Maryknoll School
honors doctor’s efforts

Star-Bulletin staff

Maryknoll School will present Dr. Jorge Camara with its annual Monsignor Charles A. Kekumano Award at a dinner April 13 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom.

The award was created in 1998 to honor Kekumano, the first Catholic priest of Hawaiian ancestry, who died Jan. 20 of that year. A dinner was held to raise funds to match a $100,000 challenge gift donated by the Maryknoll Fathers.

The award and scholarship dinner has raised nearly $600,000 in five years for the school's scholarship fund. It recognizes community members who demonstrate leadership through community service to others.

Recipients are chosen based on how much they represent the school's motto, "Noblesse oblige," meaning, "to whom much is given, much is expected."

Past recipients of the Monsignor Kekumano Award include Dr. Livingston Wong, James Gahler, Irmgard Farden Aluli, Cha and Jack Thompson, and Nina Keali'iwahamana Rapozo.

The Kekumano Scholars are Darlene Ramones (Maryknoll Class of 2000), Shalei Bissen-Kealohi (2001), Joanna Ignacio and Tim Dolan, both 2003.

Camara, head of the ophthalmology division at St. Francis Medical Center on Oahu, has been a pioneer with surgical procedures in ophthalmology and volunteered his medical services to indigent patients here and in other countries.

"We are pleased to honor such an invaluable member of our medical community this year," said Michael Baker, president of Maryknoll School.

The Maryknoll Award is one of many honors Camara has received. In 2001 he was named the Hawaii Medical Association's Physician of the Year. He was elected president of the Association of Philippine ophthalmologists in America and received the organization's Outstanding Teacher Award.

He is an associate professor in the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine and vice president of the Aloha Medical Mission. He has volunteered for many medical missions since 1987, providing medical care to poor people in remote areas of the Philippines and other countries. He calls this "medicine in its purest form."

He was the first to use a computer-image guiding machine to repair a fractured eye socket and nerve damage, and the first to use telemedicine to guide an eye operation by a surgeon on the Big Island. He has developed surgical treatment to assist Asians who suffer from tearing and pain because their eyelashes turn inward.

The dinner will begin at 5 p.m. with a silent auction, a performance by Maryknoll's Kekumano Choir, the scholarship presentation and dinner.

Entertainment will include Nina Keali'iwahamana Rapozo and pianist Chris Cerna, Camara's former patients; and pianist Kit Samson.

Camara, also an accomplished pianist, will give a performance as well.

Tickets start at $100 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Maryknoll School Development Office at 952-7310.

E-mail to City Desk


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