Okihiro, May MD

HEALTH Initiative Leader - Nutrition & Metabolic
RMATRIX Internal Adivsory Council
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
John A. Burns School of Medicine


Scientific Highlights

2012-2013 Pilot Project Award

Project PONO - Prevention of Negative Outcomes

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Research indicates that risk for most chronic disease risk begins early - during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. We hypothesize that maternal stress and mental health impacts the development of early risk factors for obesity and related chronic disease among children from high-risk minority communities. The long-term goal of this collaborative, interdisciplinary project between with UH JABSOM Departments of Native Hawaiian Health, Psychiatry and Pediatrics is to develop optimal primary prevention programs, beginning early in life, for obesity and related chronic diseases. The proposed pilot project will be a first step in understanding the impact of a mother’s stress on her young children.

Health Initiative
Perinatal, Growth & Development; Nutrition & Metabolic

Collaboration & Partnerships
Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Oahu, HI

Progress: Six focus groups have been conducted with 38 women. Young women articulated a complex array of stressors. While some stressors are similar to those found in previously validated scales, many were not described in a way that the local women can relate to. Based on the PO NO focus groups a modified measure of psychosocial stress has been developed.
Next steps: The manuscript based on the results of the focus groups is underway. The new measure of stress will now be administered to 175-200 women. Implementation of Aim 2, the examination of the relationship between maternal stress and mental health and infant growth and development, has begun.


Poster Presentation

Okihiro M, Pillen M, Park E, Ancog C. (2011) A simple electronic lifestyle survey for well child visits and its public health implications: Counseling the family and informing the community. 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Conference, Oct. 15-18, 2011, Boston, MA.

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Selected Publications

  • Okihiro M, Sehgal V, Wilkinson T, Voloch KA, Enos R, O'Brien J.
    Addressing health disparities by building organizational capacity in the community: a case study of the Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.
    Hawaii J Med Public Health 2014 [more...]

  • Okihiro M, Pillen M, Ancog C, Inda C, Sehgal V.
    Implementing the obesity care model at a community health center in Hawaii to address childhood obesity.
    J Health Care Poor Underserved 2013 [more...]

  • Okihiro M, Davis J, White L, Derauf C.
    Rapid growth from 12 to 23 months of life predicts obesity in a population of Pacific Island children.
    Ethn Dis 2012 [more...]

  • Okihiro M.
    Childhood obesity in Hawai'i: the role of the healthcare provider.
    Hawaii Med J 2011 [more...]

15 September 2017:
RCMI Conference Travel Support

We are currently encouraging scientists engaged in health disparities research, healthcare and public health professionals, public policy professional…

10 September 2017:
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16 May 2017:
Robert Wood Johnson Funding Opportunity

If our nation is to make the opportunity for health available to all, we need leaders who will be able to meet the challenges before us – leade…

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Seminars & Events
16 June 2017, 9am - 10:30am:
02 June 2017, 8:15am - 4:10pm:
02 November 2016, 9am:
RMATRIX-II Collaboration Pilot Projects Program 2017 -- Informational Webinar

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (U54MD007584), National Institutes of Health.