National recognition for the Co-Director of the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center
For 11 years, the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC) at the University of Hawaii in Mānoa provided vital telehealth assistance to meet the health needs of underserved populations through Hawaii and the Pacific.
PBTRCthe outstanding work of advancing telehealth through education, training and strategic planning has earned them, as well as a co-director Christina higa The Association for Community Affiliated Plans’ 16th Annual Supporting the Safety Net Award (A PLUG). The national award, the first for a Hawaii community organization, was presented to Higa during the A PLUG CEO Summit in Washington, CC October 28. Higa was also honored with a donation of $ 1,000 for the program EUH Foundation account.
“It is an honor to receive this award for PBTRC and EUH because it highlights the strong partnerships and the value of our EUH teachers and programs in our communities, ”said Higa, faculty member of the EUH Manoa College of Social Sciences. “I work with many individual champions who are very passionate and determined to make a difference, including my great team at EUH Telecommunications and social computing (TASI) Research program and PBTRC. “
PBTRC serves the most underserved, rural and asset-limited populations, providing services to two million people spread over an ocean area slightly larger than the size of the continent we The complex region presents unique challenges in accessing healthcare, including major geographic isolation and separation by ocean, a critical shortage of primary and specialized care, extremely high travel and broadband costs, smaller populations and different political and cultural environments.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic exposed disparities that often complicate access to care, we saw telehealth fill critical gaps,” said A PLUG CEO Margaret A. Murray. “In PBTRCthe service area of - where seeking care at any time may require travel by boat or plane – Ms. Higa and her team provide vital service, [to work towards] ensure that everyone can access the care they need. We are delighted to honor their tireless efforts.
A PLUG named AlohaCare member plan PBTRC and Higa for the national award for their crucial role in helping to make telehealth services accessible and dramatically improving access to telehealth for its members with Medicaid and the providers who care for them.
AlohaCare wrote: “Ms. Higa is someone who has been told she can be overly optimistic, but it just makes her dig deeper into the details to make things work. She says, “I just want to make a difference and do my best to help people. This is what drives many of us, the desire to want to make the world a better place. And that is exactly what they are doing.
“Mahalo to AlohaCare for the appointment and A PLUG for the recognition of those who are dedicated to creating and supporting the safety net for those who need help, ”added Higa.
Learn more about Higa
Higa was co-director of PBTRC at the Social Sciences Research Institute of the College of Social Sciences since 2014. She is also Associate Director of the TASI Pacific Health Informatics and Data Center / Research Program. A former student of EUH Mānoa, she obtained her doctorate in communication and information sciences, as well as a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communication.
This recognition is an example of EUH Mānoa’s research excellence goal: to advance the research and creative work enterprise (PDF), one of the four objectives identified in the 2015-25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.