UH Med Now

Aiming High: Welcoming the newest ʻImi Hoʻōla Class

Date: August 9th, 2019 in JABSOM News, Native Hawaiian Health, Student Life, UH Manoa    Print or PDF

The Imi 2020 Class.

Pictured: The ʻImi Class. Photo courtesy of Dr. Chung Eun Ha.

By Deborah Manog Dimaya, UH Med Now Correspondent

The University of Hawaiʻi (UH) is welcoming the newest batch of students in the 2020 ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program. The new class includes a dozen college graduates who come from socially and economically disadvantaged communities, who have been selected to earn admission to the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) by completing the yearlong pre-medical “bootcamp” course.

The ʻImi Hoʻōla (“Those who seek to heal”) class consists of a diverse group including Hawaiian, Tongan, Filipino, African American and Chinese. ten of the twelve students graduated from public high schools including Hilo High School, Roosevelt High School, Waimea High School, Moanalua High School, Campbell High School, Kapolei High School and George Washington High School.

A total of eight students in this year’s program received their undergraduate or master’s degree from an University of Hawaiʻi campus, either UH Manoa or UH Hilo. Two students have obtained their Master’s degree in Public Health. The new students hail from Hawaiʻi island (2), Kauaʻi (2), Oʻahu (7) and Guam. The smart and talented group also includes an olympic athlete and a Narcissus Pageant Princess.

About the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program
For over 45 years, the ʻImi Hoʻōla has invested in aspiring doctors who display great potential but who will have a better chance at successfully navigating medical school after a year-long preparatory program. During their time in the course, each student receives a stipend provided by The Queen’s Health Systems, which allows students to commit their full attention to the rigorous premedical program. ʻImi, part of the JABSOM Department of Native Hawaiian Health, recruits students from historically underprivileged or disadvantaged backgrounds. It is an enormous success, with more than 240 physicians having successfully completed ʻImi and medical school. Most of them are practicing medicine here in the islands, giving back to underserved communities.

Meet the class:
In the main photo above (L to R): Joshua Ilustre of Chalan Pago, Pearl Dasalla of Hilo, Lamar Carter of Honolulu, Peggy Su of Honolulu, Piueti Maka of ʻEwa Beach, Mark Kevin Razalan of Hanapēpē, Sarah Albrecht of Captain Cook, Jennifer Wong of Kapolei, Genardine Arizala of Waipahu, Melia Takakusagi of Ele’ele, Joshua Villaro of ʻEwa Beach and Collin Liang of Honolulu.

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