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Samoan Anesthesiologist And Physician Appointed Vice Dean Of ANZCA's Faculty Of Pain Medicine

In a momentous stride forward for both the field of pain medicine and Pacific communities, Fuimaono Satualafaalagilagi Dr Leinani Aiono-Le-Tagaloa has been appointed as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, ANZCA (Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists). With a background steeped in dedication, expertise, and advocacy, Dr Aiono-Le-Tagaloa brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to her new role.

Born and raised in Apia, with ties to the villages of Fasitoo-uta and Salani, her career trajectory reflects her dedication to healthcare and education.

“I am a qualified anesthesiologist and pain medicine physician. Within these roles I provide clinical care in the provision of anaesthesia for a wide range of surgeries, and consult in clinics for patients referred with chronic pain conditions.”

She adds that her story would not be complete without mentioning that she holds the chief titles of Satualafaalagilagi (Fasitoo-uta) and Fuimaono (Salani).

Reflecting on her journey, the Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) Member acknowledges the pivotal role of mentors and inspirations along the way. Her commitment to mentoring and advocacy is evident in her involvement in founding Pasifika Anaesthesia in Aotearoa and her presidency thereof.

“I believe strongly in the power of mentoring and have been the recipient of so much support and encouragement throughout my training; it truly is the fuel that powers any effort.”

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"My mentors in pain medicine have been that inspiration for me, along with a deep desire to ease and lift pain, to be there with someone who is suffering," she remarks.

Assuming the role of Vice Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine is both an honour and a responsibility for Dr Aiono-Le-Tagaloa. She acknowledges the significance of this appointment.

"To be nominated as a candidate for the highest position of office in this organization was in itself a great honour; to actually be elected to it even greater."

“It is a great joy however to be able to bring this honour to my family and my Pacific community and say 'Fa’afetai tele lava; fa’afetai tapua'i, fa’afetai tatalo,' what I have received, we have all received; this is for all our Pacific communities and is my tautua for you all. “

In her new capacity, she articulates her vision for the advancement of pain medicine within ANZCA and beyond.

"My primary objective is to be able to foster an environment where experts in their particular areas will be able to work to the best of their potential and help to find creative ways to turn challenges into opportunities," she states.

Dr Aiono-Le-Tagaloa's aspirations extend beyond professional boundaries to encompass the well-being of Pacific communities. She envisions collaborative efforts to improve health outcomes and foster wellness among Pacific peoples.

"I hope to be able to work collaboratively with my colleagues in medicine, the allied health professions, and other agencies to see change in the health outcomes of Pacific peoples," she affirms.

“I passionately desire to continue to mentor and support others, to see their dreams fulfilled, because when one person dares to dream and reaches to fulfill it, we all succeed as well.”

PMA Membership Board Director, Dr Elizabeth Dunn MBChB FANZCA, congratulates her colleague and friend for her appointment as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine.

“I am extremely happy for Dr Leinani to be recognised for her incredible passion, wisdom, mana and tautua. This is one of the highest offices in ANZCA, which is one of the largest medical specialist colleges across New Zealand and Australia. Nani is my friend, mentor, and President of Pasifika Anaesthesia in Aotearoa. She is a skilled physician and leader. Having Leinani in this position will bring immense benefit to Pacific communities in both countries and I am confident that she will excel in her role as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine.”

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