AHEC Activities

Educating and recruiting

students to health professions from K-12 schools

AHEC Activities

Educating health professions students

in the rural and underserved communities of Hawaii, often in multiprofessional teams

AHEC Activities

Recruiting health care professionals

to rural and underserved areas and providing continuing education

AHEC Activities

Providing community based and community driven education

for all underserved groups in Hawaii.


406, 2018

HRSA Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program

hrsa health workforce

Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program

Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-18-120

Apply for this grant on grants.gov

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is accepting applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program. Please forward this notice to any dental training program(s) you feel may be interested in loan repayment for their dental faculty. Applications will be due July 2, 2018.

The purpose of this program is to increase the number of dental and dental hygiene faculty in the workforce by assisting dental and dental hygiene training programs to attract and retain dental and dental hygiene faculty through loan repayment.

Award recipients must create and manage a loan repayment program for dental and dental hygiene faculty individuals who agree to serve as full-time faculty members within the disciplines of general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, dental public health, or dental hygiene.

Eligible entities include public or private nonprofit dental or dental hygiene schools, or approved residency or advanced education programs in the practice of general, pediatric, or public health dentistry. Individuals are not eligible to apply directly.

Technical Assistance

Date: June 7, 2018
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Dial-in: 855-719-5008
Passcode: 556306
Webinar link:  https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/hrsa_18_120_nofo_52318/  
Playback: 888-203-1112
Playback Passcode: 7186317

2205, 2018

HRSA Health Workforce 2018 Faculty Loan Repayment Program


2018 Faculty Loan Repayment Program

Accepting applications through Thursday, June 28, 7:30 p.m. ET

Apply Here!

Apply today for the 2018 Faculty Loan Repayment Program!

The Faculty Loan Repayment Program provides individuals who have an interest in eligible health profession careers with the opportunity to receive loan repayment while serving as faculty members at accredited and eligible health professions schools.

Participants will receive up to $40,000 for two (2) years of service to repay the outstanding principal and interest of qualifying educational loans. Applicants must obtain all qualifying educational loans prior to the application deadline of June 28, 2018.

Before You Apply

Before you apply, read the annually updated Application and Program Guidance. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the contract.


To be eligible, all applicants must:

  1. Come from a disadvantaged background, based on environmental and/or economic factors,
  2. Have an eligible health professions degree or certificate, and
  3. Have an employment commitment as a faculty member at an approved health professions institution for a minimum of two years.

Application Help

Join our Faculty Loan Repayment Program Technical Assistance Call.

Thursday, June 7
3-4:30 p.m. ET
Dial-in: 1-888-889-4957
Passcode: 9769247

305, 2018

Hawaii needs hundreds of doctors, with shortage expected to worsen

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Hawaii is facing a critical shortage of doctors, and it’s expected to get worse.

Though a known problem for years, Dr. Kelley Withy, instructor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine said, “We’re starting with a shortage and we’re not making up for it. We have an aging population so it’s just getting worse and worse.

“We’re not training enough, not recruiting enough, and many who do come from the mainland leave,” Withy explained. “Sometimes they can’t afford a house. Our salaries are low here compared to the mainland. We are (ranked) 50th out of 51 states (and Washington D.C.) for salary reimbursement.”

Research from the John A. Burns School of Medicine show the state is short 700 doctors. Of those, 282 are primary care physicians.

“These are last year’s numbers. We’re doing this year’s numbers and it’s looking a little worse,” said Withy. “If you’re in Honolulu and you’re 18 years old. There’s a lot of pediatricians who can’t find a lot of doctors for kids who age out. So you may be 25 and still seeing your pediatrician.”

The state is in dire need of specialty doctors, including surgeons, orthopedic, infectious disease, critical care, and pulmonary.

The shortage is worse on the neighbor islands.

“If you break your leg in a car accident on the Big Island, you may have to wait a lot time to see an orthopedic surgeon. You may have to be medevaced here. You may be bleeding a lot, and it could get serious,” said Withy.

To fix this, the school is adding more training facilities so medical students aren’t just learning on Oahu.

Over at the Capitol, Rep. Linda Ichiyama, vice chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, is pushing for another way to alleviate the problem.

“It’s a new and different way of looking at it we haven’t done before,” said Ichiyama.

Ichiyama wants the state’s insurance commissioner to regulate requirements for health provider networks.

The insurance commissioner would look into wait times for an appointment, the ability of the insurance providers to meet patients needs, and if there are enough doctors on each island.

To view the full article and video, please visit: http://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/hawaii-needs-hundreds-of-doctors-with-shortage-expected-to-worsen/1103889819

1004, 2018

Music, Research, Resonance, and the Brain

You’re invited to a fascinating “Music, Resonance and the Brain” workshop on Saturday April 14, 2018.

