Announcing 2023 Cohort of

Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Awardees

(Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i)   The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program is proud to announce seven scholarships awarded to students in a variety of health care professions where there are shortages.

Four are studying medicine, one is to be a physician assistant, another a masters level nutritionist, and one will earn a doctorate in nursing practice. Four are already studying in the continental United States, and three are in school in Hilo, Kona and Kaka‘ako. The seven scholars come from Molokai, Maui, Kaua‘i and O‘ahu.

“This cohort is passionate and dedicated to serving the health care needs of remote and rural communities in Hawai‘i,” says Dr. Donna-Marie Palakiko, director of the program. “Their communities.”

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), administered by Papa Ola Lōkahi, recruits and nurtures professionals-in-training for primary and mental health care disciplines most needed. They are prepared to deliver quality, culturally competent health services.

This merit-based program covers tuition, books and other related expenses. Since 1991, more than 330 scholarships across 20 disciplines have been awarded to eligible individuals. Upon matriculation, each is placed in service to a medically underserved area in Hawai‘i.

“Working in the communities where they can do the most good, graduates have developed a network of kānaka maoli health professionals committed to raising the health status of the lāhui,” Palakiko continues. “They refer to, support and lean on one another.”

Graduates have been placed into worksites throughout the islands. Most remain in medically underserved communities beyond their obligated service tenures, rising to positions of leadership.

“So many alumni have become trusted leaders in not just health care, but Hawaiian-serving agencies and institutions, too,” says Dr. Sheri Daniels, from the helm of Papa Ola Lōkahi. “This program grows Hawaiian leaders.”

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort will open on February 1, 2024.  Visit to learn more about eligibility and the application process.

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