Imi Ho’ola Welcomes 12 Who Aspire to be MDs

Twelve new students have entered the Class of 2011-12 in the Imi Ho’ola Post-Baccalaureate Program, one of the most successful programs in the country to promote diversity in medicine.

This year’s incoming class includes three neighbor island students (from Hawai’i Island- part of the state where the physician shortage is greatest), eight are from O’ahu, and one is from Guam. Eight of the 12 are women, and eight are graduates of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Shout out to public schools: Eight of the twelve new “Imi” students are graduates of public high schools, including Honoka’a High, Hilo High, Pearl City High, Aiea High, Kalani High, Kapolei High and Leilehua High School. Our private school foursome includes grads of Sacred Hearts, Kamehameha Schools, Maryknoll and Father Duenas Memorial School (in Guam).

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) welcomes all of you–we look forward to seeing you succeed! Our awesome “Imi” faculty are shown, below, right.

FACULTY EXTRAORDINAIRE: Left to right: Kelli-Ann Voloch, Karen Sakamoto, Sandy Tsuhako, Chessa DeCambra, Patrice “Ming” Tim Sing, Winona Lee, Chung-Eun Ha, Anna Molina Acebo, Nadiphuram Bhagavan.

Imi Ho’ola, a program within the medical school’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, seeks out promising college graduates from disadvantaged or under-served communities, offering them a year of intensive preparation for medical school. By completing the training, they earn a place in the next class of MD students. The program has produced more than 200 physicians, including a former state director of health, Chiyome Fukino, MD, the chief medical officer at The Queen’s Medical Center, Gerard Akaka, MD, JABSOM’s Chair of Psychiatry, Naleen Andrade, MD, and many other outstanding physicians who have gone on to serve, and “give back to” the communities from which they came. In the Native Hawaiian language, Imi Ho’ola means “Those Who Seek to Heal.”

The Department of Native Hawaiian Health and Imi Ho’ola have received major support from The Queen’s Medical Center.

TOP PHOTO: MEET THE CLASS! Members of The Imi Ho’ola Post Baccalaureate Program’s Class of 2011-12 are pictured at the top. First row: Brian Imada of Honoka’a; Paul Muna Aguon of Chalan Pago, Guam; Roshan Pillai of Hilo; Zak Ritchey of Wahiawa.  Second row: Jessica Yuen of Kapolei; January May Andaya of Honolulu; Crystal Lam of Aiea, Janelle Otsuji of Ewa Beach; Karra Imoto of Hilo; Andrea Bucci of Honolulu; Jessica Fabrigas of Aiea; and Jolana Goller of Waipahu. (Photo by Dr. Chung-Eun Ha.)

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