*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2010, but was re-uploaded to the JABSOM website. It was developed prior to the name change.
July 20, 2010 — Dean Jerris Hedges signed an affiliation agreement between the University of Hawai’i and University Clinical, Education and Research Associates (UCERA) on July 20, in the office of UH President MRC Greenwood. UCERA is the medical practice plan for UH physician faculty members who provide patient care in clinical facilities across the state.
Also signing the affiliation agreement were physician and UCERA Chief Operating Officer Patricia Lanoie Blanchette, retired judge and UCERA Secretary James S. Burns, President Greenwood and UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.
UCERA’s principal purpose is to provide the vehicle by which the School fulfills or supports its mission of education and clinical service.
UCERA administers the clinical practice of participating faculty members and aims to provide funding to build and sustain the infrastructure of the School and its departments.
In its role as a faculty practice plan, UCERA contracts with insurance companies and is authorized to bill, collect and disburse patient care and other revenues earned by participating faculty members and to enter into contracts for the generation and collection of such revenues.
UCERA has had many success stories over the past few years, including the following examples:
• The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health is providing a great deal of clinical service and faculty support to stem the serious decline of specialists and sub-specialists in this field in Hawai‘i. The department operates many clinics, provides services in under-served areas, and also provides shortage specialty services in hospitals and clinics, including emergency coverage.
• Supporting the efforts of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Services and Hilo Medical Center, the UCERA central staff provided the organizing logistical work and financial management for the establishment of the new Hawai‘i Island Family Health Center in Hilo to serve as the base of a planned new rural Family Medicine residency program in Hilo.
• UCERA worked with the Department of Surgery to contract with The Queen’s Medical Center to recruit and retain new trauma surgeons and to provide 24/7 coverage for these services to the state’s major trauma center.
• UCERA has supported the work of the Department of Psychiatry as it provides most of the psychiatric professional services at The Queen’s Medical Center.
• UCERA provided the central billing service for the Department of Geriatric Medicine’s Teaching Nursing Home Program where faculty geriatricians and geriatric medicine fellows provide service in over 20 nursing homes. This is greatly needed care in a critical shortage field.
• UCERA has helped the Department of Native Hawaiian Health provide culturally competent clinical services on O‘ahu and at Kalaupapa on Moloka‘i.