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UH Hilo Interim Chancellor's Blog Posts

Doctor of Nursing Practice program approved by UH Board of Regents

Katharyn Daub
Katharyn Daub

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents approved at its May meeting a Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo School of Nursing. The new program will begin August 2012 for post baccalaureate students and will be open to post masters-level students in 2013.

“The UH Hilo School of Nursing is responding to the concerns of our community and has worked diligently to improve community access to quality healthcare in Hawaiʻi,” noted Katharyn Daub, director of the school of nursing.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a doctoral degree for nurses at the highest level of nursing practice. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has proposed that the DNP degree be the level of entry for all advanced practice nurses by 2015.

“The focus on rural and transcultural health will encompass training for practitioners that spans the entire life cycle from birth through death,” Daub said. “The program will also focus on rural problems to improve healthcare in our medically underserved community that includes western and indigenous health practices.”

Remarks by the Chancellor at 2011 UH Hilo Awards and Recognition Celebration

Keiki Kawai‘ae‘a received the 2011 Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence in Innovation. (l-r) Barry Taniguchi, nominator Alohalani Housman, honoree Keiki Kawai‘ae‘a, and UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney.

Remarks by UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney
2011 UH Hilo Awards and Recognition Celebration
May 3, 2011
Campus Center Plaza

Aloha and Welcome to the UH Hilo Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

As we gather to recognize our honorees, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and say “thank you” to all of you. It has been almost a year since I first arrived at UH Hilo, and it’s been an extraordinary learning experience. I’ve found a good deal to admire about our faculty and staff and our entire university community. Your dedication contributes greatly to our success and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with you to move UH Hilo forward.

Today, we’ll recognize our recent retirees, our faculty and staff years of service, and we’ll also announce the winners of this year’s UH Hilo Awards. Before we start with our ceremonies, I’d like to briefly update you on a few things.

Strategic Plan

The strategic planning process is drawing to a close, and we currently have a draft plan that is widely supported on campus. I’d like to thank everyone for your participation. By the end of spring semester we should be distributing the working draft. Next year, we’ll be using it to adjust the course of our university through implementation.

New Scholarship Program

Planning is underway for a very exciting new development: the launch of an ambitious new scholarship program at UH Hilo one year from now. Details are still being worked out, so I am not at liberty to reveal the donors. Funding 4-year scholarships for ten entering students beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. Scholarships are reserved Big Island high school graduates who have limited financial resources and are first in their families to attend college. Ten scholars will start UH Hilo in 2012, with ten more added each year until program reaches 40 participants annually. Just as exciting, each cohort of students will receive specialized support services and the opportunity to participate in four summers of uniquely designed programming here on the Big Island and elsewhere. Our own faculty and staff will be involved in the delivery of these programs and services.

Budget

As you know, the current fiscal situation in the state presents a challenge to implementing the changes the campus would like to see. The budget challenge is statewide: state government needs to make up a $1.3 billion shortfall in the next biennium. UH Hilo has already taken a 24.5% reduction in general funds over the last three years. Last week we learned how we fared in the legislature for CIP. We got 50% funding for student housing ($16 million) and permission to get the other 50% from revenue bonds. The legislature is also giving us $4 million towards the renovations and addition to Hale Kanilehua to accommodate living/learning centers. Please join us for the all-campus meeting on the budget set for Thurs., May 5 at 11:30am in Wentworth 1.

Graduation Initiative

We’re confident UH Hilo will exceed this year’s graduation targets set for us by the UH System.

Display table of koa bowls and lei given to honorees at UH Hilo's 2011 Awards and Recognition Celebration held May 3 at the Campus Center Plaza.
Display table of koa bowls and lei given to honorees at UH Hilo’s 2011 Awards and Recognition Celebration held May 3 at the Campus Center Plaza.

