By Tina Shelton, UH Med Now
December 19, 2016 — The New Year will bring significant changes in the country’s political power structure, and with it, some uncertainty for Democratic stronghold Hawai’i. But the State gains an important voice in health care, with the appointment of a local doctor to a national panel that helps set health guidelines in America. UH Med Now spoke to Dr. Chien-Wen Tseng, associate professor and family medicine doctor at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), who has been appointed to the U.S. Preventive Task Force (Task Force). She will be giving Hawai’i and its diverse citizenry a voice (for the first time ever) on a panel that makes critical recommendations for health screenings.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of 16 national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. Members analyze current scientific evidence and determine the preventive health standards for our nation. Those become new guidelines likely to recommended by physicians, and – importantly — be covered by health insurance.
Members are appointed to serve a 4-year term. In recent years, the Task Force established numerous clinical screening guidelines covering breast cancer, high blood pressure, depression in children and adults, and preventive medications such as aspirin to prevent heart disease and colon cancer.
About Dr. Tseng
Dr. Tseng is the Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association (HMSA) endowed chair in health services and quality research, an associate professor, and the associate research director in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She is also a physician investigator with the nonprofit Pacific Health Research and Education Institute, an affiliate of the Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System. Dr. Tseng is an active physician and a teacher of primary health care and preventive care to medical students and family medicine residents. As a family physician, Dr. Tseng’s research focuses on improving quality of health care and lowering financial barriers to care, such as reducing the high cost of drugs for chronic and acute diseases.
Dr. Tseng, a graduate of Punahou School, received a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.A. in mathematical sciences from Rice University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and an M.P.H. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She earned her M.D. from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Tseng as a visiting scholar with the Robert Graham Center for Policy and Research in Washington, D.C. She is also an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Program at UCLA and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist.