The State of Hawaii is an environment with the unique rich blend of cultures and ethnicities and many healing traditions, some of ancient origins. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) takes on increased significance in Hawaii because the diverse population of the state uses these treatment modalities frequently.
The department is committed to conducting both basic and applied research related to complementary and alternative therapies in Hawaii and the Pacific region; educating the next generation of physicians and other healthcare personnel about the potential risks and benefits of complementary and alternative therapies; providing culturally competent care for people within the state of Hawaii by understanding the use of patterns of complementary care used by the Hawaiian population; facilitating the study of medicinal plants, including varieties unique to Hawaii and/or the Pacific Rim; and promoting health service research to assess the clinical and financial benefitsor lack thereofof CAM therapies for the Hawaiian population.
Models of integrative care teams strategically placed in Hawaiis major hospitals, large medical groups and/or health maintenance organization together with the development of relevant educational materials for clinicians, researchers, educators and consumers of health care is another major goal. Collaborations with other UH programs and departments such as Korean and Chinese studies, Native Hawaiian Health, and Health Ecology will energize progress towards this goal to reduce and eliminate health disparities in Hawaii and improve the health of Hawaiis people.