John A. Burns School of Medicine
677 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 1016B
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 692-1050


J. K. Kaholokula, PhD (Chair)—behavioral medicine and science, clinical health psychology
D. Carpenter, MD—internal medicine, clinical teaching, cultural competence
R. Delafield, PhD, MPH—health disparities, maternal and perinatal health
S. Fernandes, MD—pediatrics, student recruitment and retention
J. Freitas, PsyD—behavioral health science, clinical health psychology
C. Ha, PhD—biochemistry, post baccalaureate education
C. Harris, MBA—business management, post baccalaureate education
C. Ing, DrPH—health disparities, translational, and community-based participatory research
N. Judd, PhD—emerita professor
M. Kamaka, MD—family medicine, cultural competence
S. Kaulukukui, MS—student development
M. Malepeai, LSW—behavioral science, clinical health psychology
M. Mau, MD, MS—health disparities, Myron Pinky Thompson Endowed Chair
W. K. Mesiona-Lee, MD—pediatrics, post baccalaureate education, student recruitment and retention
R. Miyamoto, PsyD—behavioral science, clinical health psychology
P. M. Tim Sing, MD—internal medicine, post baccalaureate education
S. Tsuhako, MD—anatomy and reproductive biology, post baccalaureate education
K. Voloch, MD—pediatrics, post baccalaureate education
V. Wong, MD, MS—family medicine, faculty development
K. Yamauchi, MPA—post baccalaureate education, student recruitment and retention

The Academic Program

The mission of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health is to be a center of excellence in education, research, and quality health care practices committed to the optimal health and wellness of Kānaka ‘Ōiwi, their families, and communities while embracing traditional Hawaiian values and practices. To accomplish this mission, they integrate the biomedical, behavioral, psychosocial, and public health sciences with Hawaiian cultural knowledge and wisdom of Kū Pono: achieving optimal health and wellness.

Research efforts focus on reducing and eliminating health disparities in Native Hawaiians and other Pacific-based populations. This includes activities such as conducting hypothesis driven research, developing pilot studies, training new researchers and networking with Native Hawaiian communities to disseminate research information.

Two programs are dedicated to increasing and improving the health workforce serving Hawai‘i, especially in Native Hawaiian communities: the ‘Imi Ho‘ōla Post-Baccalaureate Program and the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence.

‘Imi Ho‘ōla Post-Baccalaureate Program

‘Imi Ho‘ōla (Hawaiian for “those who seek to heal”) is a 12-month post-baccalaureate program designed to provide educational opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds deemed capable of succeeding in medical school. Although ‘Imi Ho‘ōla is not limited to persons of Hawaiian, Filipino, Samoan, Chamorro, and Micronesian descent, a large number of these students are from disadvantaged socioeconomic and/or educational backgrounds and demonstrate a commitment to serve areas of need in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific. ‘Imi Ho‘ōla has expanded its outreach efforts and developed partnerships with local high schools, colleges, and community-based health organizations.

Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence (NHCOE)

NHCOE is funded through state, federal, and private funds and focuses on: (1) Enhancing the performance of Native Hawaiian medical students by offering support for USMLE board preparation and collaboration with JABSOM retention efforts; (2) Developing the research and teaching skills of JABSOM and Department of Native Hawaiian Health faculty through workshops, presentations, and faculty development activities; (3) Disseminating information resources for Native Hawaiian health, cultural competency, and curricula through conferences and workshops; (4) Offering electives for medical students on topics related to Native Hawaiian health issues; (5) Serving as a resource for students choosing to do electives in rural Native Hawaiian communities; and (6) Developing a competitive applicant pool through the establishment of collaborative efforts with colleges, high schools, and community partners to develop programs aimed at increasing the numbers of Native Hawaiians in the health professions.