Dr. Satoru Izutsu, the longtime head of admissions at the University of Hawai`i’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) has been recognized with the “President’s Award” presented by the Hawai`i Medical Association (HMA).
Dr. Izutsu, a former Professor in the UH School of Public Health’s Department of International Public Health, was honored for the impact he has had in Hawai`i and around the world. He administered training programs in family planning in Hong Kong, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia. He still serves as JABSOM’s Director of the Office of Global Health/Medicine at the JABSOM. Before joining the medical school in 1989, Dr. Izutsu was an ACE Fellow and Special Assistant to UH President Dr. Fujio Matsuda, whom he considers his mentor. Dr. Izutsu also was superintendent of the 850-bed Waimano Training School and Hospital and Executive Director of the Regional Medical Program of Hawai`i and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
But many believe Dr. Izutsu’s leading role in selecting the students admitted into Hawai`i’s only allopathic medical school is his greatest contribution to the health of the people of our state and region.
“There isn’t a physician in Hawai`i the past 30 years who hasn’t been personally influenced by Dr. Izutsu,” said Dr. Thomas Kosasa, HMA Secretary and 2006 HMA Physician of the Year, who introduced Dr. Izutsu when he was presented with the award at HMA’s annual Ola Pono Ike Ball. (Dr. Izutsu is pictured with Dr. Kosasa and outgoing HMA president Dr. Roger Kimura.
Dr. Izutsu served as Director of Admissions at JABSOM for 23 years. During that time, he interviewed 3,800 applicants of whom 1, 210 were selected by the Admissions Committee and 97% graduated. Dr. Izutsu often says that he believes “JABSOM’s physicians are not only the brightest, but the ‘best'”.
Dr. Izutsu also is the contributing editor of “Hotline”, a monthly feature in the Hawai`i Journal of Medicine and Public Health. He has not missed a deadline in 18 years, since beginning the column in 1993. His columns often profile the work going on it one of the medical school’s 15 clinical departments.
Dr. Satoru Izutsu was born in the year of the Dragon on Kaua`i and graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute, University of Hawai`i, Columbia University, and Case-Western Reserve University.
He nurtured his successor as Admissions Director, Dr. Ivy Nip-Asano, who took over the responsibility this past year. Dr. Izutsu remains a senior advisor to JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges, and conducts the weekly meetings of the Dean’s administrative team.
Dr. Izutsu is a licensed Psychologist with interests in Intellectual Development, the physically challenged, and Gerontology. He served in the Army during the Korean War, and retired as a Colonel from the active Reserves.
Prior to returning to Hawai`i from the mainland, he volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee in the former Yugoslavia. Internationally, he has also worked in Thailand to Develop and Evaluate an Integrated (Health) Delivery System.
Now, in addition to the many awards he has received over the years, he holds the President’s Award from the HMA.
Photos courtesy of the Hawai`i Medical Association. Story by Tina Shelton.