The University of Hawaii will receive $1,232,943 to support breast cancer research and health education centers, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Senator Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Representative Mazie K. Hirono and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa announced today.
The University of Hawaii will receive $822,843 to help fund Model State-Supported Area Health Education Centers (MAHEC) and the University of Hawaii-Hilo will receive $410,100 to support breast cancer research.
The money comes through a pair of grants administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"These funds will help medical professionals in Hawaii with their fight against breast cancer and their efforts to recruit, educate and retain primary care workers in rural, underserved areas of our state. There are many people living in Hawaii who have difficulty securing affordable, reliable access to medical professionals and these funds will help the University of Hawaii system provide for the needs of our diverse community. I would like to thank the administration for this critical investment in the health and well being of Hawaii's communities," said Senator Inouye.
"Today's federal investments show that the University of Hawaii System is leading the way to address Hawaii's unique care challenges. The Area Health Education Center will help tackle Hawaii's shortage of health providers by recruiting, training, and supporting over 5,750 current and future health professionals in rural and underserved communities. Another investment today will support U.H. Hilo Professor Linda Connelly's research into how breast cancer spreads, and how to stop it before it kills. Mahalo to U.H. for its work to improve health care for Hawaii's people," said Congresswoman Hirono, a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
"These grants serve vital needs for Hawaii. We know that particularly in our rural areas, access to quality health care continues to present challenges. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the grant to the University of Hawaii for Model State-Supported Area Health Education Centers will help our state educate culturally competent primary care health professionals who will improve services in under-served areas. By recruiting individuals from underrepresented, disadvantaged, or rural backgrounds into the health professions, it will also provide greater career opportunities to those who want to serve their communities. The grant to UH Hilo will allow the university to participate in important cancer research and explore this increasingly-important area of study. In Hawaii, Native Hawaiian women have the highest incidence rate for all types of cancer, as compared to other ethnic groups in the state. This kind of research is critical to addressing the needs of our diverse population. I would like to thank the Department of Health and Human Services for supporting the health needs of our state and our community through these grants," said Congresswoman Hanabusa.