UH Med Now

$5 million gift invests in UH Medical School OB/GYN training and research

Date: January 23rd, 2015 in Alumni News, Care, Giving, JABSOM News    Print or PDF

University of Hawaii medical students, residents and faculty from the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) are involved in the deliveries of one third of the babies born in Hawaii every year, many of them high risk births, and many born to families unable to pay for the service.

Thanks to a $5 million dollar gift to the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, the program will be able to invest in its clinical training, research and faculty development–to continue providing excellent care to expecting mothers and their babies.

“This is a huge vote of confidence for what this department did in the past, what we’re doing now and what we want to do in the future for the state of Hawaii and beyond, the Pacific Rim and even nationally,” said Dr. Ivica Zalud, chair of the Department of OB/GYN and Women’s Health.

 

The gift comes from the Kosasa family, who founded ABC Stores in 1964. It is the largest private philanthropic investment to date by an individual donor or family, to the university’s medical school. The gift is being given just as the medical school kicks off the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1965.

Dr. Thomas Kosasa represented the Kosasa family at an informal announcement to faculty and residents at Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children, where he is professor emeritus in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health.

Kosasa says part of the gift will create the $4 million Kosasa Endowed Chair for current department chair Zalud. The other $1 million will create two Kosasa Endowed professorships.

“I think the students will understand that what is given to you, you should give back. And I think that’s the most important thing is to give back. I’ve had a wonderful opportunity and education and I’d like to give that back to our medical school and to our students,” said OB-GYN Professor Emeritus Thomas Kosasa.

Dr. Kosasa and Dr. Sharma with Dr. Zalud and Dean Jerris Hedges in 2015, the 50th anniversary of the UH medical school.

Dr. Kosasa and Dr. Sharma with Dr. Zalud and Dean Jerris Hedges in 2015, the 50th anniversary of the UH medical school.

This isn’t the first gift from the Kosasa family—in 2000 the family invested in the start-up of the university’s Institute for Biogenesis Research.

“Now, 15 years later, we’ve created a whole new generation of scientists who are working on issues around maternal fetal medicine and helping families have children that might not otherwise have had the opportunity,” said Dr. Roy Magnusson, JABSOM associate dean for clinical affairs. “And so that kind of gift 15 years later keeps on giving and we hope to be really good stewards of this gift and to make sure it’s put to very good use.”

The Kosasa family’s investment coupled with the recent gift from Dr. Santosh Sharma to create the Lakshmi Devi and Devraj Sharma Endowed Chair, brings to $7 million the amount of endowed faculty commitments made to the department in the past six months.

The UH Board of Regents approved the Kosasa gift at its monthly meeting on January 22, 2015. The endowments will be held and managed by the UH Foundation.

Dr.  Ivica Zalud, Endowed Chair, Dr. Santosh Sharma, Dr. Thomas Kosasa, enjoying the moment.

Dr. Ivica Zalud, Endowed Chair, Dr. Santosh Sharma, Dr. Thomas Kosasa, enjoying the moment.

We at the John A. Burns School of Medicine are also grateful for our partners in medical training at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, where both our Departments of OB-GYN and Women’s Health and Pediatrics are administratively based.

About the JABSOM Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology (OB-GYN) and Women’s Health

    Physicians with JABSOM OB-GYN Department provide coverage for multiple hospitals in Hawaii including Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, The Queen’s Medical Center and Pali Momi Medical Center.

    JABSOM OB-GYN physicians provide high quality care to women facing heath problems though their life span, including complications and high-risk pregnancies. This dedicated group also provides essential services to many under-insured patients in Hawaii.

    In addition to directly serving Hawaii’s families, the UH Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology & Women’s Health creates its clinical learning environment for medical students, residents & fellows through its University Health Partners of Hawaii (UHP) practice, giving all learners the robust real-world experience they need. The department has 37 physicians, including four who are part-time and three professors emeritus. Another 107 OB-GYN physicians in Hawaii are volunteer faculty. Specialty training is offered in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Planning and Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Related Story:

Enduring gift creates an endowed chair

Dr. Zalud, Chair of OB-GYN, becomes first AGOS Fellow from Hawaii

Note:
The John A. Burns School of Medicine supports preservation of the Native Hawaiian Language. We respectfully use proper Hawaiian diacritical marks where we can. On-line, we may neglect them in some instances to increase search ability on the internet. Where possible we also will include versions of the word (perhaps in parentheses) with its proper markings.

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