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Community Engaged Research: Partnering with UH’s Ola HAWAII to Build Research Capacity

The University of Hawai‘i’s John A. Burns School of Medicine received a grant to support minority health and reduce disparities for Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Filipinos, and underserved populations in Hawaii. The Ola HAWAII grant awarded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) through the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) provides five-year funding. It includes a Community Engagement Core that partners with Hawaii Public Health Institute (HIPHI) to streamline moving funds to the community for capacity building and resource sharing. HIPHI will also utilize its statewide network to build research capacity and ensure meaningful community engagement.

HIPHI will connect communities and researchers to collaborate through reports to community events, training, and webinars. These events are integral in engaging communities in research discussions that impact their health. Events and trainings are usually in the community – parks, beaches, farms, etc. This intentionally promotes and facilitates community participation in all aspects of health disparities research, including dissemination of research outcomes. Our most recent report to the community event led by Aloha Medical Mission attracted 80 community members in Kohala to interact with dentists and health service providers. Dentists and family members identified priorities for the Kohala community. These included connecting with Federally Qualified Health Centers like Hāmākua Health, continuing fluoride treatment for school-aged children, improving transportation to dental care, and social support programs for seniors. Results from this event showed that Kohala families want to explore opportunities for dental health research and hear from individuals researching oral health.

HIPHI will provide continuous support to communities and other stakeholders involved in research. Upcoming events and training will be announced on our social media page @hubforhealth.

Families shared common dental health concerns such as toothache, cavities, and tooth decay with Dr. Dean Sueda and Dr. Bryan Wong on January 23, 2023, at the Kohala HUB barn.
Reporting research back to the community: Families shared common dental health concerns such as toothache, cavities, and tooth decay with Dr. Dean Sueda and Dr. Bryan Wong on January 23, 2023, at the Kohala HUB barn.
Kathleen Corpuz

Kathleen Corpuz

Program Manager on Community-Based Research
May Rose Dela Cruz, DrPH, MPH

May Rose Dela Cruz, DrPH, MPH

Director of Health Equity & Research
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