UH Med Now
VIDEO: University Health Partners and the John A. Burns School of Medicine take first step in Hilo with statewide women’s healthcare initiative
Pictured: Office staff pose with Dr. Uohara, who serves as OB/GYN Specialist Division Chief
By University Health Partners (UHP) of Hawaiʻi
The clinic features faculty physicians of JABSOM’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health (OB/GYN) and offers services across the spectrum in the field, including general OB/GYN, Urogynecology (female pelvic disorders), Family Planning, Maternal Fetal Medicine (managing the care of mother and baby before birth) and Gynecological Oncology (cancer).
Watch a video by Hawaiʻi Now about the new clinic:
More about the clinic
The most recent study of physician licenses and practices (The Hawaiʻi Physician Workforce Assessment) shows that Hawaiʻi Island has only 75% of the primary care physicians its population requires.
“That is why our expansion into Hawaiʻi Island is so important,” said Dean Jerris Hedges. “The island gains two physicians who are skilled in a service shortage area, OB/GYN, while also providing a place in Hilo where doctors still training in OB/GYN at the University of Hawai’i can come to learn first-hand the skills necessary to work in a unique rural health care setting.”
Dr. John Uohara, who formerly saw patients for 39 years out of the area, was recently hired as the Hilo-based OB/GYN Specialist Division Chief and is overseeing the efforts on Hawai’i Island that address local community needs for general OB/GYN and specialized care.
The goal of the practice is to improve access to women’s care, especially in the face of growing OB/GYN physician shortages, provide subspecialty care so patients do not need to travel for gynecological surgery to Honolulu, improve health outcomes, decrease patient costs and create a sustainable clinical learning environment for medical students and OB/GYN residents in strong partnership with Hilo Medical Center and community stakeholders.
“Opening the office shows the level of commitment UHP and JABSOM have in advancing women’s health,” said Dr. Uohara.
The lunch meeting also included Dr. Mark Hiroka, OB/GYN Residency Program Director and Associate Chair for Academic Affairs and Hilo Medical Center CEO Dan Brinkman.
“With our faculty practice on the island, we will expose our doctors in training to the challenges (low physician resources) and rewards (providing badly needed care) that will ensure a continuous pipeline of physicians who we expect to become passionate about staying on Hawai’i Island,” said Zalud. “Our clinical practice in Hilo will be also a site for our medical students to gain educational experience. In addition to our general OB/GYN services, we will also provide subspecialty care, including surgeries, related to women’s health, minimizing need for patients travel to Honolulu. We aim to improve access to high-quality women’s health care on the island.”
About the JABSOM Department of OB/GYN
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 Hawaiʻi.
In addition to directly serving Hawai‘i’s families, the JABSOM Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology & Women’s Health creates its clinical learning environment for medical students, residents & fellows through its University Health Partners of Hawaiʻi (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 Hawaiʻi are volunteer faculty. Specialty training is offered in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Planning and Maternal Fetal Medicine.
About University Health Partners of Hawaiʻi (UHP)