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Four-year scholarships for five incoming MD students; Kaiser to expand MD Student clinical training and learning at its facilities, allowing expansion of incoming JABSOM Class to 77 student.

To help address the growing physician shortage in Hawai‘i, Kaiser Permanente has become a full teaching partner with the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

Already a long-time supporter and partner of the medical school, Kaiser Permanente recently pledged $800,000 to create the Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i Medical Student Scholarships. This support will cover full-tuition scholarships for five incoming Hawai‘i resident medical students. The goal is to support students who intend to practice medicine in Hawai‘i’s rural and/or underserved communities and help address health disparities within our state.

In addition to supporting the students’ education, Kaiser Permanente will now provide pre-clinical and clinical training opportunities at Moanalua Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente facilities, making it a full teaching partner. Thanks to this private/public partnership, JABSOM will increase enrollment by five medical students for the 2019-23 cohort.

JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges said, “Kaiser Permanente leadership’s vision and generosity is empowering JABSOM to compete with other medical schools for our state’s most promising medical student candidates. With this new award, we will be able to keep five more of Hawai‘i’s best and brightest at home.” Hedges continued, “To lose top student talent to mainland medical schools is especially disappointing because we know that if students attend medical school and do their residency training in Hawai‘i about 85% will stay here to practice. That’s the highest retention rate in the nation.”

Hedges added, “Scholarships help to reduce the impact of indebtedness on a student’s decision regarding which specialty to enter and where to practice. Patients in underserved areas benefit when JABSOM graduates are free to focus on their passions rather than their pocketbooks.” He continued, “Many future doctors give up their dreams of practicing in Hawaiʻi —which is already short approximately 700 physicians—to set-up practice on the mainland where the earning potential is higher and the cost of living lower. At the same time, the growing nationwide physician shortage has made it more difficult to recruit mainland physicians to the Islands. More than ever, we need to grow our own.” 

“We’re proud that more than 130 of our 665 physicians and providers are JABSOM graduates delivering high-quality care to our members and patients at Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi,” said Geoff Sewell, MD, FACP, president and executive medical director for Hawaiʻi Permanente Medical Group. “Our goal with this partnership is to give more opportunities to talented doctors-to-be in Hawaiʻi, so they can stay in the islands to get an exceptional education and practice medicine after they graduate. We also find that JABSOM physicians are particularly dedicated to improving health equity and eliminating care disparities among our local communities, so we’re thrilled by the potential this partnership has for the health of the people of Hawaiʻi.”

"Our partnership with UH is a testament to our shared commitment to addressing the physician shortage that affects all Hawaiʻi residents," said Dave Underriner, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Hawaiʻi Region. "The next generation of local medical students has the opportunity to make a difference in their own community by choosing to practice here at home. We're proud to help cultivate that talent through this scholarship program and our Internal Medicine Residency Program, now starting its fifth year."

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.

FOR UH • FOR HAWAIʻI, The Campaign for the University of Hawaiʻi, is focused on raising $1 billion to support UH priorities on all 10 campuses across the state, including student success; research that matters; kuleana to Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi; sustainability, resilience and conservation; innovation and entrepreneurship; building Hawaiʻi’s workforce; and engaging our community. Learn more at

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.

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Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.

The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa honors its unique research environment to excel in science-based efforts to eliminate diseases that disproportionately affect people in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. Annually at JABSOM, more than 500 future physicians are learning medicine, JABSOM researchers secure ​​up to ​$52 million in grants, and overall economic stimulus to Hawaiʻi from the school tops $456 million annually. JABSOM also confers degrees in Clinical Translational Research, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Tropical Medicine, Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical Technology and Developmental and Reproductive Biology.

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.