UH trains nearly 450 contact tracing candidates

University of Hawaiʻi
Aimee Grace, 808 956-8069
Director of Health Science Policy
Posted: Jul 24, 2020

By today, the University of Hawaiʻi-Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (UH-DOH) Contact Tracing Training Program will have trained nearly 450 qualified individuals who will be available to be activated by the DOH, as needed, to trace known contacts of COVID-19 positive cases throughout Hawaiʻi. 

Track 1: Contact Tracing for Clinical Healthcare Professionals, a 1.5-day training course primarily for clinical healthcare professionals, led by Associate Dean and Professor Kristine Qureshi and Associate Professor Lorrie Wong of UH Mānoa’s School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, trained a total of 393 individuals by its completion on July 17. Track 2: Community Contact Tracer Training, a six-week course available year-round for those with at least bachelor’s degrees who may not have clinical health backgrounds, will graduate 49 individuals from its first cohort on July 24. Track 2 is spearheaded by UH West Oʻahu Associate Professor Ricardo Custodio and Assistant Professor Camonia Graham-Tutt.

Aimee Grace, UH System program lead and director of the UHealthy Hawaiʻi Initiative, reiterated the university’s appreciation to the community for all of its volunteerism and support. “We remain incredibly grateful to every person who has stepped up and reached out to be part of the UH-DOH Contact Tracing Training Program,” she said. “Together, we will help to support DOH in its contact tracing needs to best address the COVID-19 pandemic while building critical health workforce capacity for Hawai‘i’s future.”

While Track 1 has formally completed, Track 2 has six more upcoming six-week cohorts of approximately 30–35 individuals each until the end of May 2021. The UH-DOH Contact Tracing Training Program also has an arm to train 100 community health workers (CHWs) over the next academic year. CHWs serve as community health liaisons for high-risk populations and work together with contact tracers.  

The requirement for the CHW program is a high school diploma or GED. For more information on any of these programs, email oshi@hawaii.edu or sign up online.