JABSOM salutes all of Hawai`iʻs Veterans, including two of the newest “Vets” to join our staff

By Jeffery Long, UHMed Contributor

Veteran’s Day, observed on Monday, November 12 this year, is meant to honor all veterans who served in the U.S. military, here at home or abroad.  The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) salutes all the men and women in our lives and communities who at times put themselves through great personal risk on behalf of our country. And we especially say “mahalo” to the military medical providers who serve the people of our State and our country, and the many military veterans who are on our faculty.

Two of the newest “Vets” at JABSOM joined us in just the past few months, and this seems a good time to formally introduce them to you.

Our new Director of Information Technology, Henry Glaspie and the new Director of Facilities, Edward Ohlson both served in the United States Navy before beginning their work at the University of Hawai`iʻs medical school.

OIT’s Hank Glaspie

Hank in his U.S. Navy dress uniform.

Mr. Glaspie (“Hank” to everyone on the 4th Floor of the Medical Education Building), is an veteran of Operation: Desert Storm. He served as a Supply Corps Officer for eight years in the Navy. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Glaspie was stationed in cities as diverse as Norfolk, Virginia, Pensacola, Florida, San Diego, California, and Indianapolis, Indiana. He obtained a BA in Applied Mathematics from Hampton University, and after leaving the Navy in 2001, decided to further his education by attending the University of Cincinnati, where he achieved a BS in Information Technology.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Glaspie moved to Orlando, Florida, where he had heard of opportunities in the high-tech industries. This led to a position at the University of Central Florida, where he started in the university’s central computer service. Mr. Glaspie transitioned temporarily to the UCF Foundation before accepting a position as Director of the UCF College of Medicine in March of 2008.

The process of building the UCF College of Medicine from the ground up was challenging but rewarding work for Mr. Glaspie. During his time there, he and his team installed new IT systems, data centers, servers, all the while “learning how med schools worked—how the whole thing worked.” One of his biggest accomplishments was building a cutting edge clinical skills simulation center and enlarging the clinical skills training space from a four-room office location to a 12-room simulated training area. Currently, Mr. Glaspie has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering, and is currently working on a PHD in Modeling and Simulation. “That’s why I have an affinity to the JABSOM simulation center (SimTiki Center),” he  says.

Hank, JABSOM’s new Director of the Office of Information Technology

As he begins his work at JABSOM, Mr. Glaspie looks forward to addressing a new set of challenges. “This is a more mature infrastructure,” he told me. “We were literally graduating the first class of medical students at UCF—here there are many things already in place, so we don’t have to create systems from scratch.” Mr. Glaspie’s three major initiatives in the coming months include addressing HIPAA (patient privacy requirements) and IT security issues at JABSOM, further developing the SIMTiki center on the third floor of the Medical Education Building, and improving the JABSOM website. Mr. Glaspie takes his role at JABSOM seriously. “We at JABSOM have to make doctors for Hawai‘i and the Pacific—if we don’t, no one else will. In a state like Florida, there are six medical schools—but we are it for thousands of miles.”

At the same time, Mr. Glaspie cherishes his time in Hawai‘i. “When I was in the Navy, I always wanted to be stationed here,” he says. “I love Hawai‘i. There is such a community focus, a family focus” (speaking of which, Mr. Glaspie’s wife Shelley currently works in the Dean’s Office).  “It’s just a different way in which Hawai‘i operates.”

Facilities chief Ed Ohlson

JABSOM Facilities Director Edward Ohlson

Edward Ohlson (“Ed” to his colleagues in the Dean’s Office), originally from Chicago, Illinois, began as JABSOM Facilities Director on August 20. He was a career Navy man, joining the service after he finished high school. After working as non-commissioned officer for a short time, Mr. Ohlson was awarded a scholarship to the University of Utah, where he obtained a BS in Physics. He then continued at the Navy as a commissioned officer, where his primary work was in nuclear power and surface warfare. He was stationed aboard a nuclear submarine, a frigate, two nuclear cruisers and a nuclear aircraft carrier. In 1989, Mr. Ohlson took a postion as Assistant Professor at Notre Dame teaching naval history and naval engineering. His career in the Navy also led to a stint at the Naval College in Oslo, Norway, and two periods working at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. In 1997, Mr. Ohlson left the Navy to work in the private energy sector.

Before coming to JABSOM, Mr. Ohlson worked at ComEd and Exelon, with responsibilities in overseeing nuclear power plant maintenance and energy engineering. He has led projects and developed work scope plans for nuclear power plant upgrades, transformer replacement, and transformer and breaker repair and maintenance, very sophisticated technology by any stretch of the imagination.

Mr. Ohlson’s connection to Hawai`i goes back quite a ways. He was stationed in Hawai‘i for three years while he was with the Navy; later in life, his son decided he wanted to attend the University of Hawai‘i after graduating from high school, a far cry from his home in Chicago. “I made him a deal. I told him if you want to go to UH, you should work for a year before school, and become a resident. We took a trip to the north shore of Kaua`i and I stayed for five days. It was the only island I never visited when I lived here. And I actually have a cousin on Kaua`i, whose mom used to always brag that her son had ‘oceanfront property.’ So we went through Kaua`i, looking for work and a place to stay, and he found a room to rent in Poipu, and a job at a surf shop in the town.” After attending Kaua`i Community College, Mr. Ohlson’s son us now a full time student at UH Mānoa. “He loves it here,” Mr. Ohlson says.

As the JABSOM Facilities Director, Mr. Ohlson’s current areas of focus will be obtaining and maintaining certification for JABSOM Level 3 labs, and the comprehensive renovation of the JABSOM Ancillary Building, into which select JABSOM and UH Mānoa laboratories will relocate, including an animal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.

Mr. Ohlson’s wife Sue is the Director of Continuing Studies and Coordinator of Administrative Nursing at the University of Illinois Chicago and will be joining him in March of next year, with his two dogs Sammy and Cadbury.

Let’s welcome our new directors!

About our writer:

Jeffery Long is a Central Business Officer at JABSOM, stationed on the MEB 4th floor. But he is also an English major and writes both news stories and fiction in his spare time. Jeff graduated from the University of Hawai’i Mānoa and returned to JABSOM earlier this year after a short stint at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Mahalo, Jeff, for contributing your talents to UHMEDNow!


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