Ka Leo Kaiāulu

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Photo: Tercia Ku

By Tercia Ku

Data, Research and Policy. What is your understanding?

Establishing policy, developing services and programs, engaging in outreach and education are all informed by accurate and timely data and information. Ka Leo Kaiāulu is Papa Ola Lōkahi’s point-in-time inquiry to the Hawaiian community to identify trends, collect and evaluate data, and disseminate the findings.

You are invited to share your voice in our 2022 Ka Leo Kaiāulu series to share your perspective of data research and policy through a four-part inquiry. The questions will ask your thoughts on (1) the intersection of data, research, and policy, (2) your understanding of Precision Medicine, (3) your manaʻo on re-establishing a Native Hawaiian Institutional Review Board, and (4) your reflections on the Native Hawaiian response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our current Ka Leo Kaiāulu survey is about Data, Research and Policy and the public understanding on these topics and their relationships to one another. You can participate at www.surveymonkey.com/r/KLK-Spr22. Or scan the QR code below.

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Renamed Ka Leo Kaiāulu, Papa Ola Lōkahi launched this point-in-time survey series in 2016 and called it Community Voices. Focused on Native Hawaiian social and cultural determinants of health, this series has increased our awareness of Native Hawaiian Health priorities and increased our body of knowledge about oral health, and dementia and Alzheimer’s. Each Ka Leo Kaiāulu will lay the groundwork for larger, more robust conversations on Native Hawaiian Health, leading in 2023 to an update of E Ola Mau, Native Hawaiian Health Needs Assessment, that is meaningful and relevant to our communities and providers.

This work is overseen by Hale ʻImi Hawaiʻi, the data and research center at Papa Ola Lōkahi. In addition to perpetuating and updating E Ola Mau, other data-gathering initiatives include Ka Leo Kaiāulu, various community scoping projects, and access to reliable data sources and resources on Native Hawaiian health. In addition, Hale ʻImi Hawaiʻi collaborates with other data and research projects and panels that look at the social and cultural determinants of the health of Native Hawaiians.

The original E Ola Mau reports and recent updates may be found on the Papa Ola Lōkahi website.

Mahalo for sharing your voice on the intersection of data, research and policy. If you are interested in any additional information regarding Hale ʻImi Hawaiʻi, please contact Dr. Donna-Marie Palakiko or Ms. Tercia Ku.

A champion of Hawaiian health research and policy was Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell. Throughout the month of July, which will lead up to the Hawaiian holiday Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea on the 31st, Papa Ola Lōkahi will be paying homage to Kekuni, who brilliantly and clearly connected Hawaiian wellbeing to Hawaiian self-determination.

E ola, e ola e ola nā kini ē!


Tercia Ku is the research and data coordinator at Papa Ola Lōkahi (POL). She was born in Hawaiʻi and raised near Fairbanks, Alaska. She graduated from Waiʻanae High School and the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Most of her professional career has been spent in clinical research and public health settings. She collaborated on this article with POL Research and Data Alakaʻi Donna-Marie Palakiko, Ph.D.