Native Hawaiian Center at UH medical school awarded $973,000

At least nine jobs to be created at Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina M Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Dir of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Dr. Nanette Judd, (808) 692-1030
Director, NHCOE, Native Hawaiian Health, JABSOM
Posted: Dec 16, 2009

Dr. Nanette Judd
Dr. Nanette Judd
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) has received a $973,825 award to fund the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence (NHCOE) through June 2012.
The new funding will create at least six faculty and three staff positions to carry out initiatives aimed at the recruitment and retention of Native Hawaiian students in medicine and other health professions in Hawai`i. 
The NHCOE, established more than 15 years ago, is part of the UH medical school’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH).
The funding, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, will support research, faculty and student development, cultural competency training, informational resources and networking.
The NHCOE also allows the medical school to pursue endowment funds which may spin-off additional projects and funding.
“Native Hawaiians are highly underrepresented in health professions careers, particularly in medicine,” said Dr. Nanette Judd, Director for JABSOM’s NHCOE and Director for the Imi Ho’ola Post-Baccalaureate Program. “The vision of the Center of Excellence is to promote the physical and mental health of all Native Hawaiians by improving the recruitment and retention of health professionals of Native Hawaiian ancestry.”
Dr. Judd recognized the assistance of Former NHCOE Director Benjamin Young, MD, in seeking the new grant. “We couldn’t have done it without him,” said Judd.
The Native Hawaiian COE will link with partners which help prepare students to enter health professional schools. The partners included in the affiliation agreements include:
  1. ‘Ahahui O Na Kauka—Association of Native Hawaiian Physicians
  2. Kipuka-Native Hawaiian Student Center—University of Hawai‘i Hilo
  3. Office of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity—University of Hawai‘i Mānoa
  4. Papa Ola Lokahi—Native Hawaiian Health Organization & Native Hawaiian Scholarship Program
  5. Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work—University of Hawai‘i Mānoa
The purpose of the Centers for Excellence Program, as set out in the Public Health Service Act, is to provide support for health professional schools which serve underrepresented minorities, including Native Hawaiians.
JABSOM’s DNHH is the only medical school department in the U.S. dedicated to the health of a native population. Initial financial support for the department came from The Queen’s Health System. The department educates students from diverse backgrounds to become physicians who will work with medically underserved communities in Hawai‘i and the Pacific region; it conducts scientific studies, trains researchers and provides clinical teaching and patient care in Hawai‘i.  Key areas of research include multi-million dollar studies funded by the U.S. government addressing health disparities, such as why diabetes and cardiovascular disease are more prevalent among Native Hawaiians, and how to best combat those diseases.   

For more information, visit: