March 30, 2023

The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, or JABSOM, has launched its Kauai Medical Training Track, officials with the UH Foundation recently announced.
On Aug. 13, the program’s first six participants met with Kauai healthcare leaders at an event meant to connect the first-year medical students with health care partners. The Kauai Medical Training Track is a new program — which funds tuition, fees, transportation and lodging for program participants for all four years — on Kauai funded by a $10 million donation from Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg.
The program’s goal is to help address the physician shortage. As it stands, Kauai needs more than 61 doctors to meet the local community’s current health care needs, according to previous reporting by Pacific Business News.
The first cohort of Kauai Medical Training Track students are Brent Fujimoto, Dylan Lawton, Jaime Emoto, Erin Evangelista, Ivana Yoon and Kirra Borrello.
“When I saw that there was an opportunity early on in my training as a medical student, to learn rural medicine on Kauai, I was incredibly interested,” said Emoto, a medical student and participant who was raised on Kauai.
“I feel very honored to learn rural medicine from the very people who inspired me to pursue medicine,” she said. “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 Hawaii. We are all very grateful to Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg for this amazing opportunity.”
Director of Rural Training Dr. Travis Hong, who oversees the program, added, “We are so grateful to the donors, Kauai Community College, and to our healthcare provider partners for their strong support and active engagement around this program. 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.”
The $10 million donation for the program from Zuckerberg and Dr. Chan is part of a six-year commitment to the medical school.
“As a doctor, I know that people are the most important thing in our medical system,” Dr. Chan said in a video message to the cohort earlier this month.
“I’m inspired by you because you have dedicated your medical training to serve the healthcare needs of communities, particularly rural communities like in Kauai. Mark and I are honored to support this program and look forward to following your progress as you train and hone your rural health care skills.”
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