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Ken and Nora Uyeda

Helping Hawai'i's Seniors Enjoy Healthy Aging

Almost 75 faculty and staff of the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), recognized Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Uyeda for including the department in their estate plan, at a gathering on December 12, 2013. The Uyedas' bequest will establish the Kenneth Keiso Uyeda and Nora Saida Uyeda Endowment in the Department of Geriatric Medicine, funding an endowed chair for the department.

"We are so grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Uyeda for this generous gift that will live in perpetuity as an endowment," said Dr. Kamal Masaki, chair of Geriatric Medicine. "As retired teachers, they have continued their commitment to education and helped us teach our medical students, residents and fellows. Over the years, they have become part of our geriatrics family. This generous endowment will allow future generations of doctors to learn about geriatrics."
About the donors

Kenneth Keiso Uyeda and Nora Saida Uyeda are both UH Mānoa alumni who spent their careers as elementary school teachers in Scarsdale, New York. They are also longtime friends of JABSOM Vice Dean Dr. Satoru Izutsu. When the Uyedas returned home to Hawai‘i in the early 1980s after they retired from teaching, they asked Dr. Izutsu for assistance in getting settled. He was instrumental in introducing Mrs. Uyeda and her mother, Mrs. Kikue Saida, to Dr. Patricia Blanchette, then head of the Geriatric Medicine Program. Mrs. Uyeda credits the care given to her mother by Dr. Blanchette, Dr. Masaki, and the department as the reason for her mother's longevity. Now, years later, Mr. and Mrs. Uyeda are also benefiting from the care of department faculty and fellows.

Their gift

To express their appreciation for the wonderful care they have received from Dr. Masaki and the department's faculty and fellows, and to recognize the excellent training provided by the program, Mr. and Mrs. Uyeda have been generous supporters of the Department of Geriatric Medicine since 2000. They hope that their planned gift will inspire additional endowment gifts in support of the program.

The Kenneth Keiso Uyeda and Nora Saida Uyeda Endowment in the Department of Geriatric Medicine will strengthen the educational, clinical training, research and community outreach missions of the department, and help ensure a strong future for the geriatric medicine fellowship training program.

We are most grateful to the Uyedas for their plan to help more of Hawai‘i's seniors benefit from excellent care.

About the Department

The Geriatric Medicine program at JABSOM was launched in 1984 by Dr. Patricia Blanchette, under the leadership of then dean, Dr. Terry Rogers. For twenty years, Dr. Blanchette nurtured and built the program into one of the strongest geriatric medicine programs in the nation. The program has included a fully-accredited graduate medical education fellowship since 1986 and is one of the largest fellowships in the country. The program attained full department status in January 2004, making JABSOM the fourth medical school in the U.S. to designate Geriatric Medicine as a full department. Since its inception, the department has developed strong educational, clinical and research programs and has frequently been ranked among the top 20 Geriatric Medicine programs nationwide.

Critical Shortage

Due to our nation's rapidly aging population, Geriatric Medicine is now a federally designated critical shortage specialty. Studies estimate that the U.S needs 30,000 geriatricians, but there are less than 7,000 currently practicing nationwide. Many of these geriatricians are close to retirement age, so the number of practicing geriatricians is expected to drop in each coming year, while the need for them keeps increasing. Given that Hawai‘i's seniors represent proportionately more of our State's population than do seniors in other states, having well trained geriatricians to care for Hawai‘i's elderly is becoming increasingly important.

156 geriatricians have completed their Geriatric Medicine fellowships at JABSOM. Among the geriatricians practicing in Hawai‘i, it is estimated that more than 90% received their training from the University of Hawai‘i Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program.
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