John A. Burns School of Medicine Mon, 22 May 2017 22:54:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NEIGHBOR ISLANDS: UH medical school deploys first full time OB-GYN faculty/provider in Hilo Sat, 20 May 2017 03:26:15 +0000 Pictured: OB-GYN Chair Dr. Ivica Zalud, Mayor Harry Kim and JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges at a community meeting announcing a new faculty OB-GYN member based in Hilo.

By Vina Cristobal, University Health Partners of Hawaiʻi

Elected officials, health care leaders and the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) had an occasion to celebrate last week in Hilo. As “ground zero” in the state’s worsening physician shortage, there is a critical need for primary care physicians on the rural Big Island. (The most recent Hawai’i Physician Workforce Assessment calculated that Hawai’i Island has 20% fewer doctors than it needs for its current population.)

New OB-GYN Provider and Professor for Hilo
On May 12, the University medical school’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health (OB-GYN) announced the deployment of a new faculty physician to serve patients in Hilo. The new doctor is also an assistant clinical professor, who will help to train other physicians beginning next year. That is when the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) OB-GYN residency program will begin regular clinical rotations of MDs in their third-year of training, on Hawai’i Island. In collaboration with the Hilo Bay Clinic and Hilo Medical Center, the future doctors will have the opportunity to see what rural medicine can be like as they actually care for patients (under faculty supervision) in an underserved community. The hope is that the MDs will consider opening their own practices in East Hawai’i when their training is completed.

“To people from outside of Hawaiʻi Island, I can never express what this means to us,” said Hawaiʻi County Mayor Harry Kim. “This is almost like a culmination of years and years of trying to get more medical resources here. And I can’t say enough how much of a breakthrough this is … for Hawaiʻi people. and I think you can sense it, we are all excited about today.”

Meet Dr. Kareem Khozaim
Dr. Kareem Khozaim becomes the first OB-GYN doctor in Hilo employed by University Health Partners, or UHP, the JABSOM faculty practice plan. As an OB-GYN generalist, Dr. Khozaim focuses on taking care of women from adolescence to their elderly lives. A JABSOM assistant clinical professor, Dr. Khozaim will serve patients in East Hawai’i and also help teach the next generation of physicians.

Dr. Khozaim is an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Indiana University in July 2014. As an individual who was raised in a family of strong female physicians, he recognizes the struggles that women face, both on a socioeconomic and personal level.

“On a global level, women have gotten the short end of the stick in almost every way,” Dr. Khozaim said. “A woman’s medical health is intimately intertwined with her socioeconomic status, and as an OB-GYN I hope to significantly affect both. A strategy as simple as helping a woman manage her fertility can have profound effects on an entire family’s socioeconomic status.”

This perspective in improving global health led to his work in Kenya during his medical school and residency training. During that time, he focused on providing cervical cancer screening for women with HIV. After his residency, he was employed at the Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Tropical Medical Center in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

“I loved it there [in American Samoa],” Dr. Khozaim said. “From a physician perspective, I was able to see and do many things that probably I probably wouldn’t see or do in the U.S. mainland too much.”

Aside from being exposed to uncommon conditions and procedures, one of his main projects at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center was establishing and developing minimally invasive gynecologic surgery services.

The Hilo Bay Clinic provides services to underserved communities on the Big Island, which is what drew Dr. Khozaim to work for JABSOM and UHP. He hopes to inspire newly-trained physicians to provide services on Hilo or in other areas in need of medical services. The agreement with both the medical school and the faculty practice will hopefully allow him to continue his work in American Samoa once a year to maintain his relationship with the LBJ Tropical Medical Center and the community at large.

“I am very excited about UH and UHP partnering with Hilo Bay Clinic,” he said. “A UH presence in the Big Island seems long overdue and I think everyone is optimistic about the positive impact UH can have on Hilo, and the Big Island in general … This community definitely deserves our attention.”

Khozaim is not alone in his optimism. State Senator Lorraine Inouye of Hilo (also a former Mayor of Hawaiʻi County) was thrilled at the medical school’s deployment of an OB-GYN physician.

“OB-GYN is so much needed for the region,” said Sen. Inouye. “Most of us have been going to O’ahu … to get the care we need for women’s health issues.”

“I’m so pleased that we are at the brink of another chapter of better health care for East Hawai’i,” Inouye said.

Dr. Khozaim is now seeing patients at Bay Clinic’s Hilo Women’s Health Center located at 73 Pu’uhonu Place, Suite 204. The telephone number is (808) 333-3500.

About the JABSOM Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology (OB-GYN) and Women’s Health
Physicians with JABSOM OB-GYN Department provide coverage for multiple hospitals in Hawai’i including Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, The Queen’s Medical Center and Pali Momi Medical Center. Our JABSOM faculty, including MD volunteers, are in service annually for one-third of the births in Hawai’i.

JABSOM OB-GYN physicians provide high quality care to women facing heath problems though their life span, including complications and high-risk pregnancies. This dedicated group also provides essential services to many under-insured patients in Hawai’i.

In addition to directly serving Hawai’i’s families, the UH Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology & Women’s Health creates its clinical learning environment for medical students, residents & fellows through its University Health Partners of Hawai’i (UHP) practice, giving all learners the robust real-world experience they need. The department has 37 physicians, including four who are part-time and three professors emeritus. Another 107 OB-GYN physicians in Hawai’i are volunteer faculty. Specialty training is offered in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Planning and Maternal Fetal Medicine.

UH medical students take part in international project to eradicate TB in the Marshall Islands Fri, 19 May 2017 00:23:28 +0000 Pictured: L-R: Dr. Yusuke Kobayashi (JABSOM MD 2017) with Orlando Salazar, x-ray technician at Lanakila Health Center, during their volunteer work in the Marshall Islands.

By Tina Shelton, UH Med Now

Medical students from the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) traveled more than 2,500 miles to help fight tuberculosis (TB) in Ebeye, the most populated island of Kwajalein Atoll, and one of three “hotspots” for tuberculosis in the Pacific region identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.

The massive TB screening program was launched by last year with registration and record collection. Then came action, and that’s where the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) medical students entered the scene. On the ground for three weeks, they helped to screen some 5,600 residents of Ebeye in the Marshall Islands’ largest-ever effort ever to eradicate the disease. TB is a bacterial infection that can be fatal. It most often attacks the lungs and can be spread through coughs, but it can also harm other organs.

Class of 2017 medical students (now MDs) Nash Witten and Yusuke Kobayashi were joined by their faculty advisor, Dr. Seiji Yamada of the JABSOM Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, along with teams of RMI health workers, regional Pacific TB staff, international volunteers, and representatives from the CDC and the World Health Organization.

Members of Team A in Ebeye.

Groups A and B of the program, along with the local Ebeye Island staff, outside of the TB clinic on Ebeye Island prior to Group A’s departure.

“The members of our team, like us, were volunteers. They were from Australia, India, Palau, RMI, and the states of Nevada, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Washington, said Witten, who graduated as an MD this month. “The team included consisted of four physicians, one TB nurse, two TB program coordinators, an x-ray technician from Lanakila Health Center, and the two of us University of Hawaiʻi students.”

Funding for the JABSOM students’ travel to the Marshall Islands came from the medical school’s Hawaiʻi Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center, which supports efforts to train future health care workers for Hawai’i and the Pacific.

The large-scale TB screening program may influence future efforts to fight TB. For future physicians Witten and Kobayashi, the benefit was more immediate. They helped thousands of Pacific island neighbors, people who were openly grateful for their effort.

“As we walked every day to the Leroij Kitlang Memorial Health Center where we worked, along the way were met with many friendly greetings of “Yokwe” (the Marshallese word for hello or goodbye) from Ebeye Island residents we passed on the street,” said Dr. Witten.

Related Story:
First-person account: University of Hawaii MD students on Ebeye Island

Simple, effective MD Convocation Speech: “You got this.” Wed, 17 May 2017 02:33:53 +0000 Dr. Damon Sakai nailed it. His brief speech at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) MD Convocation Ceremony was just what our newest University of Hawai’i graduate physicians needed to hear most. In short, he said, “you got this.”

The MD Class of 2017 selected JABSOM Professor Sakai to give the closing remarks. In just over a minute, we invite you to watch, and listen. It’s worth every second!

Convocation Photoset:
JABSOM MD Class of 2017 Convocation

Related Stories:

2017 Commencement video and photoset

Match Day for the MD 2017 Class

Psychiatry professor honored for her work organizing and leading the Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Task Force Tue, 16 May 2017 23:09:54 +0000 The University of Hawaiʻi Psychiatrist Dr. Jeanelle Sugimoto-Matsuda was recognized today as the 2017 Outstanding Community Mental Health Leader by Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi.

Mental Health America of Hawai’i said Dr. Sugimoto-Matsuda “has provided leadership and support to a number of community task forces, research projects and policy initiatives on suicide prevention and mental health. As an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), she built thriving partnerships on each island that continue today as she leads the Prevent Suicide Hawaiʻi Task Force. She exemplifies skills as a community-based researcher by working carefully and persistently to establish and maintain trusting relationships with community members and leaders, facilitating the implementation of suicide prevention programs and working closely with each site to develop suicide prevention action plans.”

Dr. Sugimoto-Matsuda at the award ceremony. Photo courtesy Dr. Earl Hishinuma.

Dr. Sugimoto-Matsuda was honored during Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi’s 75th Anniversary Mahalo Awards Luncheon. The organization annually recognizes leaders, advocates, and companies that have dedicated themselves to promoting mental wellness and improving the care of people with mental health problems through positive and innovative programs and leadership.

About the JABSOM Department of Psychiatry
The Department of Psychiatry at the John A. Burns School of Medicine provides psychiatric teaching and training to medical students; residents in General Psychiatry; and fellows in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry. It also is the State’s largest organized group of practicing psychiatrists, providing inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services and consultation at: The Queen’s Medical Center, Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children, and community mental health centers on the islands of Hawai‘i, Molokaʻi, Maui, Kauaʻi, and Lānaʻi. Our psychiatrists represent nearly all of the psychiatric specialties: general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, consultation/liaison psychiatry and pain management.

The department conducts research in various aspects of psychiatry: culture and mental health of different ethnic groups, mental health epidemiology of Native Hawaiian adolescents, substance abuse, severe mental illness, neuropsychiatry, and psychopharmacology.

Members of the department contribute service to the community on both the state and national levels. Organizations served include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Psychiatrists, the Hawai‘i Psychiatric Medical Association, and the Hawai‘i Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Members of the department also provide consultations to schools and speakers for Parent-Teacher Association groups and other healthcare and community organizations.

About Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi
Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi is the oldest mental health organization in the state and Hawaii’s leading voice for mental health advocacy, working to increase access to care and eliminate discrimination against people living with mental illness.

Related Stories:

UH Psychiatry Partnership to Prevent Youth Suicide

Hawaii medical school collaborates with IHS to provide mental health services to homeless

2017 Graduation for MD, PhD, Master’s and Bachelor of Science Degrees Sun, 14 May 2017 04:05:23 +0000 The Class of 2017 marched into the Stan Sheriff Arena at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa on May 13 to begin the next chapter of their lives as Graduates.

We at the John A. Burns School of Medicine are proud of you all!




Photos on Flickr:

Commencement 2017



Convocation Ceremony 2017:

JABSOM MD Class of 2017 Convocation

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY: New “MD Moms” in University of Hawaiʻi Pediatric Residency Program Fri, 12 May 2017 01:10:32 +0000 Happy Mother’s day, from three of the newest moms in the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) ‘ohana (family). These new mothers are learning all there is to know about children, both first-hand, and during their training and learning shifts in the Pediatrics Residency Program at JABSOM and the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children.

Shown above (left to right) are Dr. Mary Nino, (1st year Resident), Dr. Stephanie Graziani (2nd year Resident) and Dr. Anik Cockcroft, (3rd year Resident). All of the babies were born during the current (2016-2017) academic year. These are SUPER-BUSY moms!

And, because we couldn’t resist, here is another photograph of Dr. Nino with Emma in her “MD white coat onesie,” just after Dr. Nino and other new MD Residents spoke during the MD Class of 2017’s Senior Seminar.

Dr. Nino with baby Emma in her “white coat onesie” on campus at JABSOM.

Six University of Hawaiʻi faculty on Rat Lungworm Task Force, including four from JABSOM Wed, 10 May 2017 02:30:35 +0000 By Kelli Trifoniovitch, University of Hawai’i

As of late April 2017, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health had confirmed 13 cases of rat lungworm disease since the start of the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the parasitic worm (Angiostrgonylus cantonensis) can invade the central nervous system and cause a rare form of meningitis.

The University of Hawaiʻi is addressing rat lungworm in diverse ways across the island state, including assessing its distribution statewide, determining which species of snails and slugs can carry it, doing experiments to determine the best ways to wash produce to keep it safe and undertaking extensive educational and outreach efforts.

Six UH faculty members serve on the Governor’s Task Force on Rat Lungworm Disease, established in 2016, and reflect a wide range of expertise.

    Robert Cowie, malacology, UH Mānoa Pacific Biosciences Research Center
    William L. Gosnell, immunology, UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)
    Susan Jarvi, pharmaceutical science, UH Hilo, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy
    Kenton Kramer, parasitology, UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)
    Marian Melish, pediatrics, UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)
    F. DeWolfe Miller, IV, epidemiology, UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)

As the name implies, the rat lungworm is a parasite only of rats and a few other rodents. Infected rats pass the larvae of the parasite in their feces, which are then eaten by snails and slugs. Humans are accidental hosts who do not transmit infection to others, but can become infected by eating raw infected snails or slugs (or parts of them), which are often accidentally left on produce that has not been sufficiently washed.


