Online Program

Capacity building towards a Pacific-focused biomedical pipeline in a Native Hawaiian serving undergraduate institution

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mata'uitafa Faiai, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Chaminade Univerisity, Honolulu, HI
Helen Turner, PhD, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Chaminade University, Honolulu, HI
Chrystie Naeole, PhD, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Honolulu, HI
Dana-Lynn Ko'omoa-Lange, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences,, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, HI
RaeDeen Keahiolalo-Karasuda, PhD, Native Hawaiian Partnerships, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Honolulu, HI
Public health challenges in Hawaii and the U.S-affiliated Pacific islands face increasing burdens of emerging infectious disease, and of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity and Type II diabetes. Pacific communities are at the front line of vulnerabilities in food and water supply related to climate change, and the erosion of traditional ways of life. High poverty rates combined with under-resourced health systems magnify the impact of ongoing and stochastic events affecting island communities. The human capital needs to address all of these issues spanning multiple biomedical domains, including the basic/translational/clinical/public health research continuum. Providing this pipeline with qualified and diverse undergraduates who are community-focused and academically accomplished is critical. However, the promise of these change-effecting positions are not without significant educational challenges, including negotiating tensions that arise between academia and loss of cultural identity. Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander under-representation in STEM degrees currently translates to disenfranchisement and under-representation throughout the biomedical and public health fields, both in research and practice. Here, we discuss recently collated data on under-representation, and present approaches, curriculum models and practices synthesized in three areas at two Native Hawaiian-serving institutions in Hawaii. Those data include: (1) audit of academic and cultural barriers to STEM engagement, persistence and academic attainment commensurate with graduate school readiness; (2) establishment of a Hawaiian sense-of-place in STEM curriculum; and, (3) Development of approaches to contemporary skill sets (e.g. Data Science) that are relevant in the undergraduate, minority-serving institutional setting.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Define development challenges of a Pacific-focused bio-medical pipeline in a minority serving institution. Assess resources available in building a bio-medical pipeline in for students from Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific. Describe programs and resources to attract qualified and diverse undergraduates who have the desire to expand a biomedical pipeline in Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific.

Keyword(s): Underserved Populations, Asian and Pacific Islanders

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a first year undergraduate, I researched on the immunological changes resulting from obesity. In the following year, I worked on determining whether the introduction of non-nutritive sweeteners early on affects the sweet taste preferences of infants in later life. Last year, I conducted research on the different feeding practices of Samoan infants and prenatal care in American Samoa. Presently, I am working on a review about perspectives concerning a bio-medical pipeline in the Pacific.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.