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Lifesaving service at UH Medical School reaccreditated

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina Shelton, 692-0897
Communications Director
Posted: Jul 24, 2009

The Hyperbaric Treatment Center (HTC) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s John A. Burns School of Medicine has been reaccredited through April 2012 by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS).

The HTC, located on the grounds of Kuakini Medical Center in Nuʻuanu, operates around-the-clock to provide treatment of decompression sickness among divers in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Basin. The medical school has provided the only hyperbaric emergency treatment program for the public in Hawaiʻi since 1983.

"This accreditation reflects the commitment to quality care by the State of Hawaiʻi as well as the dedication of our staff at the hyperbaric facility," said Frank Farm, Director of the HTC.

"We are ready at all times to take care of the people of Hawaiʻi or our visitors who might encounter a problem that requires hyperbaric treatment," said Dr. Richard Smerz, HTC Medical Director.

Hawaiʻi has the third-highest number of certified divers in the United States, behind Florida and California. On average, about 50 divers per year are treated at HTC.

The HTC is the only facility of its kind in Hawaiʻi accredited by the UHMS, which measures patient care and safety procedures.

"There are more than 2,000 hyperbaric treatment facilities in the nation, but fewer than 100 of them are accredited by Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society," said Dr. Jerris Hedges, Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine. "We are pleased our university‘s facility serving the public continues to be one of the finest in the country."

The Hyperbaric Treatment Center also provides Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment for other medical conditions and conducts research into decompression sickness and its treatments.


The John A. Burns School of Medicine, UH Mānoa was established in 1965 and has trained more than 4,500 medical doctors (medical school and residency program) to date. Approximately half of the physicians practicing in Hawaiʻi are graduates of the John A. Burns School of Medicine MD or residency program. For more information about JABSOM, please visit\