Nine from Imi Ho`ola to enter medical school's Class of 2016

Program helps produce phyisicians from and for underserved communities

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina M. Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Jun 11, 2012

Imi grads holding their JABSOM acceptance letters.
Imi grads holding their JABSOM acceptance letters.
Nine UH Manoa students within the Imi Ho`ola ("Those Who Seek to Heal") Post-Baccalaureate Program are about to complete their year-long intensive study at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). Sometimes described as a “boot camp for medical school," those who successfully finish the program gain automatic admission into the newest MD class at JABSOM.
The nine, pictured holding their hard-earned acceptance letters from the medical school, are Brian Imada of Honoka`a, Jessica Yuen of Kapolei, Karra Imoto of Hilo, Jolana Gollero of Waipahu, Paul Muna Aguon of Guam, Andrea Bucci of Honolulu, January Andaya of Honolulu, Crystal Lam of Aiea and Janelle Otsuji of Ewa Beach. In August, they will participate in the “White Coat Ceremony” celebrating the entry of the entire MD Class of 2016.
For more than three decades, Imi Ho`ola has recruited promising students from historically under-represented and/or disadvantaged communities, helping them to successfully enroll in medical school and become physicians. More than 225 physicians — 40% of them Native Hawaiians — have graduated from JABSOM through the Imi Ho’ola program. Nearly all of them have returned to their under-served communities to provide needed medical care.
The Imi Ho`ola Post-Baccalaureate Program Completion Ceremony on Wednesday, June 13, “marks an important milestone in the students’ careers, recognizing their academic accomplishments, professional development and individual perseverance," said Dr. Winona Lee, Director of the program and the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at JABSOM.
The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Medical Education Building Auditorium at 651 Ilalo Street in Kaka`ako. A highlight of the completion ceremony is a emotionally moving video, which the students produce themselves to tell their personal stories.
Last April, each of the nine Imi students received $1,000 tuition assistance awards from the Friends of Imi Ho`ola. Mahalo also to The Queen’s Health Systems, which helps to fund the opportunity for a total of 12 promising students to enter the Imi Ho’ola program each year. The next class of 12 begins at JABSOM in August.

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