The medical students of the University of Hawai`i’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) sponsored the 8th Annual JABSOM Community Health Fair on January 4, 2013, from 12 PM to 3 PM on the grounds of the medical school, at 651 Ilalo Street in Kaka`ako. This year’s theme was “Kūlia I Ka Nu‘u – Strive for the Summit!”
The fair began with a Hawaiian ‘Oli by faculty of the medical school’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health, Dr. Kalani Brady and Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter. Medical student Marina Hitosugi-Levesque, Co-Chair of the health fair, started things off as emcee, introducing Dean Jerris Hedges, who said, “The medical school is really your medical school–90% of our students are Hawai`i residents and we are proud to say half of the physicians practicing in Hawai`i today were trained through JABSOM. Our graduates are your doctors, your family members’ doctors, your neighbor’s doctors.”
Dean Hedges stressed that the medical school’s Kaka`ako buildings are financed with money the Hawai`i State Legislature committed to the school from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and that the UH Cancer Center, which opened on the Kaka`ako campus this year, is financed by a cigarette tax allocated by lawmakers and state leaders. The dean said the financial support to the medical school and cancer center demonstrates that lawmakers value the training of our future physicians and support the development of cutting-edge research and treatment for Hawai`i residents.
The students welcomed special guests from the Hawai`i State Legislature. Rep. Ryan Yamane (Mililani), Rep. Gregg Takayama (Pearl City) and Rep. Mark Nakashima (Hawai`i Island) spent time talking to students, community groups offering health information in booths at the fair, and members of the public.
The students also were happy to meet and publicly thank the community partners who made the fair possible through their generous donations. They included:
- Aloha Care: Susie Corse
- Hawai`i IPA: Lisa Konove
- HMSA: Tai Leong and Sherene Abushara
- Islands Hospice: Dr. Michael Duick
- Kaiser Permanente: Laura Lott
- PMAG: Mr. Summers, Angel Sabio, and Darene Sano
- Team Praxis: Michael Chong and Carl Barton
The JABSOM community heath fairs have drawn hundreds of members of the public to JABSOM every year since they were inspired by the vision of two medical students back in 2004. The MD inter-class council and first and second-year medical students plan each fair, inviting vendors and coordinating exhibits, taking the lead in publicizing the effort with help from the Dean’s Office, and inviting elected officials to attend as well. “We believe that an annual student-run community health fair helps JABSOM achieve its mission to train competent and compassionate physicians to serve the unique needs of Hawai‘i,” said first-year medical student Chadwick Council. “The health fair provides broad community exposure to health-related organizations and a chance to make a difference in our society.”
“These fairs really are a valuable resource, too,” said student planning committee member Meghann Lau, a first-year medical student. “They help us uncover support available to the medical student population and to facilitate networking and outreach opportunities between us and the community and other medical professionals.”They also strengthen the relationship between the medical school and our community to foster patient-oriented care early in our students’ medical careers,” she said.
The students see the fair as a place to distribute accurate and current information and new health trends to the fair’s participants and to provide experts in various health fields to discuss current health topics. Those topics may end up being areas in which students can explore research or outreach opportunities. “We also engage participants with interactive displays and games,” Lau added.
Community Support: Mahalo!
Once more, we want to thank the community organizations which donated money (and their time!) to support the student heath fair. HMSA, Pacific Medical Administrative Group, Islands Hospice, Aloha Care, Kaiser Permanente Hawai`i Region, Hawai`i Independent Physicians Association and TeamPraxis, Mahalo! Thanks also to the Blood Bank of Hawai`i’s Bloodmobile and to Project Vision for providing retina screenings at the fair. News media in Honolulu helped with publicity, including Midweek, Pacific Business News, KHON-2 News, Hawai`i News Now and KITV-4. Our thanks indeed!
The following are the medical students who organized the 2013 Community Health Fair:
Set-Up Committee: Lauryn Ando (chair), Janna Taylor, Mary Rose Lansangan, Jolana Gollero, Chih-Wei Chang, Princeton Ly, Tanner Kim, Jen Wong, Jaclyn Kagihara, Vivian Lin
Photos by Arnold Kameda, JABSOM