Medical school expands Imi Ho'ola program

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: May 7, 2010

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) announced today that the Imi Ho‘ola Post-Baccalaurate Program, a 35 year-old project to bring disadvantaged students into medical school, is expanding to provide greater opportunities to recruit and retain Hawai‘i physicians.
Imi Ho‘ola, “Those Who Seek to Heal,” is one of JABSOM’s proudest achievements, a program that promotes diversity with solid, proven results. Imi Ho‘ola annually recruits college graduates from socially, educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds into an intensive, 12-month course of study which strengthens their knowledge in science and the humanities and allows them to overcome challenges which may have prevented them from being accepted into medical school.
Students who successfully complete the year-long program are, in fact, admitted into the next JABSOM medical school class. Since it began, 204 students have become physicians through Imi Ho‘ola, with amazing results:
  • 40 percent are Native Hawaiians;
  • 61 percent are practicing medicine in Hawai‘i and the Pacific;
  • 73 percent are in the critical shortage field of primary care medicine.
Imi Ho‘ola has provided this opportunity annually to 10 students. “Expanding the Imi Ho‘ola class of 2010-11 from 10 to 12 students is a great opportunity for our students and our community,” announced Dr. Jerris Hedges, dean of JABSOM. “It sends a strong message that despite the economic downturn and necessary cuts to the UH Mānoa budget, JABSOM remains steadfast to its mission of promoting a diverse physician workforce for Hawai‘i and the Pacific.”
Dr. Hedges announced the Imi Ho‘ola expansion today in welcoming remarks at He Huliau (A Turning Point), a conference of health professionals gathering to improve health equity among Native and Pacific Peoples. He Huliau is sponsored by the medical school’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health, the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research and the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence.
UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw will address the conference on May 8. This year’s conference is focused on Metabolic Syndrome and Health Equity. “Imi Ho‘ola and He Huliau are important examples of the priority given to support diversity in education at UH Mānoa and in the state’s work force,” said Hinshaw.
Dr. Nanette Judd, Director of the Imi Ho‘ola Post-Baccalaureate Program, noted the important role The Queen’s Health System played in helping to generously support the program.“My greatest reward is witnessing the success of Imi Ho‘ola graduates who are now in practice in rural and underserved communities of Hawai‘i,” said Dr. Judd. Imi Ho‘ola graduates include public servants like Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawai‘i State Department of Health.
For additional information about Imi Ho‘ola, visit: