The Ō‘ō award is one of the most prestigious awards specifically for Native Hawaiians and has become a symbol of inspiration for young Native Hawaiians.
A University of Hawai‘i at Hilo biology alumna, who serves as a UH Mānoa professor of psychiatry, was honored for her significant contributions to advance the Native Hawaiian community.
Naleen Naupaka Andrade of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), was one of three individuals honored with the annual Ō‘ō Award from the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce in October.
“When you’re doing it, you don’t really think about it,” Andrade says. “I have a passion for advancing Native Hawaiian health and ensuring that we’re healthy.”
Since it was first awarded, the Ō‘ō has become one of the most prestigious and coveted awards specifically for Native Hawaiians and has become a symbol of inspiration for young Native Hawaiians.
Andrade is currently on leave from JABSOM to become the executive vice-president of Native Hawaiian Health, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, and Caregiver Wellness at The Queen’s Health Systems of Hawaiʻi.
Born in Honolulu and raised in Kona, Andrade earned her bachelor of arts in biology from UH Hilo and graduated from JABSOM’s ‘Imi Ho‘ōla program and medical school. She started her career in 1986 after completing her residency training in Hawai‘i. She’s been at JABSOM since, working on advancing education, mentoring and research to better understand contributors to health and well-being among Indigenous peoples.
Andrade held various roles in the psychiatry department, including professor, researcher and department chair. She has also held leadership roles in the JABSOM dean’s office and served as the chair of the Queen’s Medical Center Board of Trustees. She is JABSOM’s director of the National Center on Indigenous Hawaiian Behavioral Health.