leadership Award from the New York University School of Medicine’s Center for the Study of Asian American Health and Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.

Dr Panapasa is a Pacific Islander of Rotuman, Tongan, and Tuvalu descent, originally from Fiji. She received her PhD in sociology and demography from Brown University and completed a two year National Institute on Aging post-doctoral fellowship at the ISR Population Studies Center. She is nationally recognised in the United States as an expert on Pacific Islander health.