Center for Native Hawaiian Excellence to close

Programs will move into Dept. of Native Hawaiian Health

University of Hawaiʻi
Gregg Takayama, (808) 382-3212
Chancellor's Office
Marjorie Mau, (808) 692-1040
Department of Native Hawaiian Health
Posted: Apr 26, 2007

The Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine will close at the end of this month because of cuts in federal funds. All other minority Centers of Excellence across the nation funded under the Title VII health professions training program have already shut down or are scheduled to be closed.

Initiated in 1991 by former JABSOM Dean Christian Gulbrandsen, M.D., the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence‘s mission is to improve the health of indigenous Hawaiians through research, education, service, and training of individuals of Native Hawaiian ancestry in medicine. It received $741,000 in federal funds in 2005 and none in 2006.

Dr. Benjamin Young, its director since 1998, has worked tirelessly to advocate for increasing the number of Native Hawaiians in medicine. His accomplishments include:

    · Conferences in Cultural Competency

    · Establishment of the inaugural Kekuni Blaisdell, M.D. Lectureship Series

    · Obtaining funding support for publications and books authored by Native Hawaiian scholars

    · Obtaining funding support of Hawaiian Language medical textbooks and Hawaiian medical history

    · Establishment of the Center‘s Fellowship program aimed at increasing the number of Native Hawaiian faculty in academia

    · Established a Native Hawaiian community-based research elective for first-year medical students at JABSOM

    · Produced Native Hawaiian oral histories of prominent Native Hawaiian leaders

    · Established a comprehensive database of Native Hawaiian physicians

"We at the Department of Native Hawaiian Health are extremely proud of the Center‘s many accomplishments and are sorry to see the loss of this vital program," says Dr. Marjorie Mau, Chair of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health.

"We are committed to continuing the mission and values of the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence, and have moved forward to support many of the center‘s programs in the Department.

"We extend our deepest appreciation and aloha to Dr. Young, who has done a superb job as the Project Director of the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence. Without question, he has helped fulfill the Center‘s mission, and has left a living legacy in JABSOM for the Native Hawaiian community. We will miss his contributions and vision," said Dr. Mau.