Across the country, hospitals are noticing the changes that occur when sound and music is administered. Hospitals, as in Honolulu and Phoenix, are preparing to do in-depth research about the changes that take place in the brain to help in balance and gait, mood swings, blood pressure, oxygenation and memory just to mention a few of the areas where noticeable differences occur.

Our three speakers are:

  • Christina Tourin, MT, CHTP, is acclaimed for her teaching methods and is the Director of the International Harp Therapy Program: http://HarpTherapyInternational.com
  • Anita Chen Marshall, DAOM, PharmD, PhD, LAc, will give an introduction to a unique form of Chinese medicine healing, one that uses sound and music to harmonize the body meridians and to invigorate the body’s energy for wellness.
  • Elizabeth Chen Christenson, MD, LAc, will give a short presentation on evidence-based research on the effectiveness of therapeutic harp interventions.

In the afternoon with Christina, you will receive repertoire, instruction as well as the theoretical knowledge being offered in the morning workshops.

Be part of the dynamic pioneering of Harp, Music and the Brain!  I hope you can join us!  If you can – please respond to Christina Tourin. (see flyer for information). If you know of musicians, harpists or healthcare providers who may be interested, please feel free to forward on this message.

The early bird price has been extended, just mention that they received the information later than 4/10.

PAY PAL PAYMENTS TO: HarpRealm@gmail.com

504, 2018

Introduction to medicine: Teen Health Camp features workshops, hands-on activities

Ronnal Dalmacio said she’s someday considering a career in nursing.

So when the 15-year-old Pahoa High School freshman got a chance to attend Hilo Medical Center Foundation’s annual Teen Health Camp on Thursday, she jumped.

“It’s been pretty cool,” Ronnal said that morning as she mixed up a container of “silly putty” during a workshop designed to demonstrate the science of pharmacy compounding. “I think (the camp) will help me decide if I want to work in the medical field or not.”

Ronnal was one of nearly 300 East Hawaii teens who participated in the free camp this year, its largest turnout ever. The goal was to expose students to various health care-related careers in Hawaii, which historically has experienced a shortage of physicians and other medical workers.

In addition to compounding, students got to learn how to suture, put on an arm cast, practice calculating body mass index and take blood pressure.

Workshops were led by older health care students, including medical students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and pharmacy and nursing students from UH-Hilo.

“Hands-on is always better but medicine is very hard to do hands-on,” said Yuki Yano, a teacher at Kamehameha Schools Hawaii, which had about 20 students at the camp. “You don’t have lessons to do so. So when you do these types of hands-on activities, hopefully it helps pique their interest in health care as one of their future career options.”

During Thursday’s wound suture workshop, groups of students were huddled around stations set up with manikin arms, scissors and sewing materials. The suturing process was akin to sewing with a fishing hook and required steady hands, they explained.

“Learning how to finish the knot,” was the most difficult part, said Pahoa freshman Ayden Hau. “You have to do it just right or it won’t come out.”

“I’ve had stitches myself so I can remember how they were able to do it in surgery,” added Kamehameha senior Lia Wengler. She’s not considering a medical career at this time but thinks “it’s super interesting to learn how these things are done.”

A second teen health camp is scheduled for April 7 at Kealakehe High School.

Article from the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Email Kirsten Johnson at kjohnson@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

304, 2018

NHSC Loan Repayment Application: Preparing Your Loan Information

Preparing Your Loan Information

Your National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program application must include information on your unpaid student loans to support undergraduate or graduate education, which led to your health professions degree.

Acceptable Loans

  • Obtained by the applicant to cover school tuition, other reasonable education, and living expenses associated with the undergraduate or graduate education
  • Provided by Federal, state and local entities, as well as commercial institutions

Unacceptable Loans

  • Any that incurred a service obligation, which will not be fulfilled before the NHSC application deadline
  • Unable to identify that loan was solely applicable to the undergraduate or graduate education of the applicant
  • Not obtained from a Government entity or private student loan lending institution (Most loans made by private foundations to individuals are not eligible for repayment.)
  • Primary Care Loans
  • Parent PLUS Loans (made to parents)
  • Personal lines of credit
  • Loans subject to cancellation
  • Residency loans
  • Credit card debt
  • Repaid in full, in default, or were obtained for someone other than the applicant

For a complete listing of loans that qualify for repayment, see page 10 of the the 2018 Application and Program Guidance.

Loan Documentation

The NHSC classifies loans into two categories, Federal or private/commercial. Applicants may submit loan information either electronically (Federal only) or manually.

Application Tip: If you have Federal loans, you can import them electronically using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to access your Aid Summary Report and pre-populate the loan fields. You must register and receive a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), which you can do here.

