Dr. Taualii FIRST NATIVE HAWAIIAN Appointed to National Public Health Board

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has appointed Maile Taualii, PhD, a member of its Executive Board. Dr. Taualii is the first Native Hawaiian to serve on the board of the 139-year old organization, the oldest and largest Public Health organization in the world.

Dr. Taualii, an assistant professor and Chair of Health Policy and Management in the Office of Public Health Studies in the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), joined the UH faculty in May, 2011. She also serves as an assistant professor in JABSOM’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health.

“Dr. Taualii is an emerging young leader in public health, whose enthusiasm for eliminating disparities in indigenous populations has merited the attention of the American Public Health Association Board,” said Jay Maddock, PhD, Chair of the Office of Public Health Studies. “Having her on the board helps draw national attention to public health issues in Hawai’i.”

Dr. Taualii, pictured above being congratulated by U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, (she is second from the right), teaches a number of courses which focus on indigenous health and has expertise in informatics and public health genetics. She is Director of the Native Hawaiian Epidemiology Center.

“I’ve had the pleasure and honor of being mentored by a number of great leaders in Native Hawaiian health including; Kekuni Blaisdell, Mele Look, JoAnn Tsark, Kathryn Braun, Emmett Aluli, and many more. Their aloha has given me the strength and dedication to serve Indigenous people throughout the world. It’s my goal in life to make them proud and do my best to build off the amazing work they have done,” said Taualii.

Taualii is also familiar with the workings of the APHA. She is a member of the organization and has served chair of its American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian Caucus. She was appointed to the national board at the APHA’s October meeting in Washington, D.C.

Taualii received her PhD in Health Services, with an emphasis in Public Health Informatics and Public Health Genetics from the University of Washington, where she also completed her Master’s degree in Public Health. She is the founding Director of the Native Hawaiian Epidemiology Center housed at Papa Ola Lokahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Board.

The recipient of a Bioinformatics/Public Health Informatics Fellowship, Taualii served as the Scientific Director for the Urban Indian Health Institute, an Indian Health Service designated Tribal Epidemiology Center for nearly 10 years. A primary research focus for Dr. Taualii is the utility and validity of health information for racial minorities.

Taualii is the Immediate Past Co-Chair for the Native Research Network, a Board member of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Health Alliance, Vice Chair of the International Indigenous Centre for Health Intelligence and Vice President of the Ko’olauloa Community Health and Wellness Center.

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