University of Hawaiʻi, state and FDA officials at the partnership signing.

To enhance the response and resolution of public health concerns like the recent Hepatitis A outbreak, the University of Hawaiʻi has signed a partnership agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the State of Hawaiʻi’s departments of agriculture and health to help foster closer collaboration.

The agreement signed by UH Vice President for Research and Innovation Vassilis L. Syrmos, Department of Agriculture Director Scott Enright, Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler, FDA Acting Regional Food and Drug Director William Martin and Director of the FDA San Francisco Lab Tom Sidebottom, provides the necessary framework for the FDA and the State of Hawaiʻi to use their collective knowledge and resources—scientists, laboratories and community outreach—to deal with food, drug, cosmetic and medical device safety in the state.

“We live in a world of increasing globalization. Our economy, communications, travel and food supply connect all of us,” said UH President David Lassner. “This also makes us part of global health challenges, whether from imported scallops or diet pills. We are grateful to the FDA for entering into this innovative partnership to help us protect the health and safety of the people of Hawaiʻi and the places we touch.”

“The agreement provides new opportunities and resources for the partners to build their scientific capacity and to efficiently disseminate their findings to homes, farms, businesses and communities,” said Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi Executive Director Sylvia Yuen, who helped to establish the agreement. “We look forward to the benefits the new initiatives will bring to people in Hawaiʻi and elsewhere.”