UH Hilo/Thai University Agreement Expands Pharmacy Research, Education

A new agreement between the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Rangsit University (RSU) in Thailand will allow students and faculty more freedom to exchange ideas and experiences.

UH Hilo Moniker

The U.S.-THAI Students and Pharmacists/Faculty Members Exchange Program will give students in the fourth year of pharmacy school a chance to go to RSU for their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences and bring Ph.D. students to Hawaiʻi to work in DKICP labs. It also will allow faculty to collaborate on pharmaceutical sciences research and to work with professional pharmacists on pharmaceutical care and medication therapy management.

RSU is part of the Bangkok metropolis, located in the Pathum Thani province, directly north of Bangkok. This is the second Thai university to enter an agreement with DKICP. The first one with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok was signed in 2011.

Rangsit University

Rangsit University

“I am very proud of our faculty for developing this relationship,” DKICP Dean John Pezzuto said. “This is a prime example of how we are extending our reach to every corner of the globe in order to give our students a first-class education while investigating approaches to discovering new drugs.”

Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, began talks about the exchange program with the administration at RSU last July when he was invited to be a visiting professor/scholar.

“Students can gain international perspectives of Thailand public health, roles and responsibilities of pharmacists in various settings and develop interprofessional relationships,” Wongwiwatthananukit said. “In addition to giving our students a wider range of exposure, this is a great opportunity for international collaboration for our Ph.D. program.”

An example of possible joint projects might be working with RSU faculty at their Herbal Medicinal Products Research and Development Center, called Sun Herb Thai Chinese Manufacturing facility. The building is a joint venture between the Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, China and Rangsit University Faculty of Pharmacy.

“This building enables the research and clinical trials of many Thai and Chinese traditional remedies,” Wongwiwatthananukit said. “I believe we can make significant contributions to this facility through our own work in natural products and Hawaiian traditional medicine.”

First Families Welcomed Home To Kamakoa Nui – Workforce Housing Project in Waikoloa Becomes a Reality

Four families, first-time homeowners employed along the South Kohala coast, got the keys to their new homes at Kamakoa Nui today. Kamakoa Nui, a workforce housing project by the County of Hawai‘i, offers affordable homes with a goal of helping people live closer to work, allowing them to spend more time with their families.

Gerry Durante and Shyanne Parong get the keys to their new home from Hawai'i County Managing Director Wally Lau

Gerry Durante and Shyanne Parong get the keys to their new home from Hawai’i County Managing Director Wally Lau

A key ceremony and new homeowner celebration was held today at Kamakoa Nui featuring remarks by Managing Director Wally Lau, Housing & Community Development Administrator Stephen Arnett, and a blessing by Pastor Lani Larrua of Abundant Life Ministries in Waikoloa.

Managing Director Lau recalled a visit to the Kamakoa Nui site early on in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration. “We just envisioned at that time where the park would be, where the homes would be, where the families would be, where the children would be running around. For me and the mayor, it’s always been about healthy families and healthy communities.”

For Gerry Durante and Shyanne Parong, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment they were renting was fine until their second son joined the family three years ago. “We were interested in this project since the early stages. It’s been a long process, but we’re glad it’s done,” Parong said. “We finally have a place to call home.”

Fee-simple homes at Kamakoa Nui, priced between $235,000 and $350,000, are being offered to resident families with household incomes of no more than 140 percent of the area median income. For a family of four, that comes out to $97,440. Additionally, Habitat For Humanity will purchase four lots at Kamakoa Nui. This will allow families with even lower average monthly incomes to be able to afford homes.

A workforce housing project in Waikoloa had been a goal of the County’s since 2005. A previous attempt ended in litigation between the County and the contractor. In 2010, the project was reborn as Kamakoa Nui. The sitework, first model homes, and the community park were completed in 2011 with sales of new homes beginning in 2012.

The first four families at Kamakoa Nui are:
•    Cacoulidis ‘Ohana: Shayne, Purisima and Kijai
•    Corpuz ‘Ohana: Eliezer and Janice
•    Durante ‘Ohana: Gerry, Shyanne Parong, Shayden and Shaztyn
•    Spear ‘Ohana: Peter, Wendy and Shaniah

UH Coach Norm Chow Victim of Hoax Job Offer

The Daily Breeze has reported that University of Hawaii Head Football Coach Norm Chow was recently the victim of a hoax job offer:

Norm Chow

A 32-year-old Hollywood man who allegedly made prank phone calls to well-known athletic coaches, leading them to believe they were being offered jobs with professional and college teams, was charged today with a felony count of eavesdropping.

Kenneth Edward Tarr is expected to be arraigned Dec. 30…

…According to prosecutors, Tarr called coaches or other officials from NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and college programs and claimed to be representing other teams, gauging their interest in another coaching position.

Among the victims were University of Hawaii head football coach Norm Chow, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, NBC News reported…

Full story here: Prankster who hoaxed top NFL, NBA coaches charged with eavesdropping

Hilo Gyms Host Youth Winter Break Programs

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is offering Winter Intersession Programs at two Hilo gymnasiums for parents seeking safe, supervised and healthy activities for their keiki during the school recess.

Hawaii County Logo

Art instruction, craft-making, music, dance, physical fitness, swimming and field trips are all part of the holiday fun available at both Waiākea Uka Gymnasium and Wainaku Gymnasium.

Open to children enrolled in the first through the six grades, the programs will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. weekdays starting December 23 and ending January 3. In observance of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays, activities will not be offered December 25 or January 1.

Prices are $35 per child for the program at Wainaku Gymnasium and $40 for the Waiākea Uka Gymnasium program, which includes a $5 activity fee.

Applications are now being accepted. Space is limited, so sign up today by calling Scott Oune at 961-8738 for the Wainaku Gymnasium program or Mark Osorio at 959-9474 for the Waiākea Uka Gymnasium program.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.