Supporters save medical technology program

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Tina Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Aug 30, 2010

HONOLULU – Financial support from two of Hawaiʻi’s largest clinical testing companies has helped save the state’s only professional training program in the field of medical technology. Thanks to more than $100,000 in support from Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i, LLP and Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc., the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) has the funds to support a full-time faculty member for the next two years, thereby permitting the school to resume student admissions into the baccalaureate degree program in medical technology.
“Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i is very proud to be able to work with the University of Hawai‘i to support the medical technology program. This program will ensure that there will be a new generation of laboratory professionals who want to live and work in Hawai‘i,” said Ally Park, president of Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i, LLP and Pan Pacific Pathologists, Inc. “These types of endeavors are vital to the future of healthcare in the islands.”
“We at Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. consider our investment in the medical technology program at JABSOM to be part of our on-going commitment to the communities we serve.” said Richard Okazaki, president and CEO of Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc.  “Medical technologists (MT’s) play an integral and important role in providing healthcare services for the people of Hawai‘i. Across our nation there is a critical shortage of MT’s so ensuring the continuation of this program for our home state is crucial.”
Since last summer, cuts to the state's budget forced the Department of Medical Technology at JABSOM to stop admitting new baccalaureate degree program students. Since then, the school and the University have worked to seek private support and have restructured the program.
“Two key things happened,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. “Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i and Diagnostic Laboratory Services committed major financial support to the Department of Medical Technology. And the medical school entered into a partnership with Kapi‘olani Community College to restructure the medical technology program.”
Students can spend their first two years at Kapi‘olani’s accredited medical lab technician (MLT) program, seeking an associate degree in MLT. Then, they will be able to advance to UH Mānoa to complete the last two years of upper division studies, which will culminate in a bachelor of science degree in medical technology.
“This development highlights the effectiveness of partnerships, between both public institutions and the private sector as well as academic partnerships between UH’s two-year and four-year institutions,” reported Louise Pagotto, Kapi‘olani CC vice chancellor for academic affairs. “The curricular pathway from Kapi‘olani CC’s MLT program to JABSOM’s MT baccalaureate will optimize students’ time to degree completion, provide multiple exit points for students’ careers in laboratory science, and contribute to enriching the educational capital of the state.”
Medical School Dean Jerris Hedges said the streamlined structure better utilizes faculty, makes it easier for students to transition to the four-year university environment, and offers opportunities for students to explore possibilities beyond their undergraduate degrees.
“Without the willingness of these major employers of laboratory professionals to help, we couldn’t have continued the medical technology program. Hawai‘i residents seeking leadership roles in medical labs would have had to be trained on the mainland,” said Dr. Hedges. “We are very grateful that Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i and Diagnostic Laboratory Services stepped up to help. Partnering with the private sector like this offers one of our best hopes to recover from the recession in Hawai‘i.”
The Department of Medical Technology is now actively recruiting prospective students at:
Department of Medical Technology
1960 East-West Road, Biomed C206
Honolulu, HI 96822
Telephone (808) 956-8557
Contributions to JABSOM can be made at or please contact Jeffrie Jones at the University of Hawai‘i Foundation (808) 692-0873 or e-mail
The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), UH Mānoa, named for a visionary governor, was established in 1965 and has trained more than 4,500 medical doctors through its MD or residency program. Half of Hawai‘i’s practicing physicians are faculty members or graduates of JABSOM or the Hawai‘i Residency Programs. JABSOM also trains Public Health professionals. More than 3,500 MPH, MS, DrPH and PhD degrees have been awarded from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In 2010, JABSOM’s programs in Geriatric and Rural Medicine ranked in the United State’s Top 25 medical programs, according to US News & World Report. For more information about JABSOM, visit
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH Mānoa students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit
Kapi‘olani Community College is the largest two-year campus in the University of Hawai‘i System. With 9,000 students enrolled per semester in credit programs, Kapi‘olani‘s nationally recognized general education program prepares students for effective baccalaureate transfer, civic engagement, and 21st century careers in programs such as culinary arts and hospitality, nursing and health sciences, business and information technology, new media arts, biotechnology, and teacher education. The college bears the name of Hawai‘i’s Queen Julia Kapi‘olani, and her motto, "Kulia i ka Nu‘u" or "strive for the highest," inspires the college‘s collective work in support of academic success for Native Hawaiian and other diverse local and international students. For more information, visit .
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships.