UH Med Now

JABSOM faculty among Hawaiʻi health professionals chosen for exclusive national leadership program

Date: October 22nd, 2019 in Faculty, IN THE NEWS, JABSOM News, Native Hawaiian Health, Research, UH Manoa    Print or PDF

portraits of all clinical scholars

By: Deborah Manog Dimaya, UH Med Now Correspondent

For the first time, Hawaiʻi professionals have been chosen for the exclusive Robert Woods Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Program. Clinical Scholars is a national leadership development program for multidisciplinary health care providers who team up to tackle complex health problems affecting their communities. The program funds these projects with the ultimate goal of making America a healthier nation while developing a network of leaders.

This year, Hawaiʻi is the only state with two teams. Out of a total of eight fellows, seven are University of Hawaiʻi (UH) faculty and four are professors at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). The Hawaiʻi teams are focused on addressing issues on diabetes and housing insecurity as well as elderly health care.

(L to R): Drs. Camlyn Masuda, Dee-Ann Carpenter, Francie Julien-Chinn, Marjorie Mau and Aukahi Austin Seabury.

Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter, JABSOM Assistant Professor in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH) leads the team “Empowering Hawaiʻis Homeless: Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Education and Resilience Initiative.” She is collaborating with Dr. Marjorie Mau, JABSOM DNHH; Dr. Camlyn Masuda, UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP); Dr. Aukahi Austin Seabury, I Ola Lāhui; and Dr. Francie Julien-Chinn, UH Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. The team will be working with the JABSOM Hawaiʻi Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (HOME) Project, in order to develop an education and resilience program for homeless people who are pre-diabetic or diabetic.

“We hope to be able to effectively train future students, residents, volunteers and shelter staff to be better prepared for serving the homeless populations who either have diabetes mellitus (DM) or are pre-diabetic,” said Dr. Carpenter. “In addition, this is a great opportunity to learn from a wonderful organization about leadership both as individuals and as a team. I personally am looking forward to this training.”

Drs. Pia Lorenzo, Robin Miyamoto and Chad Kawakami

(L to R): Drs. Pia Lorenzo, Robin Miyamoto and Chad Kawakami.

Dr. Pia Lorenzo, JABSOM Assistant Professor in Geriatric Medicine leads the team, “The KOKUA Project: Kūpuna Outreach and Knowledge in Underserved Areas.” She is collaborating with Dr. Robin Miyamoto, JABSOM Assistant Professor, DNHH, Family Medicine and Community Health; and Dr. Chad Kawakami, Assistant Professor, UH Hilo DKICP. Their project aims to improve the care of our kūpuna in underserved rural communities, especially since Hawaiʻi‘s aging population is growing rapidly while the state does not have enough geriatric specialists to meet their complex needs.

“I’ve experienced first-hand the heartache of too many of our kūpuna falling through the cracks due to systems issues despite the best efforts of dedicated health care professionals. Being a part of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program enables our team to get in the trenches with our colleagues fighting the good fight in underserved community health care centers,” said Dr. Lorenzo. “But now, with the RWJF’s support, we are able to help in a different way, and hopefully, in a way that creates a bigger and more lasting impact.”

Although this is the first time Hawaiʻi professionals have been chosen as Clinical Scholars from RWJF, others have received grants in the past from the organization including Dr. Claire Townsend, JABSOM DNHH and Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng, HMSA Endowed Chair in Health Services and Quality Research at the UH JABSOM.

For more information, see the Clinical Scholars website.


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