Kāhuna, Traditions of Hawaiian Medicinal Priests and Healing Practitioners, by Rev. Malcolm Nāea Chun, Ph.D.


Papa Ola Lōkahi is pleased to announce the publication of a new book, Kāhuna, Traditions of Hawaiian Medicinal Priests and Healing Practitioners, by Rev. Malcolm Nāea Chun, Ph.D.

Whereas earlier publications by Dr. Chun have focused on plant medicine, this volume focuses on the priests and practitioners who developed and prescribed treatments through prayer, ritual, medicines, and more.  Beginning with the origins of Hawaiian medicinal kahuna, it brings the reader to the present day realities facing practitioners.

More works by Dr. Chun, and supported by Papa Ola Lōkahi, can be found hereKāhuna is available at local bookstores.

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(Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i)   Papa Ola Lōkahi is pleased to announce that Ms. Sheri-Ann Daniels will assume the helm as Executive Director of Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL) on April 4, 2016.

“On behalf of the board of directors, we welcome Sheri to lead us into the next chapter for Papa Ola Lōkahi,” expressed Kilipaki Vaughan, president of POL’s board of directors.

Born and raised on Maui, Ms. Daniels is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools – Kapālama campus. She holds degrees in the field of counseling psychology and has several license certifications.

“Sheri will be a great leader in furthering POL’s strategic goals,” adds Sharlene Chun-Lum, who is retiring as Executive Director. “Her familiarity and collaboration with community partners will strengthen services for more Native Hawaiians.”                           

Ms. Daniels has more than 20 years of experience in social services programs across Hawai’i in both the non-profit and government sectors.

She was recognized in 2014 with the Maui County Women of Excellence award. Other awards include the Pacific Business News – 40 under 40 (2010) and Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow (2008).  She is actively involved in various community organizations on Maui, including Hawaiian Language education.

“Her ‘groundedness’ and ability to walk in more than one world will enable us as a Hawaiian organization to go forward into the future,” adds Vaughan.

“I am humbled by this opportunity to help and engage with the Native Hawaiian communities across the state (and beyond),” expressed Daniels. “This is the time to continue building partnerships and bridging gaps in order to address the overall health needs of Native Hawaiians.”

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Moloka‘i ku‘i lā‘au


We, the directors and staff of Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Board, remain committed to honor and perpetuate the legacies of the visionaries who built sturdy foundations upon which we strive to achieve balanced health and well-being in our community.

Whereas, William Akutagawa, Jr., or “Billy,” was born and raised at the East End, attended college on the G.I. Bill and returned home to Moloka‘i as an employment and training coordinator.

Whereas, Billy was a social worker and community organizer whose leadership was meaningful and varied:  mentoring Moloka‘i students to colleges; defining and seeking solutions for mental health needs on the island; and promoting a drug-free environment on Moloka‘i.

Whereas, in 1985 Billy was an original member of the Nā Pu‘uwai Research Group, looking at improving the health conditions of Moloka‘i.  The innovation in research around two early projects,  the Molokai Heart Study in 1985, and the Molokai Diet Study in 1987, informed the passage of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act in 1988, and established Nā Pu‘uwai as the Native Hawaiian Health Care System for the islands of Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i.

Whereas, Billy is the longest serving executive director of any of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems, and the only one Nā Pu‘uwai has ever known.  As the main post, he pioneered community health programs in diabetes education, cancer screening and education, established a fitness center, provided outreach to those unable to leave home for health care, and assured that traditional healing practices were available to patients who seek them, and that practitioners were supported in their work; he addressed the health needs of the residents of Kalaupapa; quickly expanded to serve Lāna‘i; mentored new generations of healthcare professionals for Moloka‘i and elsewhere; and he established long term care on island so that patients needn’t leave.

Whereas, Billy is an avid hunter and fisher, he led the island’s initiatives to revitalize Hawaiian fishpond and limu production; develop and teach a hunter education program; and with others, establish Mo‘omomi as the State’s first community based subsistence fishing reserve.

Whereas, Billy’s colleagues testify to his greatest asset the ability to bring together all the agencies, programs and necessary resources to address an issue, such as the recent restoration of Kalaniana‘ole Hall, a community gathering place that reopened in 2010.

THEREFORE, LET IT BE KNOWN that we at Papa Ola Lōkahi extend our sincere appreciation and respect to Billy, his wife Abigail and their ‘ohana; we embrace his legacy of foresight, resourcefulness, leadership and especially his deep sense of place; we celebrate his dedication and faithfulness in carrying out the mission to serve his community; and we endeavor to achieve balanced health and well-being for all Kānaka Maoli as Billy Akutagawa has been able to provide for his community.

I Moloka‘i-Nui-a-Hina!


Kilipaki Vaughan, President         Sharlene Chun-Lum, Executive Director                         April 19, 2016

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This series of workshops in early June is presented by POL’s Census Information Center, the US Bureau of the Census, and many generous, local sponsors.

  • June 7 – Kaka’ako, O’ahu
  • June 8 – Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i
  • June 9 – Kahului, Maui

More events of interest to the Hawaiian health community.

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