UH rural health program receives continued funding

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jan Shoultz, (808) 220-2894
School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene
Posted: Aug 2, 2005

HONOLULU — The Quentin Burdick Rural Health Program in Hawaiʻi, co-sponsored by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, the Kauaʻi Rural Health Association, and University Health Group, has received funding in the amount of $1,112,944 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration (DOH/BHPr/HRSA). The renewed funding will make it possible for the program to continue through June of 2008.

The Quentin Burdick program provides an opportunity for UH students from a variety of health disciplines to participate in multidisciplinary teams during spring seminars and a summer practicum at six rural sites on neighbor islands.

Since 2000, 103 students from the schools of medicine, social work, nursing and dental hygiene, education, and the departments of psychology, public health, medical technology division, and speech at UH Mānoa, have collaborated with community members to design and carry out health-enhancing programs at six rural sites on the Big Island, Maui, Kauaʻi, and Molokaʻi.

In addition to the immediate benefits of enhancing the health of rural communities and demonstrating the value of working on a multidisciplinary team, the program also encourages students to consider living and working in a rural underserved community upon graduation.

The latest survey of participants who have completed their professional education indicated that 43 percent are currently working in rural underserved areas or with underserved populations in Hawaiʻi. These graduates include nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, a community psychologist, and a dental hygienist. Ninety-one participating students have not yet graduated and represent the disciplines of medicine, nursing, medical technology, social work, public health, nutrition, speech, and education.

"The success of the Quentin Burdick program depends on many things — the federal funding support we are fortunate to have received, combined with the dedication of our participating students, faculty, site coordinators, and the long list of community partners who continue to devote so much time and effort to improving the health of rural and underserved communities in Hawaiʻi," said Dr. Jan Shoultz, Quentin Burdick program director and associate professor at the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. "There is no other program that places students in rural areas in interdisciplinary teams while at the same time addressing the mal-distribution of health professionals that leads to health disparities in rural underserved areas."

For more information about the Quentin Burdick Rural Health program, contact Dr. Jan Shoultz at 808-220-2894 or email at shoultz@hawaii.edu.