Leadership & Administration
Ka pouhana o ka hale—The support on which others depend
Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Phone: (808) 692-1047
Dr. Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula is a Professor and Chair of Native Hawaiian Health in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He received is Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2003 and completed a clinical health psychology post-doctoral fellowship in 2004 at the Triple Army Medical Center. He is a National Institutes of Health funded investigator whose community-based participatory research (CBPR) involves developing sustainable community- and worksite-based health promotion strategies and programs to address cardiometabolic health inequities experienced by Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. His research also examines how biological, behavioral, and psychosocial factors interplay to affect their risk for, and treatment of, cardiometabolic-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Among his various studies of Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, he has examined the effects of depression on cigarette smoking and diabetes management; of racism on physiological stress indices, hypertension, and psychological distress; of acculturation on the risk for depression and diabetes; and of community-placed interventions on reducing obesity, hypertension, and diabetes inequities. He is an advocate for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health and serves on several community boards and committees whose mission is to address the social and cultural determinants of health in Hawai‘i. He is also a member of Halemua o Kūali‘i and ‘Aha Kāne, Hawaiian cultural groups dedicated to the revitalization of traditional values and practices to build leaders in our Hawaiian communities.
Gina Cummings, M.B.A.
Administrator/Grants and Special Projects Manager
Phone: (808) 692-1071
Gina Cummings is from Waimanalo, HI and has been a part of the JABSOM ‘ohana for more than 10 years. She recently joined the DNHH ‘ohana (Jan 2016) and serves as Grants and Special Projects Manager.
Chessa Harris, M.B.A.
Director of Business and Administrative Operations
Phone: (808) 692-1008
In her role as the Director of Business and Administrative Operations, Chessa Harris is responsible for the development, management, and implementation of the overall business plan for the Department of Native Hawaiian Health. Chessa coordinates spending plans, growth strategies, and sustainability planning for DNHH, as well as designated department projects, and works with each of the five department divisions to achieve department strategic initiatives. Chessa is also the lead instructor for the NHH 501/502: Scientific Basis of Medicine course in the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program. Through her work with the ʻImi Hoʻōla Program, she encourages students to explore health and disease from a local, national, and international perspective, focusing on the epidemiology and psycho-social impacts of various health conditions on patients and communities, the shortage of healthcare services in rural and underserved populations, and the importance of compassion and professionalism in the doctor-patient relationship. Chessa completed both her undergraduate degree in Communications and Masters of Business Administration at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is originally from Hawaiʻi Island.