University of Hawaii medical school JABSOM team honored by international health organization

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Faculty of the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine Department of Native Hawaiian Health have received an international teaching award for their 13 year-long effort to build an integrated culturally competent curriculum based on Native Hawaiian Health.

They accepted the “Sustained Excellence in Indigenous Health Curriculum Implementation” award in New Zealand at a biannual gathering of medical educators focused on Indigenous health.

This happened on Nov. 7, 2019, in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The C3 teaching team from the Department of Native Hawaiian Health won a prestigious LIMElight award for “sustained Excellence in Indigenous Health Curriculum Implementation.”

This award recognizes outstanding approaches to the implementation of Indigenous health content in medical curricula, which are sustained and supported by evidenced-based processes.

C3 stands for cultural competency curriculum.

Through team efforts, a single cultural immersion weekend has expanded across the first three years of medical school to incorporate a series of workshops (colloquia), didactic lectures, electives, immersive experiences, a longitudinal problem-based learning case that incorporates a standardized patient exercise, in addition to some residency teaching workshops.

The LIMElight awards are presented at the biannual LIME (Leadership in Indigenous Medical Education) Connection conference, an international gathering of medical educators focused on Indigenous health.

The conference includes academics and practitioners, as well as other stakeholders such as policymakers, Indigenous students and community members.

They recognize “the significant and outstanding work that staff, students and medical schools undertake in teaching and learning of Indigenous health, as well as student recruitment and support.”

The LIME Connection is an outgrowth of the LIME network and is supported by Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand, Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa (Te ORA) Māori Medical
Practitioners Association and the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA).

It “provides the space for robust discussion on leadership, curriculum innovation and collaboration in Indigenous health and health professional education. It provides an opportunity to celebrate successes and share new and evidenced-based approaches in the field.”

This year, the 8th LIME Connection took place November 5-8, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand and was hosted by the University of Otago. Conference speakers and attendees included both Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts from such places as Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada and the continental U.S.

The 2019 conference theme was, “pouhine Poutama: Embedding Indigenous Health Education.” The theme speaks to “vertical and horizontal integration of knowledge, understanding and perspective (i.e. curriculum) and expresses, through deliberate juxtaposition, the complimentary and essential union of Indigenous
and non-Indigenous perspectives, knowledge and understanding.

Vertical integration refers to the continuum of teaching and learning” from the undergraduate medical school through medical specialty education. The horizontal integration refers to “connection and collaboration across all Health Sciences.”

Dr. Martina Kamaka, project director and lead team member, says that this award is quite an honor as it was “given out by our peers in the field of Indigenous Health education” and it acknowledges and validates our hard work on an international level.

She said the two faculty members who attended LIME this year, Dee-Ann Carpenter, MD and Vanessa Wong, MD are C3 team members and that other faculty in attendance, Malia Lee, MD and Kelli-Ann Voloch, MD from JABSOM and Dr. Wesley Sumida from the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy, have assisted in teaching parts of the curriculum. Other University of Hawaiʻi C3 team members include: Malina Kaulukukui, MSW, Gregory Maskarinec, PhD, Bill Ahuna, MD, LeShay Keliiholokai, MA, Diane Paloma, PhD, Maria Chun, PhD, and Tiffnie Kakalia.

For more information on the LIME network and LIME connection, please visit:

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