Tetine Sentell


(808) 956-5781

Biomed D-104M

Tetine Lynn Sentell, PhD

Professor of Public Health

Chin Sik & Hyun Sook Chung Endowed Chair

Academic Degrees

  • PhD (Health Services and Policy Analysis), University of California, Berkeley
  • MA (Political Science), University of California, Berkeley
  • MA (Experimental Psychology), Hollins University
  • BA (English Literature), Middlebury College

Awards & Honors

  • Fulbright Specialist, University of Medicine, Tirana/Institute of Public Health, Albania (2017)
  • Best Abstract in Patient Centered Outcomes Research. AcademyHealth Research Conference, June 2015 (2015)
  • Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa (2013)

Research Interests

The elimination of pervasive health inequity across race and ethnicity is a major goal of current US health research, practice, and policy. My research focuses on untangling the complex relationship between health disparities, education, literacy, English language proficiency, and other social factors. I am especially interested in how these relationships operate in mental health care, chronic disease, and access to care. In recent work, I have begun to more deeply explore the role of community-, social-, and family- level variables, especially how community-level strengths can help build a culture of health and how social networks can support and sustain health literacy.

Selected Publications

Sentell TL, Ylli A, Pirkle CM, Qirjako G, Xinxo S. (In press) Promoting a culture disease prevention in Albania: the “Si Je?” program. Prevention Science.

Sentell T, Pitt R, Buchthal OV. Health Literacy in a Social Context: Review of Quantitative Evidence. HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. April 2017 - Volume 1 · Issue 2: e41-e70.

Sentell TL, Ahn HJ, Miyamura J, Tiara DA. 30-Day Inpatient Readmissions for Asian American and Pacific Islander Subgroups Compared to Whites. Medical Care Research and Review. 2016 Nov 1:1077558716676595. doi: 10.1177/1077558716676595. [Epub ahead of print]

Sentell TL, Young MM, Vawer MD, Quensell M, Seto TB, Braun K, Juarez DT. (2016) Pathways to Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations for Diabetes and Heart Failure: Patient Perspectives. BMC Health Services Research;16:300.

Sentell TL, Ahn HJ, Miyamura J, Juarez DT. Cost Burden of Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations for Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes for Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Whites in Hawai'i. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2015 May;26(2 Suppl):63-82. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2015.0068.

Sentell T, Zhang W, Davis J,  Baker K, Braun KL. (2014). The influence of community and individual health literacy on self-reported health status. Journal of General Internal Medicine  29(2):298-304.

Sentell TL, Unick G, Ahn HJ, Braun K Miyamura J, Shumway M. (2013). Rates and illness severity for inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Psychiatric Services  64(11):1095-102

Sentell TL, Ahn HJ, Juarez DT, Tseng C-W, Chen JJ, Salvail FR, Miyamura J, Mau MM. (2013). Diabetes-related potentially preventable hospitalizations in Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, and Japanese Elderly compared to Whites in Hawai’i. Preventing Chronic Disease 10:E123.

Sentell T. (2012).  Implications For Reform: Survey Of California adults suggests low health literacy predicts likelihood of being uninsured. Health Affairs;31(5):1039-48.

Sentell T, Baker K, Onaka A & Braun, K. (2011). Low health literacy and poor health status in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Hawai’i. Journal of Health Communication. Sep 30;16 Suppl 3:279-94.