December 31, 2014

The PILI ‘Ohana Project: A Community-Academic Partnership to Achieve Metabolic Health Equity in Hawai‘i

Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, PhD; Puni Kekauoha; Adrienne Dillard, MSW; Sheryl Yoshimura, MPH; Donna-Marie Palakiko, MS; Claire Hughes, DrPH; and Claire K.M. Townsend, MPH

Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) have higher rates of excess body weight and related medical disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to other ethnic groups in Hawai‘i. To address this metabolic health inequity, the Partnership for Improving Lifestyle Intervention (PILI) ‘Ohana Project, a community-academic partnership, was formed over eight years ago and developed two community-placed health promotion programs: the PILI Lifestyle Program (PLP) to address overweight/obesity and the Partners in Care (PIC) to address diabetes self-care. This article describes and reviews the innovations, scientific discoveries, and community capacity built over the last eight years by the PILI ‘Ohana Project’s (POP) partnership in working toward metabolic health equity. It also briefly describes the plans to disseminate and implement the PLP and PIC in other NHPI communities. Highlighted in this article is how scientific discoveries can have a real-world impact on health disparate populations by integrating community wisdom and academic expertise to achieve social and health equity through research.

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