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Jay H. Shidler and Naoto T. Ueno

The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center has received a gift of $100,000 from UH Mānoa alumnus and philanthropist businessman Jay H. Shidler to help the center increase public awareness of its work as it moves to its next phase as an advanced research and patient care facility with the opening next year of its Early Phase Clinical Research Center.

For more than 50 years, the UH Cancer Center has focused on world-class research, education and patient care in partnership with its health partners in the Hawaiʻi Cancer Consortium. It holds the distinction of being one of only 72 research organizations in the U.S. designated by the National Cancer Institute and the only one in the Pacific.

rendering of lobby area
Rendering of Hoʻōla’s lobby area (Courtesy: RIM Architects)

The impending spring 2025 completion of the Early Phase Clinical Research Center, named Hoʻōla (healing), underscores the importance of raising awareness in the Hawaiʻi community that—for the first time—some patients won’t need to leave home and travel thousands of miles to receive cutting-edge treatments through early-stage clinical trials.

“We aim to reduce the burden of cancer on families across Hawaiʻi by offering early access to innovative treatments and by spearheading clinical trials,” said UH Cancer Center Director Naoto T. Ueno. “Working with our health partners, we hope to see Hoʻōla become a hub for cancer care in the islands that is practical and inclusive, as well as close to home.”

Shidler, an alumnus of the Shidler College of Business at UH Mānoa, said he’s impressed with the world-class research being done to advance new treatments at the UH Cancer Center and wants more people in Hawaiʻi to be aware of this important health resource.

“The cancer center is such a hidden gem in Hawaiʻi that I think more people should know about it,” said Shidler. “Cancer touches so many individuals and families, and the fact that we will soon be able to offer patients cutting-edge treatments through these early-phase clinical trials without them having them leave their homes and families to fly to another city is just tremendous.”

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