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Mapuana C.K. Antonio, DrPH, Assistant Professor
Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Development and Validation of the Ke Ola O Ka ‘Āina: ‘Āina Connectedness Scale for Health Research

This project will increase our understanding of resilience, including ‘āina connectedness as a form of resilience, and the link between resilience and health. Identifying constructs that quantitatively measure ‘āina connectedness are beneficial for health programs that aim to improve Native Hawaiian health and will inform research and efforts to create more effective interventions.

Pakieli Kaufusi, PhD, Assistant Professor
John A. Burns School of Medicine, Dept. of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Potential Pharmacological Inhibitors for the Treatment of Flavivirus

Flavivirus diseases have impacted the Native Hawaiians & Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) of Hawaii, with co-morbidities such as diabetes, asthma, or hypertension. This project seeks to find specific treatments by repurposing existing drugs that may lead to cost-saving drug development and further cost-saving treatment, which would help NHOPI with lower socioeconomic barriers in Hawaii.

Nicole Kau’i Merritt, ScD, MPA, MA
Dept of Mathematics, Natural & Health Sciences, University of Hawaii at West Oahu

Impact of Neighborhood Characteristics, Social Isolation, and Diet Quality on Chronic Inflammation

The proposed research is a secondary data analysis that aims to understand associative relationships between social isolation, diet quality, neighborhood level factors, and inflammatory biomarkers using data from the Multi-Ethnic Cohort (MEC). While social isolation has been linked with disease development, few studies have examined the association of contextual neighborhood factors and biomarkers that may lie on the pathway to disease development in the general population and none among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Peoples (NHOPP). This analysis has important implications for understanding social isolation as a risk factor for chronic diseases, especially among vulnerable populations. Furthermore, the results of this analysis will help to determine if there is a qualitative difference in the relationship between the type of diet and elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers.

Corrie Miller, DO, Assistant Professor
John A. Burns School of Medicine, Dept of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Perceptions of Pregnancy Planning and Pregnancy Outcomes in Native Hawaiian and Filipino Women

Health disparities of Native Hawaiian and Filipinos extend into pregnancy, and even originate within the womb, with transgenerational effects of preterm birth (PTB) leading to adverse health outcomes in adulthood. This work is needed to develop translational understanding of PTB in our community and create methods to predict and prevent preterm birth. Understanding which components most greatly contribute to PTB helps to allocate resources appropriately for socioeconomic etiologies, and develop therapeutic targets for biologic causes.

Kelsie Okamura, PhD, Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology, Hawai‘i Pacific University

The Implementation, Adoption, and Sustainability of Ho’ouna Pono

The objective and aims of the project are to improve the health of youth and their families in rural Hawai‘i Island through creating regionally-specific implementation plans through concept mapping methodology. These geographic regions have a large population of Indigenous Pacific Peoples including Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos. Moreover, this T5 pilot project will also strengthen clinical translational research in a sorely needed area of prevention program implementation for rural Indigenous Pacific youth.

Wesley Sumida, PharmD, Associate Professor
The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaii at Hilo

Economic Factors and Medication Adherence in Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders

The proposed study will provide a better understanding of critical factors related to nonadherence in Indigenous Pacific Peoples (IPP). This can provide the foundation for a future NIH grant proposal examining targeted interventions that incorporate a screening tool to address factors for specific IPP subgroups.

Kelly Yamasato, MD, Assistant Professor
John A. Burns School of Medicine, Dept of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Early Markers of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

Pregnancy complications represent an important health disparity for which IPP are at increased risk. Improved identification of those at increased risk for pregnancy complications is an important step in reducing this disparity. Reducing pregnancy complications has important implications for the health of both mother and fetus, and thus has a potential impact on long term health disparities affecting Indigenous Pacific Peoples (IPP) as well. This prospective cohort study will measure social determinants of health (SDOH) and psychological stress (PS) in 373 adult pregnant patients through survey tools in the first trimester.

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