UH Med Now

JABSOM Day Declared, More than $900,000 raised for MD scholarships at 50th Anniversary Gala

Date: July 20th, 2015 in Alumni News, Giving, JABSOM News    Print or PDF

The tables decorated at the ballroom.

A sea of tables, each seat representing a generous donation for medical student scholarships, a row of proclamations from every county mayor and the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and Governor, a mesmerizing performance by international recording ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro, medical students invited as guests of magnanimous patrons and warm hugs and laughter from old friends reuniting in one special evening.

Those are just some of the things that made the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) 50th Anniversary Scholarship Fundraising Gala on Saturday, July 18, 2015 — officially declared “John A. Burns School of Medicine Day” in Hawaiʻi — so magical.

“I know as a graduate of UH Mānoa, I am proud of the John A. Burns School of Medicine,” Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige told the audience of some 1,300 people at the Sheraton-Waikīkī Resort.

Recognizing the role former Governor Ben Cayetano played in shepherding the construction of the medical schoolʻs Kakaʻako campus in 2003, Gov. Ige added, “I know Governor Cayetano and every Governor before me has supported the John A. Burns School of Medicine.”

Governor Cayetano and former first lady Vicky Cayetano were among the scholarship supporters attending the gala, and helping to raise $750,000 for scholarships for JABSOM MD students, 90% of whom are from Hawaiʻi. Community leaders and representatives of Hawaiʻi hospitals were there, too. From the schoolʻs beginning, he hospitals throughout Hawaiʻi have provided the clinical training sites in a healing education partnership with JABSOM.

“It was heartwarming to see the outpouring of support for the school and to think about the motivations and principles foremost in the minds and hearts of the school’s founders,” said Dr. Patricia Blanchette, a JABSOM alumna and the founding Chair of the Department of Geriatric Medicine. Blanchette, who has gone on to serve as Chief Executive Officer of the JABSOM faculty practice plan and now Associate Director of the UH Cancer Center, continued, “These are themes that persist to this day, and become ever more important as time goes by.”

Dr. Blanchette was among the innovative leaders of in academic health sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi who took part in a Continuing Medical Education session earlier in the day at the Kakaʻako campus, to chronicle how medical education has progressed at JABSOM. “It was interesting to see how the school has evolved to incorporate new aspects in medical education, research and faculty practice, while not originally envisioned, have grown as a result of both need and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Blanchette.

Dr. Jerris Hedges, JABSOM Dean, greeted guests in a reception line, accompanied by the Honorable James Burns, Honorary Gala Chair, and gala co-chairs Dr. Carla Nip-Sakamoto and Dr. Tom Kosasa.

“We have an awesome alumni and faculty group who did much to advance the school through this 50th celebration,” said Dr. Hedges. “It was not just what happened this weekend, but the hard work, evidenced in the planning for and executing on a myriad of events building over the last four years which led to this success,” said the Dean, expressing his gratitude.

A spotlight cast an image of the 50th Anniversary JABSOM Logo onto the sidewalk leading to the Ballroom.

And Jake Shimabukuro, who–fortunately for JABSOM–is the husband of a JABSOM MD graduate and current maternal fetal medicine Fellow at the medical school. Shimabukuro donated his performance, which electrified the audience, prompting them to jump to their feet in two standing ovations.

People also were touched by a video, “50 years of Healing” produced for the school using a donation in honor of the JABSOM Golden Anniversary year, which commemorates legislation in 1965 which authorized the University of Hawai’i to establish a medical school. A book with the same title, written by Larry Fleece, was also warmly received by attendees to the event.

Video: 50 Years of Healing in Hawaiʻi


See and download hundreds of photographs from the Gala.
Set No. 1
Set No. 2
Set No. 3


Coverage by Tina Shelton, JABSOM Communications Director, with images from photojournalist Amanda Shell, and video by Ken Mashiyama, Vina Cristobal and Tina Shelton.

Share this: