In 1999, the State of Hawai‘i took the lead in promoting healthy lifestyles with Act 304, the landmark legislation that mandated the Department of Health (DOH) to expend at least 25 percent of the State’s tobacco settlement money for disease prevention programs and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. As a result, DOH established the Healthy Hawai‘i Initiative (HHI) as a statewide effort to encourage healthy lifestyles and promote environments, policies, and system changes to support them.
From the beginning, DOH-HHI built in the capacity for evaluation and research by partnering with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Office of Public Health Studies, to create the HHI Evaluation Team. Dr. Jay Maddock served as the Principal Investigator from 2000-2015. Dr. Vanessa Buchthal took over the leadership of the team from 2015-2017, before Drs. Tetine Sentell and Catherine Pirkle joined as the lead investigators. The HHI Evaluation Team also includes project managers and graduate research assistants to help coordinate the data collection and analysis.
The HHI Evaluation Team has served as external evaluators for the HHI Team at DOH and received state funding on a continual basis since the team was formed in 2000. The Evaluation Team has also received supplementary federal CDC funds to support the HHI evaluation work as well. Originally, the HHI evaluation work focused primarily 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 Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division (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.
CDPHPD’s vision is Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Healthy Hawai‘i.
CDPHPD values include: Leadership, A Public Health Approach, Evidence-based Strategies, Health Equity, Capacity Building, Community Empowerment, Collaboration, Accountability, and Sustainability.