Kahului, HI – December 15, 2013 – Today the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Daniel K. Inouye Allied Health Center. The first floor of the college’s Noiʻi building will be renovated to house the center, which will increase clinical training space for the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs and integrate the Maui Oral Health Center (MOHC) currently located off campus.
Attending today’s ceremony were Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye, Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, State Representative Joseph Souki, State Senators Rosalyn Baker and Gil Agaran, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, UH Interim President David Lassner, UH Maui College Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto, UHMC Dental Advisory Committee members, UHMC faculty and staff, as well as community dentists, supporting community partners, and friends.
The MOHC setting has served as a teaching lab, as well as a place where students gain practical clinical experience by providing affordable and accessible oral/dental health care to the underserved, low-income, uninsured families and children of Maui County. Last year, the MOHC provided dental care to more than 3,000 patients in more than 11,000 appointments, and by May 2013, approximately 176 dental assistants and 19 dental hygienists completed their respective programs and are employed as dental professionals.
UH Interim President David Lassner said, “Senator Daniel K. Inouye understood how vitally important it was to make both healthcare and higher education accessible for all Hawaiʻi residents, including on the neighbor islands. The UH Maui College Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs provide vital workforce development, giving Maui students the education and skills they need to serve their communities in high quality jobs. The UH Board of Regents naming of this Daniel K. Inouye Allied Health Center is a truly fitting recognition that honors the Senator’s vision, legacy and unwavering support of the entire University of Hawaiʻi.
“The success of the Maui Oral Health Center has been a community effort,” said UH Maui College Chancellor Sakamoto. “More than 50 Maui County dentists, 30 organizations, and 100 donors have worked together to combine education with real-world needs. Re-naming the center after Senator Daniel K. Inouye underscores the importance of collaboration that make a difference in learning for our community’s future.”
Once the renovation and transition is complete in early 2015, the Daniel K. Inouye Allied Health Center will serve UHMC students and the community with 18 operatories and 3 radiology chairs including state-of-the-art digital imaging systems.