Christy Nishita, second from right, with Suzie Schulberg, Shannon Miyazaki and Ginger Mayehara

The Hawaiʻi Pacific Gerontological Society (HPGS) has presented Christy Nishita, interim director at the Center on Aging in the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, with a Na Lima Kokua award in the Research and Teaching category for her outstanding service to the gerontological community.

HPGS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Hawaiʻi’s older adults. It promotes understanding of the aging process, and supportive services and legislation that help people age with dignity and grace.

Currently, more than 400 older adults, caregivers, gerontology educators, medical and social service practitioners, health-care providers, agency personnel and organizations from all sectors of the community make up the HPGS membership.

More about Christy Nishita

Nishita received her PhD in Gerontology from the University of Southern California in 2004. She served as a post-doctoral research associate at the Center for Long-term Care Integration at USC for three years. Upon her return home to Hawaiʻi in 2007, she began her career at the UH Center on Disability Studies and the Center on Aging.

Nishita has a significant publication and public speaking record, both in the academic and general community, and she is now gaining attention in Japan. She has a background in long-term care coordination, caregiving, senior housing, elder abuse, fall prevention, Alzheimer’s disease support programs, intergenerational programming and age-friendly community development.

She is working with the Honolulu’s Age-Friendly City Implementation Committee to help guide Honolulu in implementing the Action Plan recommendations through changes to the built environment, policies and services.

In addition, her most recent achievement has been a $1 million Hawaiʻi Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative grant. She and her team are collaborating with numerous agencies and organizations to increase the capability to provide specialized support services to persons with dementia and their families.