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Department of Native Hawaiian Health: E Komo Mai to Lau Ola Clinic

September 3, 2015 —

Pictured: Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter with a patient.

The Lau Ola Clinic is one of Hawai’i’s very few clinics that treat primarily Native Hawaiian patients in various disciplinaries. The clinic does not only offer a variety of services, but also serves as a training ground for medical students in their respective fields.

Some familiar faces that you may recognize at the clinic include JABSOM professors and alumni Dr. Kalani Brady and Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter, along with 2014 graduate Dr. Ryder Onopa. Watch the video above to view the history of the Lau Ola Clinic.

Mahalo to Drs. Brady and Carpenter, Darian Oshiro and Dr. Ryder Onopa for their cooperation!

[Video starts with music and brief clips of the clinic.]
Update October 2018: The video is no longer available. Please view the transcript below. 

Narrator: E komo mai – welcome to Lau Ola, a multidisciplinary clinic dedicated to promoting the health and wellness of Native Hawaiians in Hawaii.

Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter: Hi, aloha! I’m Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter. I am an internist and I was lucky enough to join the Lau Ola Clinic back in 2007. The clinic actually started back in…probably when Dr. Marjorie Mau started this department of Native Hawaiian Health, initially as a program for native hawaiian health, back in 2003. They started to have primary care around 2005 with the addition of Dr. Kalani Brady. They also had Dr. Janice Silva working with the maternal-fetal program for Molokai. So Dr. Mau and Dr. Silva would go back and forth to Molokai. Thereafter, Dr. Kalani Brady became the director of the Hansen’s disease branch and started going down into Kalaupapa and our department actually serves the Hansen’s disease patients in Kalaupapa and here on Oahu as well with a number of our physicians – Drs. Peter Donnelly, Martina Kamaka and Chad Koyanagi.

Dr. Kalani Brady: I’m Kalani Brady. I’m an internal medicine doctor. I’ve been practicing for a little over 30 years. I have been a proud graduate of the John A. Burns School of Medicine Integrated Medical Residency. We opened 12 years ago now, and we see primary care patients and we see psychology patients with our psychologists. We even have psychiatrists that help with medication for our mental health patients. Here at Lau Ola, we try to integrate Western health concepts, but we try and be culturally sensitive in terms of relating to our patients at the level that they come in.

Narrator: Students and graduates from the University of Hawaii Medical School do their residency at the clinic in order to gain experience in their respective fields.

Dr. Brady: Then we have a medical education arm, and that both focuses on recruitment of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders for a career in health. Then we have the ‘Imi Ho’ola program, which is a 5th year post-baccalaureate program which helps the students that don’t yet get into medical school to master the skills they need to be successful in medical school. And then various courses that are elective during the 4 years of medical school.

Dr. Carpenter: We also started – about the same time – pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy has been coming in. So we’ve been actually teaching medical students, pharmacy students, psychology students for a number of years now.

Dr. Darian Oshiro: I was always interested in Hawaiian Health, more particularly some of the herbal medications that it comes with, like the noni juice and the kava, and all that sort of thing and how it interplays with modern western medicine and how we can kind of bridge a gap between the old medication and our new practice in science of pharmacy.

Dr. Ryder Onopa: I did a lot of work with the Department of Native Hawaiian Health and with this clinic while I was a medical student at JABSOM. I think it’s one of the major strengths of doing medical training here in Hawai’i – it’s that we really have these resources, we have a population that needs better care, better care coordination…From here, growing up here, I have a lot of connection to the place, connection to the people and the ability to really see that bear out – use that knowledge of the place and the little idiosyncrasies of local culture to really feel like I can make a difference. The more I’m doing primary care, the more I realize how important that is and gratified I feel doing this, how much I like the connection with, you know, people that are living their lives day-to-day and doing their thing and just being able to be a part of that.

Narrator: For more information, please visit the Lau Ola Clinic at 677 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 1016 or call (808) 469-4380.

[Video ends with placard that says: Mahalo from Lau Ola Clinic; below the text is the UHP logo and the John A. Burns School of Medicine logo]

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