UH Med Now
JABSOM Doctor Honored with Prestigious ʻŌʻō Award
John A. Burns was Hawaiʻi’s second elected governor, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Medicine bears his name.
“Of all the buildings to place his name on, he wanted to affix his name on this school because he believed that greatness came from Hawaiʻi,” says Dr. Naleen Andrade. “If we just gave our local kids the opportunity to have that access, they would rise.”
47 years after his death, the John A. Burns School of Medicine remains one of the top-ranked medical schools in the United States. Many graduates carry out the vision Governor Burns had decades ago. Serving Hawaiʻi for more than three decades, Dr. Naleen Naupaka Andrade, MD is a prime example of what Governor Burns imagined for the school and the state. On Friday, was honored with the Ōʻō Award. The Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce presents the annual award to Native Hawaiians who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the Native Hawaiian community.
Born in Honolulu and raised in Kona, Dr. Andrade graduated from JABSOM’s ʻImi Hoʻōla program and medical school and started her career in 1986 after completing her residency training here at home. She’s been at JABSOM since, working on advancing education, mentoring, and research to better understand contributors to health and well-being among indigenous peoples.
Dr. Andrade is a tenured Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the National Center on Indigenous Hawaiian Behavioral Health. She’s on leave so she could become the Executive Vice-President of Native Hawaiian Health, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, and Caregiver Wellness at The Queen’s Health Systems (QHS) of Hawai’i.
Dr. Andrade is one of three people who were honored with the ʻŌʻō Award on Friday night. She was nominated by former student and mentee Dr. Nalani Blaisdell.
“When you’re doing it, you don’t really think about it. I have a passion for advancing Native Hawaiian health and ensuring that we’re healthy,” said Andrade.
Since it was first awarded, the ʻŌʻō has become one of the most prestigious and coveted awards specifically for Native Hawaiians and has become a symbol of inspiration for young Native Hawaiians.
“It’s humbling,” she says. “It’s easy when it’s someone you’re celebrating. When you’re the person who’s being celebrated, that’s another thing, but I’ll be with JABSOM ʻohana, Queens’ ʻohana, and with good friends and family. That will make the celebration sweeter.”
Matthew Campbell, Director of Communications