NHHSP Scholars 2022 rev. 10262021


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                   November 9, 2021                                            Poster attached

Ten new awards for Native Hawaiians in health and medicine

(Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i)   The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program congratulates ten (10) recipients of the 2021-2022 cohort of scholars. 

“We’re so pleased with the diversity of experiences in this cohort, says Dr. Donna-Marie Palakiko, director of Papa Ola Lōkahi’s health workforce development initiative, Mauli Ola Mālamalama. 

The recipients include four physicians, three are attending John A. Burns School of Medicine and one Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  One dentist is in school at the University of Washington.  Three nurses have been awarded.  Of the ten, two are continuation recipients, one completing her dietetics degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the other completing her degree in Clinical Psychology at Pacific University. One student is from Hawai‘i Island; three each are from Maui, O‘ahu and the continental U.S.

Modeled after the National Health Service Corps, the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP) has been a catalyst in building a workforce knowledgeable, capable and committed to serving the unique needs of Hawaiian communities. Each graduating scholar is obliged, upon completion of study and licensure, to serve full-time in a clinical capacity in medically under-served areas in Hawai'i for a period commensurate with the length of scholarship support.

Since 1991, more than 300 NHHSP awards have been made in 20 different primary and behavioral health care disciplines and even more sub-specialties. More than 200 have been placed into the workforce across six islands impacting the well-being of the communities they serve. More than half of those have chosen to stay in those communities beyond the required service obligation.

“These scholars join a vast network of Native Hawaiian health professionals,” shares Dr. Donna-Marie Palakiko, herself a NHHSP alumna. “Speaking from experience, the relationships developed will continue throughout their professional careers.”

Dr. Sheri Daniels, Papa Ola Lokahi executive director adds, “So many of our NHHSP alumni have risen to positions of leadership in medical, public health and Hawaiian communities. Beyond building a Hawaiian health workforce, this program has been a catalyst for Hawaiian leadership development.”

Visit www.nhhsp.org for more information about the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program.                                

Applications for the 2022-2023 cohort will open in the Spring 2022.


PDF News Release attached

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Papa Ola Lōkahi was honored to partner with Pashyn Santos, local filmmakers, and Hawaii news outlets for ʻOur Kuleana, Made with Pashynʻ – a project meant to open the door for conversations about COVID-19, its impact on our community, and the controversy surrounding vaccination.

Pashyn has always leveraged humor and entertainment to bring light to important social conversations, and it is our hope that this special does exactly that. This fast-paced, fact-filled, half-hour program will bring joy to everyone, regardless of their stance on vaccination. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Papa Ola Lōkahi has tried to engage community through different mediums – in-person events, social media campaigns, and PSAs. Education and awareness are the key components in building a healthy, happier, and safer Hawai'i for everyone

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NHHCS map trim


CONTACT  Kim Ku'ulei Birnie

MOBILE      808-383-1651





(Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i) – [PDF] Papa Ola Lōkahi announced today that $20 million American Rescue Plan funding for the federal Native Hawaiian Health Program will strengthen vaccination efforts, mitigate and respond to the spread of COVID-19, and enhance health care services throughout communities on all islands.

“This funding will relieve the additional burdens placed on systems of care since the pandemic, and be further invested in our communities to strengthen the infrastructure and extend the reach to areas of greatest need,” explained Sheri-Ann Daniels, executive director of Papa Ola Lōkahi. “Like the makawai, which funnels water from the waterway to the lo‘i, resources will be directed into community organizations that enrich the capacity of our workforce and service delivery. What is developed among our partner organizations can sustain the communities they serve long after the initial two-year investment.”

This federal relief funding is intended to serve the health and well-being needs of Native Hawaiians in Hawai‘i over the next 2 years to address the inequities revealed so clearly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems across the state along with community based organizations will increase vaccine capacity, improve COVID-19 response and treatment capacity, increase capacity to sustain accessible and available health care services, and deliver education and services during the ongoing recovery and stabilization of phases.

Papa Ola Lōkahi works toward raising the health status of Native Hawaiians through public health policy, enhancing service delivery capacity, data & information collection and dissemination, and strengthening infrastructure. It has served as the backbone organization for the Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawai‘i COVID-19 Response, Recovery & Resilience Team (NHPI 3R) since May 2020.

These five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems will be able to reinforce their primary, dental and mental health services, health education and healthy lifestyle workshops, community outreach and enabling services:

Additionally, Papa Ola Lōkahi is finalizing partnerships with fourteen (14) community-based organizations across five Hawaiian islands to enhance each’s capacity to deliver their unique responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include providers of behavioral and mental health services, kupuna care, pregnancy and maternal care, workforce development, broadband access and telehealth, vaccination outreach and delivery, primary care, health education and outreach.

“Papa Ola Lōkahi is uniquely poised to administer American Rescue Plan funds to provide relief and support related to COVID-19,” assured Daniels. “Mahalo nui to Senator Brian Schatz and all who have worked to assure Native Hawaiian communities are equitably included and represented at all levels of decision-making and resource allocation. We are grateful.”



Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

comprise the Federal Native Hawaiian Health Program

Improving Hawaiian Health and Well-Being for More Than 30 Years

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Kakoo Ulu Oihana


The Kako‘o Ulu ‘Oihana program provides one time support for members of the health care workforce that are committed to serving Native Hawaiian communities.

Kako‘o Ulu ‘Oihana is a program of the Mauli Ola Mālamalama Hale of Papa Ola Lōkahi. Mauli Ola Mālamalama is a workforce program whose purpose is to support and facilitate the continued development of Native Hawaiian Health Professionals to increase the economic propensity for the Native Hawaiian community.

The goal of Kako‘o Ulu ‘Oihana is to establish additional health scholarship pathways and provide workforce development opportunities to improve the career trajectory and potential of Native Hawaiians to improve their economic opportunities and growth.

Applicants may apply for funding to support costs related to books and supplies, prep course, certifications and licensure, and conferences that are related to a project or presentation.

For more information visit mom.smapply.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications are now being accepted and will close September 19 at 11:59 PM (HST).

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Kahele and POL haumana 2021 07Policy Assistant Christina Young shares her reflections of her visit to Washington, DC in July.

This trip with Papa Ola Lōkahi was my first visit to Washington D.C. Our main focus was to honor the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act by Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalaniana‘ole when he was in Congress.

On Friday, July 9, the actual 100th anniversary, a series of events included office blessings for Congressmen Kai Kahele and Ed Case, paying our respects to the pohaku at the National Museum of the American Indian, and presenting lei and oli to the Father Damien and King Kamehameha statues in the U.S Capitol. To close that special day, we gathered at the Library of Congress where we able to review different historical documents related to Hawai‘i. The highlight was meeting Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet member.


POL staff at National Archives 2021 0712

In addition to the anniversary events, we attended different Smithsonian National Museums such as the Museum of Natural History, the African American History and Culture, National Archives, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the D.C. History Center. My supervisor, Sarah and I also met with the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO).

This trip was a great experience to connect with my POL colleagues and other Hawaiian organization members, to learn more about U.S and Hawaiian history, as well as explore and learn more about DC.

~ Christina Young


 Photo above right:  Congressmember Kaiali‘i Kahele flanked by POL staff Archive Assistant Kahikinaokalā Domingo. Policy Assistant Christina Young, Policy Coordinator Sarah Kamakawiwo‘ole and Archive Assistant Saige Leikuluwaimaka Meleiseā.

Photo above left:  Christina, Leikuluwaimaka, Ha‘aipo, Kalā, Kim, Sarah & Pualani on the steps of the National Archives. Photo by Ho‘oleia.

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