The John A. Burns School of Medicine celebrates 50 years since its founding in 2015! Our annual MD Alumni “Reconnect” events are building toward our golden anniversary celebration! In this video, see how we are looking back and moving forward, and do make plans to join us for Reconnect 2014 on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
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Reconnect 2013 By Tina Shelton
Kaka`ako has been home to The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) since 2005. But alumni know Hawai`i’s medical school was founded nearly 50 years ago. Its graduates can celebrate that generations of physicians were educated and are practicing here.
DR. CEDRIC AKAU, JABSOM Class of 1983: “We really are again blessed to be here at John A. Burns School of Medicine to celebrate this wonderful school and all it has done for us and maybe even some of children, and maybe eventually grandchildren. But all of the keiki, all of the makua, all of the kūpuna are thankful for the John A. Burns School of Medicine.”
Each summer the alumni reconnect ceremony is a chance to look back, and move forward.
HON. JAMES BURNS, Son of Gov. John A. Burns: “You know I think back to the good ole days, some 50 years ago when this school was just a thought. A thought that most people in Hawai`i didn’t think would come to past. I find it amazing that I’m standing here 50 years later and this school is as successful as it is. Now I’m going to look at all of you and tell you that you’re responsible for the next 50. I’m not going to be here but I hope on the 100th anniversary, you all assemble and you say the same thing to them, ‘go for 150!’ This is a dream come true. My father would be very proud of the fact that his vision was actually accomplished and we’re actually producing sufficient doctors to take care of old folks like me. Which I think is great. That’s called real vision. I’m really proud of this school. I’m proud to have the name Burns attached to this school. And I congratulate all of you for all you do for it and I urge you to continue to do more. Thank you.”
Doing more – the Dean hopes – will including continuing to grow the four MD classes, currently at 66 students each.
DR. JERRIS HEDGES, Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine: “We’re intending to grow the class size. So with your help and that of the community, we hope to increase our entering class from 66 to 75. That’s our vision and we need your support to help make that happen.”
Support from alumni “reconnecting” tonight is a way to give back to so many who made the dream of practicing medicine a reality; everyone from faculty to those who ensured every graduating class had a celebratory lū`au .
MARY JUDD, Hosted Decades of Student Lū`au in her yard: ”We did it for about thirty-some years. Each class was different. The parents would help if they could… Every Hawaiian family has a big refrigerator out by their garage, and I opened it up and they had taken out all the shelves and there was probably a 500-pound pig stuffed in the whole fridge… We have all different stories I could write a book about the luaus and it bonded them. They provided the entertainment, they learned hula together, they prepared food together, it’s a very wonderful thing and that `ohana feeling goes out through them and they reach out again.”
Graduates of the Class of 1988 are dancing this night away. Our MD program started humbly at first, offering only two years – half of what students would need to earn their degrees. Soon it would grow to open new doors for Hawai`i’s people.
DR. BEN YOUNG, Former Dean of Students: “It all started with the second dean of this school, Terrence Rogers, he asked me to come on board in a fledgling state when we were still a 2 year medical school. I didn’t know what he meant; he said we have an opportunity to do some social engineering here. Me in my innocence and naiveté said in my head, I wonder what this guy means by that. So he said, we have an opportunity to make an impact not only in Hawai`i but the whole Pacific basin. We can improve healthcare and also get more young people who deserve to be in medicine, this opportunity to come to this school, so if you look at the graduates today you can really get the answer to that question. The graduates the ones who really have made an impact on the contributions of the John A. Burns School of Medicine, in healthcare throughout this part of our world. “
Voice of DR. KALANI BRADY, Department of Native Hawaiian Health: “Creator’s spirit, we are grateful that we live in a place people call a paradise. We are grateful for being part of this paradise here at John A. Burns School of Medicine and we thank you for those who have come before us in vision and in work and created this miraculous place. This place where we who felt called to help heal others came to learn the skill that we needed. We are mindful of those who taught us in these halls. We are grateful for the calling itself that you’ve given us for the fulfillment of being able to help people in their healthy lives so they can live a more fulfilling time on this earth.”