Surgeon general to
open isle symposium

Star-Bulletin staff

U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona will be the key speaker today at the opening of an International Symposium on Health Disparities at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Carmona, a vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service, will discuss the strategic plan of his agency to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health.

The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine is sponsoring the Research Centers in Minority Institutions symposium through Wednesday.

About 300 biomedical and health researchers are expected to attend the meetings from Hawaii, the mainland, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

Environmental, cultural, socioeconomic, biobehavioral and genetic aspects of racial and ethnic disparities in diseases, infant mortality and pre-term birth will be featured in addresses, lectures and scientific sessions.

The Research Centers in Minority Institutions supports 19 minority institutions, including eight schools of medicine, two colleges of pharmacy, eight graduate programs and one school of veterinary medicine.

The goal is to help institutions become more competitive in obtaining funding and expanding their research capacity for biomedical and behavioral research and research relating to the U.S. Public Health Service mission.

Funding was provided to UH to start a native Hawaiian research program focusing on diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Edwin Cadman, dean of the medical school and principal investigator for the minority program, said, "Through the RCMI (Research Centers in Minority Institutions) 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."

The eighth symposium on health disparities will honor the late Dr. Frederick C. Greenwood, former director of the UH Pacific Biomedical Center, who was considered father of the RCMI Program at Manoa.

Starting this month, two Greenwood Awards, for service excellence and research excellence, will be presented every other year at the symposium's opening ceremony.

Dr. Richard Yanagihara, director of the UH-RCMI Program, said the awards will recognize a senior scientist and/or research administrator for research excellence or long-time meritorious service or a promising young or mid-career scientist.

E-mail to City Desk


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