Welcome new Native Hawaiian & Indigenous health faculty

The University of Hawaii at Manoa's Office of Public Health Studies is proud to welcome Dr. Samantha Keaulana-Scott to its esteemed faculty. 

Keaulana-Scott, a graduate of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, where she earned both her Master of Social Work (MSW) and PhD in public health studies, brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for indigenous health issues. Her role as a faculty member will further strengthen the university’s commitment to advancing public health and social justice in Hawaii and beyond.

“I am excited to join the UH Mānoa Public Health ʻohana and step into a kuleana of research, teaching, and service that pushes against colonial legacies and centers Indigenous understandings of health and well-being,” said Dr. Keaulana-Scott.

In addition to her faculty position, Keaulana-Scott holds prominent roles in several key research initiatives. She is a Co-Investigator for the Ke Ola O Ka 'Āina Study (2022) and the Research Coordinator for the MALAMA Study (2022-present). She also serves as the Director of Data and Research at Papa Ola Lōkahi, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving Native Hawaiian health and wellbeing.

Furthermore, as a member of the Waimānalo Pono Research Hui, Keaulana-Scott is committed to upholding Indigenous community research ethics. She is a strong advocate for pono (just) research, emphasizing the importance of fairness, honesty, and integrity in the pursuit of knowledge.

Keaulana-Scott's work primarily focuses on the determinants of Native Hawaiian health, scrutinizing the intricate relationships between structures of power and individual health outcomes. Her research employs indigenous research methods to explore the experiences of historical and intergenerational trauma among Wāhine, Native Hawaiian women. This deep and thorough investigation aims to provide concrete data that underscore the urgency of health and social needs unique to Wāhine.

“The University of Hawaii at Manoa's Office of Public Health Studies is excited to have Dr. Keaulana-Scott on board” said Director & Epidemiology professor, Dr. Eric Hurwitz. “Her knowledge, passion, and dedication to improving Native Hawaiian health will undoubtedly enrich the academic and research environment at the university, as well as contribute significantly to the broader public health community.”

Keaulana-Scott’s ultimate goal is to help create a world where everyone has equitable opportunities to achieve optimal health. She sees aloha, healing, and reparations as essential for Hawaiian communities to thrive. Her ambition is to lead the charge in demanding these necessary changes for the people of Hawaii. OPHS is honored to have Dr. Keaulana-Scott on our team and is looking forward to the many contributions she will make to the community and to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

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