Native Hawaiian Health
Native Hawaiian Health
John A. Burns School of Medicine
J. K. Kaholokula, PhD (Chair)—behavioral medicine and science, clinical health psychology
The Academic Program
The mission of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health is to be a center of excellence in education, research, and quality health care practices committed to the optimal health and wellness of Kanaka ‘Oiwi, their families, and communities while embracing traditional Hawaiian values and practices. To accomplish this mission, the program will actively seek “grass-roots” partnerships with others in the community who share their vision of Ku Pono: Hawai‘i Maoli achieving optimal health and wellness.
Research efforts will be focused on reducing and eliminating health disparities in Native Hawaiians and other Pacific-based populations. This includes activities such as conducting hypothesis driven research, developing pilot studies, training new researchers and networking with Native Hawaiian communities to disseminate research information via the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research, the PILI 'Ohana Obesity study, the KaHOLO project, and other NIH funded grants.
Two programs are dedicated to increasing and improving the health workforce serving Hawai‘i, especially in Native Hawaiian communities: the ‘Imi Ho‘ola Post-Baccalaureate Program and the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence.
‘Imi Ho‘ola Post-Baccalaureate Program
‘Imi Ho‘ola (Hawaiian for those who seek to heal”) is a post-baccalaureate program designed to provide educational opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds capable of succeeding in medical school. Although ‘Imi Ho‘ola is not limited to persons of Hawaiian, Filipino, Samoan, Chamorro, and Micronesian descent, a large number of these students are from disadvantaged socioeconomic and/or educational backgrounds and demonstrate a commitment to serve areas of need in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific. ‘Imi Ho‘ola has expanded its outreach efforts and developed partnerships with local high schools, colleges, and community-based health organizations.
Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence (NHCOE)
NHCOE is funded through state, federal, and private funds and focuses on: (1) Enhancing the performance of Native Hawaiian medical students by offering support for USMLE board preparation and collaboration with JABSOM retention efforts; (2) Developing the research and teaching skills of JABSOM and Department of Native Hawaiian Health faculty through workshops, presentations, and faculty development activities; (3) Disseminating information resources for Native Hawaiian health, cultural competency, and curricula through conferences and workshops; (4) Offering an elective for first year medical students on introducing research and topics of Native Hawaiian health issues; (5) Promoting student training in rural areas by serving as a resource for students choosing to do electives in rural Native Hawaiian communities; and (6) Developing a competitive applicant pool through active involvement in the establishment of collaborative efforts with colleges and high schools to develop programs aimed at increasing the numbers of Native Hawaiian medical students.