Papa Ola Lokahi Logo org namePapa Ola Lōkahi’s mission is to improve the health status and well-being of Native Hawaiians and others by advocating for, initiating and maintaining culturally appropriate strategic actions aimed at improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of Native Hawaiians and their ‘ohana and empowering them to determine their own destinies.

Through SCR 74 S.D 1, the 29th Legislature of the State of Hawaii requested of Papa Ola Lōkahi to assess the impacts on the social, financial, and cultural integrity of providing health coverage for Hawaiian culture-based activities that have shown to be effective in managing weight, cardiovascular health, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Researchers have been studying the health benefits of hula for more than 10 years and have published several peer reviewed articles on their findings.

This completely anonymous survey was developed to collect the insight and input of kumu hula with regard to hula being offered as a reimbursable health/wellness insurance benefit. Please complete this survey as your manaʻo is invaluable in this assessment process. The aggregated results will be shared in an impact assessment report to the 2020 Legislature.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (808) 597-6550 with questions or additional comments. Mahalo.

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Ka ʻIkena—the vision adopted by Papa Ola Lōkahi—is a thriving Native community composed of healthy individuals and families informed about their rich heritage and culture, living in a state of lōkahi (unity), and making informed choices and responsible decisions in a safe island society that is pono (in proper order).

Among our guiding principles is mālama: a Hawaiian cultural value that guides our work to nurture, care for, and steward. As the Board of Directors for a Native Hawaiian-serving organization, we recognize that our edict of mālama encompasses people, the environment, and our living culture.

As Kānaka Maoli making up the Native Hawaiian Health Board, we know that wahi kapu, sacred places, are essential to Hawaiian identity, health and well-being.

Papa Ola Lōkahi supports the protection and preservation of all sacred places in the interest of perpetuating traditional and customary rights of Native Hawaiians.

E ola mau a mau.

Ratified by Papa Ola Lōkahi board, July 16, 2019 [PDF]



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Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

Improving Hawaiian Health and Well-Being for 30 Years

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A KaonohiAlexander Friedenburg Ka‘ōhiai Ka‘ōnohi, 1905-1960, was a naturopathic physician, pharmacist and botanist descended from a long line of Hawaiian healers.  He was a pioneer in integrating western and traditional practices into his daily healing work.

Alexander was born April 24, 1905 to James Ka‘ōhiai Ka‘ōnohi and Minnie ‘Awa‘awa Friedenburg. His grandfathers and great-grandfathers were herbal medicine practitioners

His obituary claims he was the only licensed Hawaiian drugless physician in Hawai‘i when he opened up his new clinic, Ka‘ōnohi Naturopathic Clinic, on the corner of Castle and Kapāhulu streets in Honolulu.  He specialized in Hawaiian herb treatments, drugless medicine and bloodless surgery.  He had branches on Maui and Hawai‘i Island, where he saw patients and mentored younger medical and lā‘au lapa‘au practitioners.

Dr. Ka‘ōnohi graduated from the Standard and National College of Drugless Naturopathic Physicians in Chicago with doctorate degrees in naturopathy and drugless medicine, and a masters in natural medicine.  He was also certified in pharmacy.

Dr. Ka‘ōnohi has been an inspiration to the Hawaiian health community for his holistic approach to healing and his commitment to mentoring others striving to serve the greater good.

Thus, Papa Ola Lōkahi has presented the Ka‘ōnohi Award to 64 individuals for their significant contributions to the health and well-being of Native Hawaiians and their families.

Learn more about Dr. Ka‘ōnohi in this 2011 video.

Hau‘oli Lā Hānau, Dr. Ka‘ōnohi!

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FOR RELEASE:   June 19, 2019



First Native Hawaiian to Serve in this Role


DanielsS OMH 2019

(Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i) – Dr. Sheri-Ann Daniels, Executive Director of Papa Ola Lōkahi, has been appointed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar II to serve a four-year term, effective April 26, 2019, on the Office of Minority Health’s Advisory Committee on Minority Health.

Born and raised on Maui, Daniels is the first Native Hawaiian to serve on the Committee since its formation in 1998.

The Committee advises HHS on improving the health of racial and ethnic minority groups, and on the development of goals and program activities within the Office of Minority Health. Committee members must have expertise regarding issues of minority health, and are selected based on nominations received from across the U.S.

“It is an honor to represent the Native Hawaiian community on the Advisory Committee on Minority Health at the request of Secretary Azar,” said Dr. Daniels. “I look forward to serving with my new colleagues to address the unique needs of our diverse communities and ultimately improve population health outcomes.”

Dr. Daniels was named Executive Director of Papa Ola Lōkahi in April 2016. In this role, she leads efforts to improve the overall health and well-being of Native Hawaiians and their families, through strategic partnerships, programs and public policy.

In 2017 Dr. Daniels was appointed chairperson of Nā Limahana o Lonopūhā, the Native Hawaiian Health Consortium. An integrated network of leading senior executives and health care providers, consortium members propose progressive models of culture- and research-based methods in implementing prevention and treatment programs focused on systemic outcomes among various levels of Hawaiian health and wellness.

A graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, Dr. Daniels received her bachelor’s in family resources from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She carries a master’s in counseling psychology from Chaminade University of Honolulu, in addition to a doctorate from Argosy University, and currently holds several license certifications. Dr. Daniels is actively involved in various community organizations on Maui, where she lives, and O‘ahu, including Hawaiian language education.

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Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

Improving Hawaiian Health and Well-Being for 30 Years



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Contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 808-597-6550 x815 

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Mahina Wahine.  In tribute to Women's Month, Papa Ola Lokahi presents a series of authentic stories that are profound and personal, intimate and inspiring.  *   

He ula o Kahoolawe compress

It started with a yes. Yes, let’s have a baby. That was August of 2015. It’s now March 2019.

That yes started me on a fertility journey and along the way I found me.

How did it all begin?

Well my best friend, baby daddy, donor, Peter asked me one night, “let’s have a baby?” I said “YES!” A week passed and I confirmed my decision to him and with a parting embrace left New Zealand.

We went our separate ways. I returned home and began the process of looking into assisted reproductive technology, otherwise known as fertility treatments. I faced some barriers:  First, I was unmarried; second, Peter lived in New Zealand; and third, health insurance plans have some terms. Financially, fertility treatments can start at $10,000 and be upward of $50,000. I considered embarking on this journey in New Zealand and contacted a clinic there.

In October 2016, we officially began our fertility journey with a clinic in Hawaii. We were not immediately blessed with pregnancy. Challenges such as sperm quality and quantity, as well as egg health, were major factors in succeeding. After four intrauterine inseminations (IUI)--three are required per the health plan before in vitro fertilization (IVF) is approved for single or same sex couples--and two embryo transfers, we were finally pregnant in December 2017.

Peter and I along with our collective families were overjoyed with the news. We kept the news to a few and as I began my second trimester, shared the news publicly. On March 29, I was admitted to hospital, 21 weeks pregnant. Benjamin Peter, our son, was impatient. Born on March 31, 2018, he lived for 26 minutes on my bosom in my hands.

Did your son's death deter me from moving forward with your journey?

No. If anything his death became a driver. At this point, I came into a space of needing to have my own family. Now, I know pregnancy is possible. You see I come from a line of strong and very determined women. I tried again in October 2018, but that resulted in no pregnancy. As of now, I’m waiting on Peter to get to Hawaii.  You see, I am out of sperm. But that’s another story.

What impact has this had?

I should mention that during this time, my mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer in July 2015 while I was studying in New Zealand. In 2016, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. My mom died in June 2017, my sister in March 2018, and then, my son.

No one is ever prepared for death. To lose three generations in a 9-month span took a toll on me. The grief was compounded.

Through the fertility journey, I became familiar with my body, my emotions, my feelings. All these sensations were heightened for more than 2 years. I learned to manage my emotions, including my grief. At my lowest, I found myself crying daily. A year later, I am stronger, in a better space.

Once off hormones, I knew my true self again. It truly was a struggle. I felt bad for my immediate family and Peter. He got the worst of me.

The journey is not an easy one nor is it for everyone. The toll was emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. I struggled at all levels. Along the way, I met women who shared their stories. Some had positive pregnancy results but were unable to sustain a pregnancy past the first trimester.  Others had stillbirths.  Yet, others are still trying. In the end, we all agree: it’s worth every sacrifice to have a baby. I believe that for some women it completes them.

My greatest lesson was the words Peter shared with me after our son died, “Benjamin Peter is our love, life, and light.”


~ Donna-Marie Palakiko, wahine, mother, daughter, sister, lover 

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