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April 29, 2016

“Aspiring Docs of Hilo” mentored by MD students, Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at Makahiki in Waimea

The need for physicians on Hawaiʻi Island has grabbed headlines for years. So it feels terrific to feature a short news item about the ongoing mentoring that the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence (NHCOE) performs on the Big Island to encourage young people in the community to consider health careers.

In January, Tiffnie Kakalia, Dee-ann Carpenter, MD, Kawika Mortensen and Malia Lee, MD, worked with John A. Burns School of Medicine MD students Eric Lau (who is from Waimea), Courney Kandler, and Megan Araujo to do health screening at the Waimea “Makahiki”—the annual celebration of an ancient Native Hawaiian festival. “Aspiring Docs of Hilo” also included participation by Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Med students and coordinators, including representatives from the UH-Hilo Daniel K. Inouye School of Pharmacy. The health tent was sponsored by the NHCOE and the Earl Bakken Foundation Lau Hawaiʻi program. It also was staffed by members of the community who gave demonstrations about healthy nutrition and exercise as well as Laʻau Lapaʻau, the use of Native Hawaiian medicinal plants.