PHOTO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Honors Native Hawaiian Health Expert Dr. Mary Frances Oneha

May 6, 2013
Press Release

“Aunty Mary” receives “Champions of Change” award at White House AAPI event


Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today joined Dr. Mary Frances Oneha at the White House for an event to honor fifteen Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women as “Champions of Change.” Dr. Oneha currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Waimanalo Health Center, which is initiating efforts to integrate Native Hawaiian culture throughout its organization. She has served more than 30 years in nursing, the past 20 years with Native Hawaiian communities.

“Aunty Mary has dedicated her life and career to the promotion of Native Hawaiian health care, and I was honored to be with her today as she accepted this much-deserved award,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Last week in Hawai‘i, I had the opportunity to visit her and see firsthand the great progress she has made at the Waimanalo Health Center. Her leadership has been crucial in its efforts to focus on the unique health issues facing our rural and Native Hawaiian communities.”

Dr. Oneha’s research efforts have solely focused on understanding Native Hawaiian responses to health issues and working towards ensuring the community is involved in the research process from idea to dissemination.

As part of the White House’s observance of AAPI Heritage Month, today’s “Champions of Change” event recognized Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women who are doing extraordinary things to create a more equal, safe, and prosperous future for their communities and the country.

A group photo of Dr. Oneha and the other award recipients is available here.

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