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Generous supporters of JABSOM recognized on Hawaiʻi’s National Philanthropy Day

Date: November 14th, 2022 in Donors, FOMS, Giving, JABSOM News, OB-GYN, UH Manoa    Print or PDF

Dr. Thomas Kosasa and his family have been generous JABSOM supporters

Through millions of dollars of donations, Dr. Thomas Kosasa along with other members of the Kosasa family have created professorships and endowments and helped facilitate research at the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Through generations of giving, the Kosasa family has made Hawaiʻi a better place to live. Many believe the commitment of the Kosasa family helped catapult JABSOM to the top tier of primary care medical schools in the United States.

“I think my grandmother was the first person who influenced me. She sold her wedding ring to build the first Kaimuki YMCA,” Kosasa said, tracing his philanthropic roots. “To me, that was a tremendous sacrifice on her part. My thoughts of giving were initially from my grandmother,” he said.

On November 4, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Aloha Chapter honored Dr. Kosasa for his years of helping make Hawaiʻi a better place.

Dr. Kosasa’s contributions helped the school invest in clinical training, research, and faculty development. In 2000, the family’s investments helped start the Institute for Biogenesis Research.

JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges has led the medical school for 14 years and expressed gratitude for Dr. Kosasa and his family. They have made an impact well beyond the borders of the Kakaʻako campus.

“As the dean, I have seen these contributions spark new programs, reward and retain exceptional faculty members, initiate research to improve the health of the people of Hawaiʻi, spark the Hawaiʻi economy through support of pilot projects which bring federal research dollars to Hawaiʻi, provide direct service to the community, and much more,” Hedges said. “I am forever indebted to Dr. Kosasa and his family for their endearing support of Hawaiʻi’s outstanding medical school.”

“My philosophy is to help people who helped me when I was growing up,” Kosasa said as he gave a glimpse into what motivates him to donate. “Education is also very important. Not only for me but for everyone.”

Dr. Kosasa’s contributions are not just financial. Throughout his career in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dr. Kosasa delivered more than 10,000 babies and is one of the country’s leading infertility experts.

Dr. Kosasa serves as secretary of the Hawaiʻi Medical Association, sits on the Kapiʻolani Health Foundation board, and is one of Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women & Children’s leading donors.

As Dr. Kosasa reflects on his lifetime of giving, he urges JABSOM students to continue the legacy of philanthropy.

“What is given to you, you should give back. I think that’s the most important thing—to give back,” he said. “I had a wonderful opportunity in education, and I’d like to give that back to our medical school and our students.”

The Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association (HMSA) was also honored at the AFP Aloha Chapter event. For more than 20 years, HMSA has generously supported community health programs throughout the islands while looking toward the future by investing in practitioner education.


HMSA started the “HMSA Learning Innovations Endowment” to support innovative medical education.

The Association recently gave a $5 million gift to JABSOM to establish the “HMSA Learning Innovations Endowment” to support innovative medical education. The gift comes at a critical time as the state continues to face a shortage of physicians. HMSA leaders have noted that “The doctor shortage has contributed to health care disparities, especially on the neighbor islands. JABSOM is committed to helping address the shortage and has been increasing its class size to accommodate more trainees. Innovations in medical education are required for the next generation of providers.”

JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges said, “The solution to the provider shortage is not to simply train more physicians but to train physicians differently and to help them adopt a new skill set better suited for the future of practice in Hawaiʻi. Innovation in curriculum and medical training is essential for staying on the cutting edge of our community’s efforts to attain lasting optimal health for all. We are immensely grateful to HMSA for their generous investment in our collective future.”

Matthew Campbell, Director of Communications

Dr. Thomas Kosasa and his family have been generous JABSOM supporters

Dr. Thomas Kosasa and his family have been generous JABSOM supporters. Photo by Julie Inouye.

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