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public health anniversary group
Guests celebrate the 60th anniversary of public health at UH Manoa.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health celebrated six decades of dedicated service and progress in public health across Hawaiʻi at an event held on April 3, at Cafe Julia at the YWCA.

More than 200 guests including students, alumni, past and present public health professionals, community leaders and advocates attended the event to commemorate and reflect on achievements, honor esteemed public health leaders, network and discuss the shared mission to improve lives and build a healthier Hawaiʻi.

group of people smiling
Al Katz celebrates with colleagues and friends.

“Amidst National Public Health Week, I’m grateful we were able to gather to honor and celebrate the 60th anniversary of our public health program, recognizing the dedication of our internal and external ʻohana members in advancing public health and addressing health inequities in Hawaiʻi through our impactful research and partnerships,” said Alex Ortega, Thompson School dean.

Special guests and community partners in attendance included Rep. Della Au Belatti, Rep. Amy Perruso, Professor Emerita and Retired Thompson school Dean Noreen Mokuau and John A. Burns School of Medicine Dean Emeritus Jerris Hedges.

Professor Emeritus Al Katz was honored for his decades of award-winning teaching and mentorship, and for his dedicated public health service to the university and community. Research posters and profiles were also featured throughout the venue.

Pioneers in public health education, initiatives

Since 1962, Public Health at UH Mānoa has been at the forefront of public health
education and initiatives, pioneering innovative approaches and addressing pressing health issues and disparities that benefit the people of Hawaiʻi and the Asia-Pacific region.

As public health evolves, it’s critical that we continue to remain connected to the communities we serve
—Eric Hurwitz

The faculty of the Office of Public Health Studies (OPHS) are experts in topics ranging from infectious disease to chronic disease, from child health to end of life, from genetics to the environment, and from health promotion and prevention to treatment and services.

“It was a great opportunity to reconnect with our valued community partners and alumni,” said Eric Hurwitz, OPHS director. “As public health evolves, it’s critical that we continue to remain connected to the communities we serve.”

A commitment to advancing public health

guest views research posters
Research posters and profiles were displayed at the event.

OPHS remains committed to its mission to advance and protect the health and well-being of the peoples of Hawaiʻi, the Pacific, Asia and Indigenous peoples, through teaching, discovery, innovation, community engagement, inclusion and leadership.

Its programs are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health through 2030 and reinforces the program’s commitment to excellence in public health education, ensuring that it meets rigorous standards of quality and effectiveness.

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