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May 20, 2002
DH-02-TK-041
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367

Barbara Kimler
(949) 214-0417

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY

Hawaiian Health & Wellness Conference
Staged by Cal State Dominguez Hills' School of Health


Carson, CA - The School of Health at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) will be presenting a daylong Native Hawaiian Health & Wellness Conference, Saturday, June 8 between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

WHO: Hawaiian community and cultural leaders, leading Hawaiian physicians, traditional Hawaiian healers, health and service agencies, Papa Ola Lokahi, Ainahau O Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club, CSUDH School of Health's Center for Health Partnerships, faculty and students.

WHAT: California 'Aha Kaleponi - A Native Hawaiian Health & Wellness Conference

WHERE: Extended Education Center (Adjacent to Parking Lot 3) at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH),1000 E. Victoria Street, Carson, CA 90747,

WHEN: Saturday, June 8, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Conference Hours

BACKGROUND: See below

Historic first gathering of native Hawaiians will meet at CSUDH to discuss major health care disparities of Hawaiians living in California. Los Angeles County is home to the largest number of Hawaiians outside of the Continental United States.

Photo, interview opportunities with Hawaiian health care physicians, providers, traditional healers, community members, civic, political and governmental leaders. A traditional Hawaiian luau follows the conference.

Although they are at greater risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions than nearly any group of Americans, Hawaiians are among the most neglected when it comes to receiving education and care for health issues unique to them.

To help improve Hawaiian's access to treatment and better care, Hawaiian kauka (physicians), providers, traditional healers, health and service agencies, civic and community organizations, cultural leaders, and government officials will be participating in the California 'Aha Hawaiian Health and Wellness Conference on Saturday, June 8, 2002, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1000 East Victoria St., in Carson. The conference will conclude with a traditional Hawaiian luau.

According to Ka'ala (Jane) Pang, RN, PHN, conference organizer, "Hawaiians along with Pacific Islanders, Polynesians, Micronesians and Melanesians, represent a community with tremendous health disparities, including cancers, diabetes, heart and blood pressure illnesses (strokes) and significant mental health disparities," Pang states. "Native Hawaiian women have one of the highest mortality rates due to breast cancer."

The conference will focus on the health status of Hawaiians, disparities in health care, programs, services, and initiate dialogue on a national Native Hawaiian health agenda and Hawaiian health insurance plan. The conference will feature presentations and discussion groups with Hawaiian kauka (physicians), healthcare practitioners, healers, nutritionists and researchers, community and civic leaders, and University faculty. Local, state and federal officials will also participate and provide assistance in targeting this underserved population.

"As a part of a highly diverse, urban university with a strong commitment towards serving the community, this conference represents an excellent opportunity to put into action our vision of a health-conscious 'communiversity'", said university president Dr. James E. Lyons, Sr.

Pamela Krochalk, interim associate dean of CSUDH's, School of Health and the Center for Health Partnerships, is honored that the University was selected to participate in this important conference. "Through the Center for Health Partnerships we hope to be instrumental in addressing the health care and educational needs in our communities. Hosting this conference is an important first step to developing community models to eliminate health disparities".

-Mahalo-

NOTE TO EDITORS/PRODUCERS/REPORTERS:

The Hawaiian Health and Wellness Conference is presented in part by Papa Ola Lokahi; California State University, Dominguez Hills' School of Health and the Center for Health Partnerships, in association with Ainahau O Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club.

A partial list of Conference participants includes:
Confirmed faculty: Dr. Claire Hughes, Nutritionist, Hawaii Dept. of Health Office of Health Equity; Babbett Galang, Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (Traditional Healing); Jo Ann Tsark, Director `Imi Hale, Native Hawaiian Cancer Research & Training Project (NIH)

Background interviews with Ka'ala (Jane) Pang, RN, PHN, conference organizer and Pamela Krochalk, acting associate Dean of the School of Health, may be arranged by calling Thomas Knox (310) 243-3367.

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