Michiyo Tomioka, left, and Kathryn L. Braun from the Hawaiʻi Healthy Aging Partnership (photo from the John A. Burns School of Medicine*#8217;s website)

The Hawaiʻi Healthy Aging Partnership has received the 2013 Multicultural Aging award from the American Society on Aging, achieving national recognition for the partnership’s critical role in improving the health of Hawaiʻi’s multi-ethnic elderly population.

HHAP is a statewide coalition that includes representatives from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the Executive Office on Aging, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, all four Area Agencies on Aging, service providers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health insurers and others. Serving as evaluators for HHAP are Kathryn L. Braun, professor of public health with the John A. Burns School of Medicine, and Michiyo Tomioka, doctoral student at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work.

Since its formation in 2003, HHAP has been successful in adapting two evidence-based health promotion programs to the multicultural population in Hawaiʻi. These programs are EnhanceFitness (an exercise program for seniors) and the Chronic Disease Self Management Program. Since 2007, 2,267 older adults have participated in these programs—447 in EnhanceFitness and 1,820 in CDSMP.

Since 2003, the partnership has secured close to $1 million in federal and foundation funding to support these healthy aging programs. Hawaiʻi state and county governments also have provided financial support.

Hawaiʻi has one of the longest life expectancies in the country. So it is extremely important for us to keep our elders healthy and functioning for as long as possible,” said Braun. “HHAP goes a long way in helping Hawaiʻi meet this goal.”