Medical training in rural communities of Hawai`i is going the distance–and faculty and staff of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) are personally funding some of the expansion. From their own pockets, JABSOM `ohana gave $178,878 in the recently completed 2012 “JABSOM Internal Giving Campaign.” This year, 285 faculty and staff — including 100% of the executive team — made gifts. These are gifts which stay at JABSOM in restricted accounts, to help fund 78 different programs! (Donors were able to choose where to invest their gift from a list of programs.)
The Medical School Development Fund, which provides funding for the Dean to invest in JABSOM priorities, has generated the most support to date – 25% of the total.
Another option, growing in popularity, is to help fund is the expansion of our problem-based learning experiences for MD students in neighbor island communities. The school is now sending medical students to train in Kona, North Hawai`i and Hilo (on Hawai`i Island), in Kahului, Wailuku, Kīhei, Lahaina and Kula (on Maui), in Kaunakakai (on Moloka`i), in Lāna`i City (on Lāna`i), and in Kapa`a, Līhue, `Ele`ele, Kīlauea and Waimea (on Kaua`i).
RACE gets rural training going
JABSOM `ohana donated $17,429 during this giving campaign to the Rural Ambulatory Care Education (RACE) Endowment. Started in 2006 by Dr. Jon V. Martell and his wife, Jamie McCormick, RACE helped JABSOM expand rural training. Dr. Martell, an internal medicine physician in Hilo and JABSOM faculty member, helped create the curriculum for the longitudinal clerkships which are known as “6L.” They began in 1992 on O`ahu. In 1997, Dr. Martell helped expand “6L” to Hilo.
JABSOM Alumni Train and Practice on Hawai`i Island
Dr. Vanessa Hulali Eaglin, JABSOM Class of 2002, a child & adolescent psychiatrist now practicing in Hilo, was one of those who took part in clinical rotations on Hawai`i Island at the end of her first year, for half of her third year, and for a month during her fourth year.
“The time I spent was invaluable,” Eaglin said. “I had the privilege of receiving one-on-one training from experienced clinicians who were eager to share their knowledge. I was presented with many opportunities to develop my bedside manner through interactions with patients in hospital, office, and clinic settings,” Eaglin said.
“The experiences not only cemented my desire to return home to the Hawa`i Island, but they also helped to nurture the confidence needed to become a community physician practicing in a rural area,” Eaglin said.
Maui MD Student Serves in North Kohala ER
Dr. Malia Haleakala, JABSOM Class of 2004, an emergency physician, now practices in North Kohala and serves as the “6L” site coordinator for our third-year medical students. She was able to train in “6L” on her home island of Maui.
“In my third year of study at JABSOM, I had the opportunity to participate in the “6L” program on Maui where I grew up,” said Haleakala. During this program, I worked one-on-one with primary care physicians on the island. It gave me the opportunity to see the way medicine was practiced in an area outside of a large medical center.”
Haleakala also was able to spend part of her fourth year of MD study at North Hawai`i Community Hospital, where the community grabbed her affection.
“I fell in love with the hospital and the community,” Haleakala said. ”My husband and I decided that this is where we wanted to live. My family and I are happy with our decision to live and work here, and plan to stay.”
JABSOM Alumni in Garden Island Service
Dr. Sarah K. Nicholson Lam, JABSOM Class of 2006, grew up on Kaua`i and completed a “6L” longitudinal clerkship there during her third-year of medical school.
“I wanted to make sure that rural medicine is what I wanted to do. The “6L” program was very helpful in showing me what it would be like to be in private practice on Kaua`i,” Lam said. She explained, “You see people you’ve known since childhood everyday on the island, and I wanted to make sure I would be comfortable practicing medicine in this type of environment. It was fine,” she said.
Lam also said the clerkship also helped her meet doctors in the community and make connections with them.
She now shares a pediatric practice with her husband, Dr. Jesse Lam, a JABSOM 2007 alumnus. During this current academic year, Dr. Lam is serving as a resource for students in the “6L” program on Kaua`i, even as she becomes a new mother for the second time.
Having witnessed how much students and underserved communities benefit from these rural and neighbor island clerkships, Dr. Martell and his wife have decided to include a bequest to benefit the RACE endowment in their estate plans.
Our main photo shows JABSOM Alumna Dr. Haleakala with JABSOM MD trainee Vanessa Bleecher in North Hawai`i. Mahalo to Jeffrie Jones and Elaine Evans of the UH Foundation for information about our endowed programs and for organizing the Internal Giving Campaign. UH Foundation is a private 501-(c)(3) organization and all JABSOM funds are overseen and administered by JABSOM personnel.