From our MD Students: Video farewell for Dr. Smerz; Lūʻau Photoset Tue, 09 May 2017 21:51:48 +0000 Our MD students produced a video to celebrate someone they love…Dr. Richard Smerz, Director of Student Affairs. Dr. Smerz retires this year, going out with the MD Class of 2017. Class member Courtney Gaddis spearheaded this production, which was shown on the “big screen” (a projector) at the traditional MD Student Lūʻau.





Senior Lūʻau 2017

ONLY IN HAWAIʻI: Quick Videos from the 2017 MD Senior Lūʻau Tue, 09 May 2017 02:23:28 +0000 The Class of 2020 produced a fine celebration for the graduating MD Class of 2017. The annual lūʻau held at the UH Mānoa Campus Ballroom featured great food, and super dancing. Here is a short clip we shared with Honolulu television stations. MS 4 Grads and MS 1 ʻfrosh…did you catch yourselves on the news?

Produced by the JABSOM Communications office, here is a glimpse of the MD 2017 Senior Lūʻau, featuring our very own “dancing doctors,” members of the graduating and first year MD classes, a long-running tradition at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

We’ve got a quick clip from the professors, too. Here are the MD Faculty performing the hula to kick-off the Senior Lūʻau festivities at the University of Hawaiʻi.

Stay tuned for more to come, from the Lūʻau!

Details for 2017 Commencement Exercises at UH Mānoa; MD Convocation Ceremony Mon, 08 May 2017 15:59:26 +0000 Pictured: Festivities after the MD 2016 Convocation Ceremony

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoaʻs 106th Commencement Exercises will be different this year. For the first time in a long time, all of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) graduates will march in the same ceremony! The MDs, the BS, Master’s and PhD’s all will be part of the afternoon ceremony at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

There will be two ceremonies, the first at 9 a.m. and the second at 4 p.m. However, instead of separating the students by undergraduate and advanced degrees as has been done in recent years, the two ceremonies will be split by colleges and schools in a similar fashion to the mid-year commencement exercise held every December.

This change, which is being piloted for the first time this spring, was a response to concerns from the campus community that the spring undergraduate ceremonies had grown far beyond the capacity of the campus creating significant safety concerns for ceremony participants. The pilot is expected to foster a more even distribution of the estimated 2,400 students who are expected to participate, along with their guests at each ceremony. Guests are asked to check the commencement website to determine which ceremony to attend.

The 4 p.m. ceremony (4 to 7 p.m.) will recognize undergraduate and advance degree candidates from professional schools:
College of Education
College of Engineering
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, including Public Health
School of Architecture
School of Nursing and Dental Hygeine
School of Travel Industry Management
Shidler College of Business
William S. Richardson School of Law

The 9 a.m. ceremony (9 a.m. to noon) will recognize undergraduate and advanced degree candidates from colleges of arts and sciences:

College of Arts and Humanities
College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature
College of Natural Sciences
College of Social Sciences
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge
Interdisciplinary Studies
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
School of Pacific and Asian Studies


Doors to the Stan Sheriff Center will open at 7:45 a.m. for the 9 a.m. ceremony and at 2:45 p.m. for the 4 p.m. ceremony. Both events are free and open to the public. No tickets are issued and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Balloons, large signs, and strollers are not allowed inside the arena.


On Commencement Day, free parking is available campus-wide. Graduates and guests are encouraged to carpool and arrive early as considerable traffic and pedestrian congestion surrounding the campus is expected. UH Shuttles will be available from various locations throughout the campus. For more information, please visit the Commencement Transportation webpage at

Greeting the graduates
After each ceremony, family and friends may greet the graduates as follows:

Last names A-K: Clarence T.C. Ching Field
Last names L-Z: Les Murakami Baseball Stadium Field

Live webcast and more information
There will be a live webcast of both ceremonies. To view the live webcasts, and for more information about the Commencement Exercises, visit the Commencement website at

Contact the Commencement Coordinator at or by phone at 808-956-GRAD.


May 14, 2017 is both Mother’s Day and a time to celebrate the new degrees awarded to the MD Class of 2017 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa) John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). The convocation ceremony is all about letting the new MDs celebrate with their families. It is characterized by meaningful tributes by the new MDs to those who inspired and sustained them during their long educational journey. The graduating MDs publicly present that “special person” in their lives a maile lei on stage. Convocation also includes numerous awards which provide financial gifts to graduating students who have shown special excellence during their training.

Vice Admiral Raquel C. Bono, MD

The MD 2017 Convocation Ceremony keynote address will be delivered by U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, MD, Director of the Defense Health Agency. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine supports preservation of the Native Hawaiian Language. We respectfully use proper Hawaiian diacritical marks where we can. On-line, we may neglect them in some instances to increase search ability on the internet. Where possible we also will include versions of the word (perhaps in parentheses) with its proper markings.