the university of hawaii department of geriatrics

About the Department of Geriatric Medicine:


The UH Geriatric Medicine Program was founded in 1984 as a program in the Dean’s Office. In 2001, the Dean permitted the program to operate as a full department and the process was begun to obtain multiple committee and university senate approvals, leading to formation approval and permanent status for the department by the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents in January 2004. The Department of Geriatric Medicine has strong educational, clinical, and research programs. The academic environment for fellows and junior faculty is rich with activities and opportunities.

Department Administrative and Education Offices at Kuakini Medical Center:

The Department of Geriatric Medicine has a strong affiliation with Kuakini Medical Center, a major teaching hospital of the University of Hawaii. The offices of the department are located at KMC, which has long been known for its strong commitment to the care of elders, with 70% of its bed days paid by Medicare. KMC has been a strong supporter of the UH Department of Geriatric Medicine in terms of both fellowship positions and space for academic activities. The fellows in the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program rotate to the VA, Kaiser, The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii Medical Center East and several nursing homes, but are primarily based at KMC. The Department of Geriatric Medicine occupies the entire top floor (4,000 sq ft) of the Hale Pulama Mau building at Kuakini, a 10-story facility that houses all of Kuakini’s geriatrics services. The space includes a modern academic facility with offices for faculty, conference rooms, study carrels, library, examining rooms, medical, teaching, and office equipment, and a computer system. Further, Kuakini Medical Center completed the 8th floor of the building to house its medical library, Department of Medical Education, and outpatient clinical teaching space, now all conveniently located for access by the Department of Geriatric Medicine.

Kuakini Medical Center:

Kuakini Medical Center serves as the home of the medical school’s Department of Geriatric Medicine, the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program, the Pacific Islands Geriatric Education Center (GEC) and the internationally-recognized Honolulu Heart Program and Honolulu-Asia Aging Study. KMC encompasses a modern acute care hospital with both a full range of acute services and a wide range of geriatric services on-site, including: 50-bed Skilled Nursing Facility; 150-bed Intermediate Care Facility; 34-bed Care Home; 2 off-site Adult Social Day Care Programs (42 patients each); a 40-person on-site Adult Day Health Program; Audiology Center; and licensed Home Care Program with a census of approximately 550 active patients. Its full range of services, including acute care, operation rooms, emergency room, dialysis center, neuroimaging center, diagnostic laboratory and pathology departments is supplemented with the state’s only hyperbaric treatment center and a sleep study center. It also encompasses two physician office buildings, with a wide range of medical and dental specialties represented. The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific is located across the street.

Department Chair:

Dr. Patricia Lanoie Blanchette serves as Department Chair. Dr. Kamal Masaki serves as Department Associate Chair.

Division of Palliative Medicine:

A division of Palliative Medicine was established in 2005 in the department. To date, 14 faculty members have become board certified in Palliative Medicine, and training in palliative medicine for fellows, residents and students has increased greatly. Plans are in progress to begin a palliative medicine fellowship program. Dr. Emese Somogyi-Zalud serves as Chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine.

For more information on the Department of Geriatric Medicine
please contact: Kamal Masaki, MD Email: Tel (808) 523-8461

For more information on the Division of Palliative Medicine
please contact: Emese Somogyi-Zalud, MD Email: Tel (808) 523-8461

Copyright 2008-09, Department of Geriatric Medicine

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