Brown appointed Principal Investigator for Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community

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Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has appointed Daniel E. Brown, Ph.D., as principal investigator (P.I.) for the Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community (HIBC), a federally funded health care transformation project administered through the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. As P.I., Brown is responsible for oversight of the project in its final year and will assist with the necessary infrastructure, policies and procedures for HIBC to carry on as an independent nonprofit entity after the project end date. He will also continue to serve as interim vice chancellor for research, coordinator of graduate programs, and professor of anthropology at UH Hilo.

“The Beacon Community project has reached a level of maturity allowing a natural progression toward the establishment of a freestanding nonprofit entity,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney. “We will support the new nonprofit in its efforts to seek other grants and funding sources to further its vision for the Hawai‘i Island health care system. This success has been made possible by the commitment, support, and engagement of the major health care stakeholders under direction of the former P.I. Karen Pellegrin.

“Dan’s expertise in operations and management will be instrumental in guiding the Beacon Community project through this next phase,” Straney added. “He has extensive administrative experience locally and nationally, and has directly managed complex grant programs at the University. I look forward to the continuation of the Beacon Community project’s advancement under Dan’s leadership.”

Brown has championed the establishment of campus-wide procedures regarding grants and research. His accomplishments include streamlining the grant submission process at the campus, partnering with the UH System to employ an on-campus Compliance Officer, and working with faculty and staff to develop a strategic plan for research and STEM programs. Over an academic career spanning more than 30 years on the mainland and at UH Hilo, he has secured and overseen dozens of research grants, many of which have focused on ethnic disparities in health and, in particular, type II diabetes and hypertension risk in Hawai‘i.

With Brown joining HIBC CEO and Project Director Susan B. Hunt, HIBC will continue to work to transform health and health care on Hawai‘i Island through collaboration, technology and community engagement. HIBC’s initiatives include training and IT support for physicians, planning and implementation of improved clinical operations and protocols, and the Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) program that supports community-based health and wellness programming.

Ultimately, HIBC aims to:

• Improve access to care.
• Avert the onset and/or advancement of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
• Reduce health disparities.
• Achieve Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption and Meaningful Use.

“It is exciting to see the Beacon project continue to move forward,” said Hawai‘i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Community health organizations are already being empowered under a shared vision to improve health care and the health of all our people. I know the positive impact will continue to grow.”

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