Community Engagement

Kathryn Braun
Kathryn Braun, DrPH, Director, Community Engagement Core is Professor and Director of the Office of Public Health Studies and will foster community participation in developing and implementation of research that is relevant to community concerns. Dr. Braun will ensure that research findings are communicated back to the intended communities and through culturally appropriate, scientific venues. Dr. Braun has conducted community-based research in Hawaii since 1982, developing and testing health education materials, replicating evidence-based programs in healthy aging, and testing interventions to reduce cancer health disparities. She is a director and professor of public health at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. Braun has also been the Research Director for the Imi Hale Cancer Network since 2000, mentoring 100+ Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos conduct community-based research. She has 165+ peer-reviewed publications, making her an especially good mentor in the area of publishing.
JoAnn Tsark
JoAnn Tsark, MPH, Core Leader is responsible for co-directing the activities of the Community-Engaged Research Core which includes identifying community research priorities. Ms. Tsark is a Native Hawaiian public health educator who has participated in community based research for the past 20 years, working in rural Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. As the Research Director of Papa Ola Lokahi, a consortium of Hawaiian and Hawaiian serving agencies, she has participated in community-based research and program initiatives in chronic diseases disproportionately affecting Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. These include an NCI-funded avoidable breast cancer mortality grant on the Waianae Coast in the 1990s, a Native Hawaiian cardiovascular risk factor prevalence study (2004-2009), and Imi Hale Native Hawaiian Cancer Network (2000-2015). She has developed and pre-tested more than 100 health education materials for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
Joseph Kaholokula
Joseph Kaholokula, PhD, Core Leader is Professor and Chair of the JABSOM Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH). Dr. Kaholokula will be responsible for the semiannual “Reports to the Community” as well as presenting the research findings at local meetings and dissemination nationally through RTRN. Dr. Kaholokula is also of Native Hawaiian ancestry and is Chair and Associate Professor for the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. He is the PI for an NIMHD-funded CBPR project called, Partners for Improving Lifestyle Interventions (PILI) ‘Ohana Project (R24MD001660). Dr. Kaholokula has developed, tested, and disseminated community-based health promotion programs to address obesity and improve diabetes outcomes. He also served as the Deputy Director for the Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research (CNPHDR), a NIMHD-funded center (P20MD000173; Mau).