Message from the Chair

Keawe Photo_duoWelina me ke aloha,

As the Chair for the Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH) in the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, I want to warmly greet and welcome you to our new website. Our primary mission is to be a center of excellence in education, research, and quality healthcare practices, committed to the optimal health and wellness of Kānaka ‘Ōiwi (Native Hawaiians), their families and communities, while embracing traditional Hawaiian values and practices. We also extend this mission to other Pacific Peoples. Our department is the only clinical department in a U.S. medical school dedicated to the health of an indigenous population.

In meeting our medical education, research, and clinical mission, we embrace a transdisciplinary approach in building diversity in the medical and science fields and in addressing health inequities experienced by Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Peoples. We merge the biomedical, psychological, behavioral, social, and public health sciences and Hawaiian cultural knowledge and wisdom in these endeavors.

In our endeavors, we are guided by traditional healers, cultural practitioners, kūpuna (respected elders) and community leaders and organizations serving the interest of Kānaka ‘Ōiwi. We are also guided by the wisdom of our founders: Marjorie Mau, MD (founding Chair), Nanette Judd, PhD (former Director of ‘Imi Ho‘ōla), and Benjamin Young, MD (former Director of Native Center of Excellence). Most of all, we are inspired by the spirit and teachings of Richard “Kekuni” Blaisdell, MD who was one of the early pioneers in advancing Native Hawaiian health and in establishing our medical school. Mahalo nui iā ‘oukou.

Enjoy your virtual visit to our department. Mahalo iā ‘oe.