Pediatrician Jeffrey Okamoto selected for Kennedy Fellowship
Doctor recognized for serving developmentally disabled across Hawai‘iUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jun. 21, 2010
A University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa physician who has worked to improve the lives of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities across Hawai‘i has been selected for the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellowship for 2010-11.
John A. Burns School of Medicine pediatrician Jeffrey Okamoto, MD, is one of only three people across the country chosen for this honor, which past recipients have described as major turning points in their professional and personal lives.
Dr. Okamoto will spend a year in Washington, D.C, where he will actively participate in public policy development in the offices of members of Congress, congressional committees and federal agencies.
Dr. Okamoto is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at the Pediatric Specialty Center at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children (KMCWC). He flies to Moloka‘i every other month for a clinic supported by KMCWC to care for children with various developmental and behavioral challenges.
Dr. Okamoto also is the medical director for the Hawai‘i State Department of Health Developmental Disabilities Division, and the program chairperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on School Health Executive Committee.
He is currently the associate director for the Hawai‘i Maternal and Child Health Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other related Disabilities (MCH LEND) training program and the Council Chairperson for the Center on Disability Studies, both at UH Mānoa.
Dr. Okamoto’s application to the Joseph Kennedy Jr. Foundation was supported by the chairperson of the medical school’s Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Raul Rudoy; the director for the UH Center on Disability Studies, Dr. Robert Stodden (who was a previous Kennedy Fellow); and the executive director of The Arc in Hawai‘i, Michael Tamanaha. The Arc is a premier nonprofit organization for people with intellectual and other disabilities.