UH West Oahu, Waianae Coast CHC break ground on recovery center

New recovery center to help turn tide on substance abuse cases

University of Hawaiʻi-West Oʻahu
Ryan Mielke, (808) 454-4750
Executive Director of Public Affairs, Chancellor's Office
Desiree Hikuroa, (808) 454.4750
Marketing Spec. & Program Manager, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
Posted: Sep 24, 2009

HONOLULU --- A new path toward recovery for people dealing with substance abuse is nearer after today’s groundbreaking ceremony for treatment and counseling facilities, thanks to a federal grant to the University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu.  

The new Malama Recovery Center at the Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) is funded by a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to bring the resources of the federal government, educational support from UH West O‘ahu and service support from the WCCHC together for the purpose of turning the tide on substance abuse.

“We are committed to serving our communities and this project gives us another opportunity to do that,” said Gene Awakuni, UH West O‘ahu chancellor. “While a portion of this grant is for construction of the Malama Recovery Center, a sizable amount goes toward our service learning programs, such as our Certificate in Substance Abuse and Addiction Studies.”  UH West O‘ahu’s service learning programs are community-based. Students spend a portion of their coursework doing hands-on, community service work in their respective fields of study, throughout O‘ahu’s communities.

"The development of the Malama Recovery Center represents our continuous efforts to build and restore lives,” said Dr. Ric Custodio, medical director at WCCHC. “It is not an easy task, but may be one of the most rewarding."

"I have been looking forward to this event with much anticipation,” said UH West O‘ahu’s June Aono, a professor of Business Administration at UH West Oʻahu, who drafted the grant application in 2005. “We have been anxious to initiate new programs and have our students and faculty become more involved with this community. Having a location in Wai‘anae where we can provide more training, consultation services and assisting people to enter the job market will enable UH West O‘ahu to expand its serving learning and community outreach programs," added Aono.

Completion of the construction phase of the center is set for fall 2010.


UH West O‘ahu became a four-year, comprehensive university when it served its first class of freshmen in fall 2007. The University offers quality education, small classes and personalized attention at convenient locations. UH West O‘ahu held a ground blessing ceremony in January in anticipation of the start of construction for a state-of-the art, new campus in the City of Kapolei. For more information, visit uhwo.hawaii.edu, twitter.com/uhwestoahu, facebook.com/uhwestoahu or call 454-4700 or toll-free (866) 299-8656.