UH Hilo’s first doctor of pharmacy degrees to be conferred at spring commencement; entrepreneur Hank C.K. Wuh to keynote

Dr. Hank C.K. Wuh, a Honolulu entrepreneur and leader in Hawaiʻi’s biotechnology field, will deliver the keynote address.

Hank C.K. Wuh
Entrepreneur Hank C.K. Wuh, MD, will keynote UH Hilo's spring commencement.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy will award its first doctor of pharmacy degrees at spring commencement on Saturday.

Dean John Pezzuto describes the class of 2011 as “dynamic and self-driven pioneers.” He said their graduation will clearly be marked as one of the most joyous days in the institution’s history.

“Every student pharmacist in our college is extraordinary, otherwise they would not be members of our program. And this first graduating class has set the bar amazingly high for future classes to match their scholarship, leadership and citizenship,” Pezzuto said. “They embraced their role as eldest among our student `ohana with zeal and passion. As their dean I am proud and humbled.”

The 84 pharmacy students are among 607 candidates for various degrees and/or certificates, which also include the colleges of Arts and Sciences (402), Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (27), Business and Economics (47), and Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language (23). Twenty-four others are candidates for various post-graduate honors.

Dr. Hank C.K. Wuh, a Honolulu entrepreneur and leader in Hawaiʻi’s biotechnology field, delivers the keynote address. An orthopedic surgeon and inventor, Wuh has led the development of over 20 biomedical and consumer healthcare products from concept to global commercialization.

Valerie Dionne, who receives bachelor of arts degrees in political science and administration of justice, serves as student speaker. A native of Arkansas, she has maintained a 3.91 GPA since leaving her job at the Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association to enroll at UH Hilo in 2008.

A member of the National Political Science Honor Society Pi Sigma Alpha, Dionne was named the UH Hilo Chapter’s Most Outstanding Student for the 2010-2011 school year. She has made the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List each semester and is the recipient of numerous scholarships. She is active in campus and community activities and will attend the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa in fall 2011.

Commencement, to be held this Saturday, May 14, at Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium, begins at 9:00 a.m.

Design phase completed for new UH Hilo College of Pharmacy building

“When you consider the data from the economic impact study that shows the college brings in more than $50 million a year to the state, there’s no question that this is an investment that will more than pay for itself virtually in no time.” –State Representative Clift Tsuji

The design phase is completed for a new state-of-the-art building for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy.

“We cannot overstate the importance of this building to Hawaiʻi’s future as the hub of health care and discovery,” said John Pezzuto, dean of the college. “It will also allow us to give our students the best possible professional pharmacy education and move forward with accreditation.”

WCIT Architecture of Honolulu designed the building, which will cost an estimated $66 million. In 2010, WCIT won an architecture award for the design of UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani College of Hawaiian Language building.

WCIT President Rob Iopa said the design approach blends environment, place and architecture unique to the needs of the College of Pharmacy yet within the framework of other buildings on campus.

“WCIT Architecture has done a beautiful job designing the Hawaiian languages building, but I want to stress we are not just looking for window dressing,” said Debra Fitzsimons, vice chancellor for administrative affairs. “I’m confident their design of the College of Pharmacy will complement our existing structures on the UH Hilo campus while giving them the proper educational vessel they require.”

The design phase was funded in part by $5.5 million from the state in 2009. Funds are now being sought from the state and others for construction. During a recent site visit, a group from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the national accrediting agency responsible for pharmacy schools, said the lack of a permanent building for the college is a serious concern.

Pezzuto said the cost of construction is more than offset by the economic benefits the college brings to the state of Hawaiʻi. State Representative Clift Tsuji agrees.

“When you consider the data from the economic impact study that shows the college brings in more than $50 million a year to the state, there’s no question that this is an investment that will more than pay for itself virtually in no time,” said Tsuji (D-South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown).

The new pharmacy college facilities will be located on campus at the corner of Komohana and Nowelo streets.

UH Hilo’s College of Pharmacy is the only school of pharmacy in the Pacific region.

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