Medical school announces health-care workforce summit on September 6

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Director of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Aug 20, 2014

UH medical students training in the school's simulated patient laboratory.
UH medical students training in the school's simulated patient laboratory.

The 2014 Hawaiʻi Health Workforce Summit, sponsored by the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at UH Mānoa, convenes on Saturday, September 6, from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikīkī.  This year's summit will include a health-care industry job fair, as well as new information and research related to training programs and workforce strategies to improve diversity, retention and capacity within Hawai’i’s health-care professions.

Several planned discussions will focus on health-care reform and its impact in Hawaiʻi and across the nation.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is spurring the need to expand types of training for an increased number of health-care employees and to develop new business models for providers. These fundamental changes, aimed at improving the quality of care, will be a major theme of the meeting.

The summit will present the latest research pertaining to Hawaiʻiʻs looming workforce shortage in health-care professions.

Qualified health-care professionals may receive eight hours of Continuing Medical Education credit for attending the summit.  The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of JABSOM will present the summit.

Overall topics will include health-care reform, patient-centered medical homes, workflow redesign, new practice models, inter-professional team practice, telemedicine, career transition, health careers pathway resources and preceptor training.                         

“This summit encourages students and professionals in health care to successfully deal with many new challenges through innovative partnerships that will yield both happier practice environments and better health outcomes for Hawaiʻi’s people,” said Dr. Kelley Withy, AHEC Director at the medical school.

Job Fair

A health-care job fair will feature 20 exhibitors and booths representing at least 10 health-care job specialties. Summit organizers also expect to unveil plans for a comprehensive health-care jobs directory for use by school guidance counselors, teachers, students and parents.

Hawaiʻi jobs in health care are expected to increase, according to forecasts from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.  Experts say expansion health-care employment is driven in Hawaiʻi and elsewhere by a number of factors, including health-care reform, new technologies and a rise in the numbers of elderly people. While the prognosis for employment expansion in health care comes as good news for job-seekers, it also means that Hawaiʻi must take steps now to ensure that an ample pool of professionals are well-trained and attuned to address the unique medical needs of Hawaiʻi’s diverse population, especially in low-income and rural areas.

Said AHEC's Dr. Withy, “Low-income Hawaiʻi groups and people in rural areas are likely to have the most health-care needs in the state, and yet these same groups are woefully underrepresented in health-care professions.  We want to remedy this by increasing the number of providers who are from the populations that they serve.  A key step is to invite students of all ages to visit the job fair at the summit."

The summit is free for health-care providers. Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. For information and registration, go to the AHEC website at                                                

About AHEC

The Hawaiʻi/Pacific Basin AHEC aims to improve the health of the underserved through education. Areas of activity include:

  • Educating and recruiting K-12 students to health professions.
  • Educating health professions students in the rural and underserved communities of Hawaiʻi.
  • Recruiting health-care professionals to rural and underserved areas and providing continuing education.
  • Providing community-based and community-driven education for all underserved groups in Hawaiʻi.

For more information, visit: