Many Native Hawaiians live in rural areas of Hawai`i that are medically underserved. Contributing to the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural areas is the disproportionately low enrollment of Native Hawaiians in healthcare education. The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP) of Papa Ola Lokahi addresses the shortage by providing scholarships to Native Hawaiians in healthcare professions and facilitating their employment in Hawaiian underserved communities to meet their service obligation.
This paper highlights evaluation findings of a values-based scholarship program and its impact on Native Hawaiian health through the capacity building efforts of scholars. Methods. The NHHSP uses a values-based assessment to select scholarship awardees. All 104 scholars who were performing or completed their service obligation were surveyed. The 54 returned surveys were analyzed to measure impact and to see if scholars who integrated these community-identified values into their lives made greater contributions in their rural sites.
NHHSP scholars are making significant contributions to develop the capacity of community healthcare systems. Seventy-three percent of clinicians who completed their service remained in their rural sites an average of 2.8 years, exceeding the retention rate for National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs. Respondents held significant leadership roles and active memberships in Native Hawaiian communities. Eighty-five percent developed an average of 3–4 Native Hawaiian community programs during their service. Those rating themselves higher on the community-identified values scale held more leadership positions and Native Hawaiian committee memberships, and developed behavioural and cultural programs.
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