Applicants will be required to provide two types of documentation for each manual loan that is being submitted for consideration: (a) an account statement and (b) a disbursement report. For additional information on what information needs to be included on these documents, please see pages 39-41 of the Application & Program Guidance.

View the Application Webinar

Check out this short, recorded webinar that reviews the eligibility requirements and online application process.

View Webinar

Helpful Application Resources

Remember – the NHSC Loan Repayment Program Application deadline is Monday, April 23, 2018 at 7:30 PM ET.

304, 2018

National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program Accepting Applications

2018 NHSC Scholarship Program

Accepting applications through
Thursday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. ET

Apply Here!

Today, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) released the 2018 Application and Program Guidance for the NHSC Scholarship Program.

The NHSC Scholarship Program awards funds to health profession students pursuing careers as primary care providers in exchange for their commitment to serve in high-need, underserved communities. Scholarship support includes tax-free payment of tuition, required fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a taxable monthly living stipend.

After completion of graduation/training, recipients fulfill their service commitment at one of more than 16,000 NHSC-approved sites throughout the nation and its territories. Each scholar serves for a minimum of two years and receives one year of financial support (up to four years) for each year of service at an NHSC site.


To be eligible for a scholarship, all applicants must:

1.   Be a U.S. Citizen (either U.S. born or naturalized) or U.S. National

2.   Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student

3.   Be attending or accepted to attend an accredited school

4.   Be located in a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory

5.   Be eligible for federal employment

6.   Not have an existing service obligation

7.   Submit a complete application

Application Help

Learn more about the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program and application process.

NHSC Scholarship Application Webinar
Thursday, April 12, 3-4:30 PM ET
Webinar Link
Dial-in: 1-888-469-1602
Passcode: 8126706

NHSC Scholarship Application Q & A Session 
Thursday, April 26, 3-4:30 PM ET
Web Link
Passcode: 8126706

2912, 2017

Technology Helps Improve Access to Specialty Health Services in Hawaii

HONOLULU – Technology is being used to help improve access to specialty health services across the state.Through the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) program, Hawaii health care organizations can use web video conferencing to have health specialists mentor primary care physicians in local rural and underserved communities.

“We discuss real life cases that are presented to us and we provide guidance and consultation.. and the follow up,” John A. Burns School of Medicine, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Daniel Alicata said.

Participants connect via virtual ECHO clinics, which are free two-hour teleconferences. Dr. Alicata says the real-time expertise from behavioral health specialists helps primary care physicians, nurses, and even social workers provide the best care to patients with “complex health conditions,” such as Parkinson’s disease and depression. As a result, he adds the program allows for neighbor islands residents to get specialty care services right where they live, rather than having to travel to another site.

“The thought of having to stop work for a day to travel to Honolulu with the expense.. To take children out of school for specialty services is a significant challenge,” Dr. Alicata said. “[Through the ECHO program]  the physician can provide that care in their office within the structure they have already,”

Cory Causey with the Lokahi Treatment Center in Hilo says as a clinical supervisor it’s important to stay up to date with the latest medical information, and the ECHO Hawaii program easily allows her to do just that.

“Being on the Big Island… there are some barriers, because you don’t have as much opportunity as you would on Oahu,” Causey said. “So this [ECHO program] has been meeting my needs both educationally and professionally”

The program also provides specialty health care training to physicians in Micronesia and Marshall islands. According to Dr. Alicata, all ECHO teleconference calls are encrypted for security reasons.

“We’re proud to support ECHO Hawaii in building a dynamic network of medical professionals to help rural health providers serve their patients even better,” Associate Medical Director of Primary Care, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Samir Patel MD said in a press release.

Hawaii Rural Health Association’s ECHO program is supported by a $20,000 community benefit grant from Kaiser Permanente.

For more information about ECHO, click here.

2912, 2017

5 Things We’re Watching in Hawaii – Health Care and Health Policy

5 Things Hawaii: Kelley Withy, Topical Agenda, Castle Medical Center

I hope you had a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend before the holiday season gets a little too busy! I always find this time of year to be a good reminder to say thank you to everyone who is working to move the health system forward. So, mahalo nui for all that you do and (as always) thanks for reading our stuff.

Here’s 5 Things We’re Watching in Hawaii health care and health policy.

DJ 5 Things Signature

1. Video:  Dr. Kelley Withy on measuring quality

Dr. Kelley Withy is the Director of the Hawaii/Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is also a professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. She joins us in this edition to talk about finding solutions for healthcare providers.

“We have quality metrics but one thing, for example one thing I heard is that the five Medicaid insurance companies request that their quality metrics be reported in a different way. Same numbers, different patients, different reporting methodology…Why can’t they report it the same way for all the insurance companies?”

See the video and full article here: https://stateofreform.com/5-things/hawaii-5-things/2017/12/5-things-hawaii-kelley-withy-topical-agenda-castle-medical-center/