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A “summer of giving”: Dr. Thomas Kosasa endows a host of professorships in OB-GYN

Date: August 17th, 2017 in Faculty, Giving, JABSOM News    Print or PDF

Dr. Thomas "Tom" Kosasa, draped in a maile green lei, stands next to Dr. Ivica Zalud, OB-GYN department chair and Kosasa Endowed Chair.

Pictured above: Dr. Thomas “Tom” Kosasa and Dr. Ivica Zalud, OB-GYN Department Chair and Kosasa Endowed Chair.

This has been a summer of giving at the University of Hawai’i (UH) medical school for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health (OB-GYN).

Faculty within the department have delivered up several endowments to invest in the extraordinary work being done and to sustain the high quality performances which have become the norm in both education and patient care at OB-GYN.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Thomas Kosasa has spear-headed the philanthropic support by creating an Endowed Chair in OB-GYN, two Kosasa Professorships, a McCorriston Professorship (named after Kosasa’s mentor, the late Colin McCorriston, MD) and most recently establishing a third professorship – this one in Gynecological Oncology – at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

With these gifts, Dr. Kosasa, has invested $6 million to support the department of OB-GYN to which he also devoted his own career as an Obstetrician. Dr. Kosasa continues to deliver infants and teach the newest generation of physicians at JABSOM.

Dr. Kosasa says his gifts are “just from the heart.” Dr. Kosasa continued, “Being able to help others, I think, is the best feeling that you can have.”

On July 10, 2017, the Kosasa Endowed Chair of OB-GYN, Dr. Ivica Zalud, and Dr. Jerris Hedges, JABSOM Dean, announced Michael Carney, MD has been appointed the Kosasa Endowed Professor in Gynecologic Oncology. Dr. Carney has served on the UH faculty for 16 years and is Chief of the Division of Gynecological Oncology. He has been praised as a terrific mentor to JABSOM students, residents and faculty during his tenure. Also on faculty at the UH Cancer Center, Dr. Carney has published 71 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has been invited to present his research at national conferences.

The group of OB-GYN professors with JABSOM and UH Foundation administrators.

Pictured L-R: Kosasa Endowed Professor Dr. Michael Carney; Kosasa Endowed Professor Dr. Keith Terada; Kosasa Endowed Professor Dr. Men-Jean Lee; Dr. Thomas “Tom” Kosasa; JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges; Professor Emeritus Dr. Santosh Sharma; JABSOM Vice Dean Dr. Satoru Izutsu; Kosasa Endowed Chair and OB-GYN Department Chair Dr. Ivica Zalud; UH Foundation President & CEO Donna Vuchinich.

The dean and department also announced the appointment of Men-Jean Lee, MD, as a Kosasa Professor in OB-GYN. Dr. Lee has excelled as a physician-scientist from the earliest days of her career. She completed both clinical and research fellowship-training programs, and has held tenured positions at New York University, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of Illinois and Yale School of Medicine. She came to JABSOM in 2016 after receiving assurance that she could spend two days a week in the lab. She has published 42 peer-reviewed articles 13 chapters and editorials, a book and 8 web-based resource materials. She serves as OB-GYN’s Chief of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Also announced as a Kosasa Endowed Professor in OB-GYN was Dr. Keith Terada. He has been on faculty for 20 years, initially as Chief of the Division of Gynecological Oncology, and then as Vice Chair of the OB-GYN Department. Dr. Terada has mentored many MD trainees, ensuring that their work with him earns them publication honors, too. He has 46 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 27 other publications. Many a junior faculty member has approached Dr. Terada for advice over the years, because he has a welcoming demeanor and his excellence in academic professionalism and clinical expertise.

“The Department of OB-GYN is a shining example of teaching excellence at our medical school, as are Dr. Carney, Dr. Lee and Dr. Terada. Our OB-GYN faculty have direct interactions every day with the people of Hawaiʻi, delivering top-notch care improving the quality of care for women, fetuses, infants, and families in Hawai‘i,” said Dean Hedges. “Our partnership with Hawaiʻi’s community hospitals, where our students and physicians train, means Hawaiʻi patients receive care making use of the best knowledge and latest advances in medicine.”

The generosity Dr. Kosasa has shown has inspired other OB-GYN faculty at JABSOM to give, too. In a department that takes part in, on average, one-third of all deliveries in the state, these are gifts that go beyond OB-GYN and beyond the medical school to the people of Hawaiʻi, and the little ones who are Hawaiʻi’s future. Stories about ome of them are linked below!

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