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UH Medical School Receives $1 Million Endowment

Gift from HMSA to be used for quality health care research

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jan 22, 2003

The University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) announced today a $1 million gift received from the Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association (HMSA) to establish an endowment for quality health care research. The endowment will support the development, implementation and dissemination of research in the field of health services.

"HMSA‘s endowment is a tremendous vote of confidence in the research capabilities of the John A. Burns School of Medicine," said UH President Evan S. Dobelle. "I applaud Dean Ed Cadman and HMSA for their leadership on this critical issue that will benefit the health of all the citizens of Hawaiʻi."

The fund will support the Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association Chair for Health Care Services Quality Research, a position at JABSOM that will provide leadership in health services research in order to improve the health of the people of the state of Hawaiʻi. In addition to teaching and participating in community service, as all JABSOM faculty do, the person selected to fill this chairmanship will also provide leadership in the development and implementation of health services research, and the dissemination of the results of that research throughout the community.

"It is a goal of myself and all the faculty at the John A. Burns School of Medicine to provide leadership in the improvement of the quality of health care services provided in Hawaiʻi," said JABSOM Dean Edwin Cadman. "With HMSA as our partner, I believe we can develop a nationally recognized health care services research program that will not only benefit the medical school, but especially the patients of our state."

According to Cadman, recruitment of a nationally recognized healthcare quality research faculty member to lead the effort in improving quality health care research for Hawaiʻi will begin immediately.

The endowment by the non-profit HMSA is a long-term investment in quality medical education and research that will benefit the community as a whole for many years to come. The fund will be invested and managed by the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, and it will provide annual income in perpetuity.

"Quality health care begins with quality education, and quality education is dependent upon quality research," said HMSA President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Hiam. "Physicians know the value of quality education and research, and they understand how it translates into high quality patient care.

"It is our sincere hope that this endowment will help raise the standard of practice in the community," said Hiam. "When it comes to investing in quality medical education and research, there is no time like the present to make that kind of solid commitment to the health of our members and the community as a whole."

HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit association founded in Hawaiʻi in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors that serves without compensation and includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy, and the community at large. HMSA is a member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Nationally, HMSA and 41 other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans provide worldwide coverage to more than 84 million members.

The UH John A. Burns School of Medicine opened in 1967 as a two-year program of basic medical sciences, and became a four-year degree granting program in 1973. Nearly 1600 individuals have received their medical degrees from JABSOM, and approximately 60 percent of practicing physicians in the state of Hawaiʻi are graduates of the MD program or one of the school‘s residency programs. In October 2002, UH broke ground for the new John A. Burns School of Medicine at Kakaʻako. Located on 9.1 acres adjacent to the Kakaʻako Waterfront Park, the new complex will not only be a world-class education and research facility, but will also function as an economic engine for the state that will create quality jobs, increase biomedical research activity and be a stimulus for a strong biotechnology industry in Hawaiʻi.