US Surgeon General Richard Carmona to deliver keynote address at Eighth Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) International Symposium on Health dispa

University of Hawaiʻi
Dr. Richard Yanagihara, (808) 956-6151
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
Office of the Chancellor
Posted: Dec 5, 2002

Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona, Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, is the Special Guest of Honor and keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony of the Eighth Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) International Symposium on Health Disparities, organized by the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), to be held at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on December 8, 2002. Dr. Carmona will speak about "The Strategic Plan of the U.S. Public Health Service to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health". The remainder of the Symposium will be held at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel on December 9-11, 2002. Concurrently on December 7-8, a pre-symposium workshop on grant application and management, as well as research funding opportunities, will be conducted by review policy officers from several institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Symposium will feature keynote addresses and plenary lectures by leading researchers, as well as scientific sessions that will highlight the environmental, cultural, socio-economic, biobehavioral and genetic aspects of racial and ethnic disparities in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, asthma and autoimmune diseases, infant mortality and pre-term birth, and neurological diseases. Approximately 300 researchers in biomedicine and health are expected to attend from Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, Texas, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

The RCMI Program of the National Center for Research Resources, NIH, provides support to 19 minority institutions—currently eight schools of medicine, two colleges of pharmacy, eight graduate programs, and one school of veterinary medicine. The primary goal is to enable institutions to become more competitive in obtaining extramural support and enhancing the research capacity of RCMI-eligible institutions to conduct state-of- the-art biomedical and/or behavioral research, as well as research relevant to the mission of the U.S. Public Health Service.

"The RCMI Program previously provided funding to the University of Hawaii (UH) to initiate a Native Hawaiian Research Activity, focusing on the problems of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the Hawaiian population. As a result, we now have physician scientists and researchers who excel and better understand the issues that directly impact under-served minority populations, " said UH President Evan S. Dobelle.

"Through the RCMI Program, we are developing a competitive research environment at UH Manoa and expanding faculty expertise to address research questions that are germane to our multi-ethnic population, as well as the nation as a whole," said Dr. Edwin C. Cadman, Dean of UH JABSOM and principal investigator of the UH RCMI Program.

In part, the Eighth RCMI International Symposium on Health Disparities will be held in honor of the late Dr. Frederick C. Greenwood. Dr. Greenwood championed the cause of developing biomedical research excellence at UH and other minority institutions, and was a strong advocate for developing research careers for minority investigators. The former director of the Pacific Biomedical Research Center (PBRC), he was considered the father of the RCMI Program at UH Manoa. "To commemorate Dr. Greenwood‘s many scientific contributions and exemplary meritorious service, a Greenwood Award will be presented every other year at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium, beginning in December, 2002. Two awards—the Greenwood Award for Service Excellence and the Greenwood Award for Research Excellence— will be presented to a senior scientist and/or research administrator in recognition of research excellence and/or long-time meritorious service to the RCMI community or to a promising young or mid-career scientist for research excellence in the biomedical or behavioral sciences," said Dr. Richard Yanagihara, director of the UH RCMI Program.

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