GERIATRIC MEDICINE endowed chair planned through couple’s generous bequest

Almost 75 faculty and staff of the Department of Geriatric Medicine recognized Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Uyeda for choosing to include the department in their estate plans, in a gathering on December 12, 2013. The Uyedas’ bequest will establish the Kenneth Keiso Uyeda and Nora Saida Uyeda Endowment in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at JABSOM, funding an endowed chair for the department.

“We are so grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Uyeda for this generous gift that will live in perpetuity as an endowment,” said Dr. Kamal Masaki, Chair of Geriatric Medicine. “As retired teachers, they have continued their commitment to education and helped us teach our medical students, residents and fellows. Over the years, they have become part of our geriatrics family. This generous endowment will allow future generations of doctors to learn about geriatrics.”

Ken and Nora Uyeda.

Ken and Nora Uyeda.

About the donors

Kenneth Keiso Uyeda and Nora Saida Uyeda are both University of Hawai’i at Mānoa alumni who spent their careers as elementary school teachers in Scarsdale, New York. They are also longtime friends of current Vice Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Dr. Satoru Izutsu.  When the Uyedas returned home to Hawai`i in the early 1980s, after they retired from teaching, they asked Dr. Izutsu for assistance in getting settled back home. He was instrumental in introducing Mrs. Uyeda and her mother, Mrs. Kikue Saida, to Dr. Patricia Blanchette, then head of the Geriatric Medicine Program at JABSOM. Mrs. Uyeda credits the care given to her mother by Dr. Blanchette, Dr. Masaki, and the department as the reason for her mother’s longevity. In turn, Mr. and Mrs. Uyeda have now benefited from the care of department faculty and fellows for many years themselves. To express their appreciation for the wonderful care they have received by Dr. Masaki, the current department chair, and the department’s faculty and fellows, and to recognize the excellent training providing by the program, Mr. and Mrs. Uyeda have been generous supporters of the Department of Geriatric Medicine since 2000.

Reason for the gift

Mr. and Mrs. Uyeda have chosen to include the Department of Geriatric Medicine in their estate plans. They hope their gift will inspire additional endowment gifts in support of the Department of Geriatric Medicine; signal their support of former and current leadership of the department; strengthen the educational, clinical training, research and community outreach missions of the department; and help ensure a strong future for the geriatric medicine fellowship training program so that more seniors within the State of Hawai`i can benefit from such excellent care.

Mrs. Uyeda and her niece surrounded by JABSOM and UH Foundation leadership and members of the Department of Geriatric Medicine.

Members of the Geriatric Medicine department at JABSOM.

About the Department

The Geriatric Medicine program at JABSOM was launched in 1984 by Dr. Patricia Blanchette, under the leadership of then dean, Dr. Terry Rogers.  For twenty (20) years, Dr. Blanchette nurtured and built the program into one of the strongest geriatric medicine programs in the nation. The program has included a fully-accredited graduate medical education fellowship since 1986 and is one of the largest fellowships in the country.  The program attained full department status in January 2004, thereby making JABSOM only the fourth medical school in the nation to designate Geriatric Medicine as a full department.  Since its inception, the department has developed strong educational, clinical and research programs and has frequently been ranked among the top 20 Geriatric Medicine programs nationwide.

Due to our nation’s rapidly aging population, Geriatric Medicine is now a federally designated critical shortage specialty.  Current studies estimate that the United States needs 30,000 geriatricians, but there are less than 7,000 currently practicing nationwide.  Many of these geriatricians are close to retirement age, so the number of practicing geriatricians is expected to drop in each coming year, while the need for them keeps increasing.  Given Hawaii’s seniors represent proportionately more of our State’s population than do seniors in other states, having well trained geriatricians to care for Hawai`i’s elderly is becoming increasingly important.


Mrs. Uyeda chatting with Founding Geriatric Medicine Chair Patricia Blanchette, MD, and current Chair Dr. Kamal Masaki, MD.

Already, 156 geriatricians have completed their Geriatric Medicine fellowships at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa’s medical school.  Among the geriatricians practicing in Hawai`i, it is estimated that over 90% received their training from the University of Hawai`i’s Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program.

Interested in donating to JABSOM or creating a legacy here through estate planning? Contact Jeffrie Jones, UH Foundation at JABSOM, at or call (808) 692-0873.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes