The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) welcomed six inaugural students of the Kauai Medical Training Track program in August. The new multi-pronged program was funded by a $10-million commitment from Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg with the goal of helping address the physician shortage and directly improve the health and wellness of Kauaʻi’s families, today and in the future.
The six students met leaders from Kauaʻi’s healthcare community at a special event at The Plantation House by Gaylord’s. The event was an opportunity for the first-year medical students to meet healthcare partners, and for the team from JABSOM to thank the medical community for their support of this innovative new program.
Each year, the Kauaʻi Medical Training Track will accept six JABSOM medical students, with ties to Kauaʻi or another neighbor island and/or a strong interest in rural health. The program funds tuition and fees for all four years, as well as transportation and lodging.
The first cohort of students are: Brent Fujimoto, Dylan Lawton, Jaime Emoto, Erin Evangelista, Ivana Yoon and Kirra Borrello.
I am excited to learn alongside a group of bright and compassionate students who also have the common goal of learning from and caring for the people of rural Hawaiʻi.
Emoto, one of the future doctors who was raised on Kauaʻi said, “When I saw that there was an opportunity early on in my training as a medical student, to learn rural medicine on Kauaʻi, I was incredibly interested. I feel very honored to learn rural medicine from the very people who inspired me to pursue medicine. I am excited to learn alongside a group of bright and compassionate students who also have the common goal of learning from and caring for the people of rural Hawaiʻi. We are all very grateful to Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg for this amazing opportunity.”
Chan warmly greeted the cohort in a video message, “As a doctor, I know that people are the most important thing in our medical system. I’m inspired by you because you have dedicated your medical training to serve the healthcare needs of communities, particularly rural communities like in Kauaʻi. Mark and I are honored to support this program and look forward to following your progress as you train and hone your rural healthcare skills.”
Director of Rural Training Travis Hong oversees the program.
“We are so grateful to the donors, Kauaʻi Community College, and to our healthcare provider partners for their strong support and active engagement around this program,” Hong said. “It is going to be amazing to see our students build relationships and confidence as physicians, while learning in our community clinics and local health care centers.”