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New diversity director of Queen’s Health System seeks to better serve Hawaiʻi’s communities

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Queen's Health System
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HPR
Hepua Hermosura

The Queen’s Health System recently announced its new director of diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and caregiver wellness.

Hepua Hermosura, a licensed clinical psychologist, will lead Queen’s initiatives to better serve and support Hawaiʻi’s diverse communities. She said that means ensuring all identities across race, ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual orientation are represented in decision making.

“It's really going back to our founders – Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV,” she said. “The reason why our hospital system started all those years ago is so that they could help to improve the health and wellbeing of Native Hawaiians and all the people of Hawai’i … and so, it's really circling back and making sure that in the current context of Hawaiʻi and of the United States that we're addressing new issues that come up.”

Hermosura is an assistant professor in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. She has also served as a staff psychologist at Queen’s since 2018.

Her research and work in health care has focused on disparities affecting Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, as well as racism and discrimination. She said much of that work could be expanded to address issues facing other communities in Hawaiʻi.

She began her role in May and will help lead the new department, which was formed in February, along with Dr. Naleen Naupaka Andrade, who was tapped as Queen’s executive vice president of Native Hawaiian health and DEIJ.

They currently have a staff of four and plan to expand to more than 20 positions, Hermosura said.

Jayna Omaye is the culture and arts reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at jomaye@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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