Inaugural Kekuni Blaisdell, M.D. lectureship and conference to focus on bridging Western and traditional healing practices

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Ben Young, (808) 692-1040
Kathy Tanaka, (808) 285-4880
Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence
Posted: Jan 23, 2007

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine‘s (JABSOM) Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence (NHCOE) is hosting an inaugural conference named after Kekuni Blaisdell, MD, emeritus professor and first chair of the department of medicine. The conference — to be held at JW Ihilani Resort & Spa on Jan. 24-26 — is themed, "Healing and Wellness: Bridging Western and Traditional Healing practices."

The conference is being made possible through an endowment by Dr. Osamu Fukuyama, cardiologist and 1976 JABSOM graduate. Fukuyama‘s donation has also allowed for the creation of an endowment and lectureship in Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell‘s honor.

NHCOE at JABSOM began in 1991 funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human services to address the vision of improving the health of all Native Hawaiians. To address this vision the NHCOE targets several program areas including faculty development, curriculum development, research, retention and health and information resources.

A growing interest in acceptance of complementary and alternative healing practices has led to this year‘s conference theme where participants will explore how traditional Native Hawaiian and Western healing practices could work in conjunction with each other.

Dr. Isabella Abbott, well-known author, botanist, limu specialist and cultural historian, designated a "Living Treasure of Hawai'i" in 2005, will be the first lectureship at the conference and will be among those paying tribute to Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell at an evening reception in Dr. Blaisdell‘s honor.