HMSA donation furthers future doctors, program receives $5M

HONOLULU — In July 2020, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) welcomed 77 first-year medical students into its new curricular initiative, the Learning Community program.

The anticipated positive impact of this pioneering medical education on health care delivery has resulted in the HMSA Foundation adding to its initial support of the program, donating $5 million to establish the HMSA Learning Innovations Endowment to support innovative medical education.

The Learning Innovations Center within the Office of Medical Education at JABSOM will continue to evolve medical training to meet the changing needs of Hawai‘i’s health care system. The center will be named the HMSA Learning Innovations Center in recognition of HMSA’s contribution and commitment.

HMSA President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Mugiishi, said, “HMSA supports this initiative because we need our physician workforce to be prepared for new ways of viewing health, looking to the community as partners in the health of our families. With constant changes in delivery of health care and advances in technology, the HMSA Learning Innovations Center will be critically important.”

Mugiishi added, “At the end of the day, the sustainability of our medical community and the health of Hawai‘i’s people are integrally connected. Innovation in education is an essential element of the equation.”

“The HMSA Foundation is showing tremendous vision and commitment to advance the health of Hawai‘i with this strategic philanthropic investment, especially during these tumultuous times,” said UH President David Lassner. “With this endowment as a resource, JABSOM will now have the long-term funding needed to continue to innovate and evolve our medical education delivery with the needs of our people and our islands.”

More about Learning Communities

Learning Communities are intentionally designed, longitudinal small learning groups comprised of a faculty member who will mentor 6-7 medical students in each of the four class years.

The longitudinal relationship between the students and the mentors, and amongst the students themselves, is the foundation of the Learning Communities program.

The program establishes small groups of students and faculty that are divided amongst the geographic mokus on the island of O‘ahu, allowing students to learn about and develop relationships, and to work with their communities.

The Learning Community creates a collaborative environment that supports the growth of clinically competent, culturally sensitive, compassionate and professional physician leaders who are connected and committed to our communities.

Hawai‘i’s doctor shortage has contributed to health care disparities, especially on the neighbor islands. JABSOM is committed to helping address the shortage and has been increasing its class size to more trainees.

JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges said, “The solution to the provider shortage is not to simply to train more physicians, but to train physicians differently and to help them adopt a new skill set better suited for the future of practice in Hawai‘i. Innovation in curriculum and medical training is essential for staying on the cutting edge of what our community needs for optimal, long-term health. We are immensely grateful to HMSA for their generous investment in our collective future.”

1 Comments
  1. Mark Trane February 24, 2021 7:49 am Reply

    Educating the best minds of our youth in traditional medicine, especially with a $5 Million dollar boost, brings to the sick community only more same same, that is, more doctors selling an enormous amount, 4.4 billion, (4,400,000,000) prescription drugs to our nations 330,000,000 million people, who in numbers are sicker every year with more diseases and more patients with those diseases.

    The numbers of sick people and the numbers of diseases keep climbing with no end in sight.

    Perhaps we have allowed the medical industry to take us as patients too far out on a limb with all these drugs.

    Instead of the philosophy of waiting for people to get sick and then treat them with prescription chemical drugs, perhaps, and seemingly so, it’s well past time to look at the causes of all the diseases which appear to be rooted in what we eat.

    Our foods in America are saturated with sugars and animal lard fat and disease promoting chemicals and carcinogenic cancer causing petrochemicals.

    And when we do get sick from these chemicals and additives in our food, as well as animal fat, lard, and grease, the doctors prescribe us more chemicals and synthetic petrochemicals, and wonder why so many die while they are under medical treatment.

    And while the causes of so many food caused diseases enter our bodies through our mouths, including alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, perhaps people should keep their mouths shut until they know it is safe to open them, after reading the labels.

    Best to follow the Natural Path, eat only live fresh, unprocessed natural God made food, instead of factory food with the sugars and chemicals.

    Avoid Disease, Do not treat it ! ! ! Read the labels.


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