Healthy Hawai‘i Evaluation Team

Healthy Hawaii Initiative

Who We Are

The Healthy Hawai‘i Evaluation Team (HHET) is a group of professional evaluators who conduct evaluation and research to support public health initiatives aimed at reducing chronic disease and improving the health of communities in Hawai‘i. For over twenty years, the HHET has conducted a diversity of evaluation projects in collaboration with the Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division and other key public health partners in the state of Hawai‘i. Housed in the Office of Public Health Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, HHET also provides training to future public health professionals on evaluation. 

Our Mission 

Our mission is to conduct useful and innovative evaluations that support healthy community initiatives and generate learning around chronic disease prevention and health promotion efforts in Hawai‘i. We strive to achieve our mission through a participatory process that engages stakeholders throughout all stages of the evaluation and ensures that evaluation standards and best practices are incorporated.


The HHET has had a long history of collaboration with the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. In 1999, the state of Hawai‘i passed Act 304, landmark legislation that mandated the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) expend at least 25% of tobacco settlement special funds on disease prevention programs and promotion of healthy lifestyles. In 2000, DOH formalized this into the “Healthy Hawai‘i Initiative” (HHI), which was a Special Project within the Hawai‘i DOH. In 2014, HHI was institutionalized within the Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Division (CDPHPD). CDPHPD applies the social ecological model to implement evidence-based policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies.

Since the inception of HHI in 2000, an evaluation partnership has existed with DOH and the University of Hawaii Office of Public Health Studies (OPHS). That partnership resulted in the creation of the HHI Evaluation Team, a group of external evaluators to support the work of the HHI Team at DOH. Previous principal investigators who have contributed to the success and longevity of this partnership include Drs. Jay Maddock, Vanessa Buchthal, Tetine Sentell, and Catherine Pirkle. 

The HHI evaluation work originally focused on reducing tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. In recent years, the HHI Evaluation Team has expanded their evaluation work to include chronic disease management programs that are priorities for DOH’s CDPHPD. CDPHPD strives to promote wellness and improve the quality and years of life for Hawai‘i’s people through effective prevention, detection and management of chronic diseases. The Healthy Hawaiʻi Strategic Plan shapes the direction of programmatic work and serves as a guide for preventing and managing chronic disease and reducing the burden of chronic disease in the State of Hawaii through the year 2030. 

In 2022, the HHI Evaluation Team officially became the Healthy Hawai‘i Evaluation Team (HHET) to reflect the expansion of evaluation support the team provides for a wide range of health-related projects in Hawai‘i

What We Do

HHET provides a range of services such as needs assessments, formative evaluation, process evaluation, and outcome evaluation, which strive to contribute to addressing social determinants of health and working towards achieving health equity. HHET also provides evaluation training and technical assistance to support goals related to the HHSP. In addition, HHET supports training of health professionals in evaluation methodology and health outcomes, and increases research capacity to strengthen Hawaii’s public health workforce. The team produces a variety of evaluation products including evaluation plans, evaluation reports, logic models, data or policy briefs, impact statements, presentation materials, and manuscripts.