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

Date: October 16th, 2018 in Collaboration, Faculty, Graduate Medical Education, JABSOM News, Rural, University Health Partners (UHP)    Print or PDF

The office staff pose with Dr. Uohara in the new UHP clinic.

Pictured: Office staff pose with Dr. Uohara, who serves as OB/GYN Specialist Division Chief

By University Health Partners (UHP) of Hawaiʻi

University of Hawai’i (UH) regent Douglas Shinsato, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Dean Jerris Hedges, leaders in UH Hilo health programs, local physicians and area health system leaders met last Friday in Hilo to celebrate the establishment of the medical school’s first permanent clinic outside of O’ahu and discuss the future of medicine on Hawaiʻi Island.

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:


Note: Sponsored Hawaiʻi Now stories are made possible by an anonymous generous donor.

More about the clinic
The new clinic, at 82 Puʻuhonu Place Community Surgery Center near Hilo Intermediate School, is operated by University Health Partners (UHP) of Hawaiʻi, and staffed by JABSOM clinical assistant clinical professor Dr. Emilie Stickley. Last year UHP welcomed its first full-time faculty member in Hilo, Dr. Kareem Khozaim, clinical assistant professor, who practices as a UHP contracted physician at the Bay Clinic in Hilo.

“We are committed to advancing women’s health across the state as well as to advocating for a clinical learning environment for our medical students and OB/GYN residents” said Ivica Zalud, MD, PhD, Professor and Kosasa Endowed Chair of the OB/GYN Department. “Hilo was a natural first step.”

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.

Dr. Emilie Stickley in her office

Dr. Emilie Stickley

“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.”

Shows the clinic site from the air

The clinic site from the air.

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
Physicians with the OB-GYN Department of the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) provide coverage for multiple hospitals in Hawai‘i including Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children, The Queen’s Medical Center, and Pali Momi Medical Center.

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)
University Health Partners of Hawaiʻi (formerly known as UCERA) is the faculty practice plan of the John A. Burns School of Medicine and is dedicated to supporting the educational, research and community service activities of JABSOM as well as other University of Hawai‘i health sciences. The practice plan includes more than 130 participating physicians. UHP physicians provide services for multiple hospitals in Hawai‘i including Kapi‘olani Medical Center, The Queen’s Medical Center, Kuakini Medical Center, and Pali Momi Medical Center. For more information see https://uhphawaii.org/.

Share this: