Chung-Do & Ho-Lastimosa Research Project

Project Title: MALAMA: Backyard Aquaponics to Promote Healthy Eating & Reduce Cardiometabolic Risk

Jane Chung-Do

Project Lead:  Jane Chung-Do, DrPH
Status:  Associate Professor
Dept:  Office of Public Health Studies, Thompson School of Social Work and Public Health 

Jane Chung-Do is an Associate Professor and the Associate Chair in the Office of Public Health Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where she advises graduate students and teaches courses centered on experiential learning and community research partnerships. She has had the privilege of collaborating with rural and Native Hawaiian communities for over 15 years. Dr. Chung-Do is specifically interested in promoting community-university partnerships to strengthen community-based participatory research and culturally-based programming. Chung-Do holds a MPH in social and behavioral health sciences and a DrPH in community-based translational research from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Ilima Ho-Lastimosa

Name: Ilima Ho-Lastimosa, MSW, MoA
Status: Community Coordinator
Dept: Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Ilima Ho-Lastimosa is the Community Coordinator at the Waimānalo Learning Center in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa where she is a strong proponent of food sovereignty and sustainability. She is passionate about giving Pacific Island communities the tools, knowledge, and skills to grow food in their backyards. Her favorite method of sustainability is using aquaponics technology to emphasize the genius of ancient Hawaiians, who utilized the ahupua’a system to live and thrive for thousands of years. As the founder of God’s Country Waimānalo, Ilima offers sustainability programs to the Waimānalo and Native Hawaiian communities. Ho-Lastimosa received her BA in Hawaiian Studies and her MSW from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, and she holds a master’s degree in acupuncture from the World Medicine Institute.

Project Summary: The objective of the proposed study is to test the efficacy of MALAMA, a culturally-grounded family-centered backyard aquaponics intervention, to increase consumption of healthy foods, reduce food insecurity, and mitigate cardiometabolic risks in multiple NH communities. We will test the efficacy of the MALAMA intervention in increasing consumption of healthy foods and reducing food insecurity in three Native Hawaiian communities to determine the impact of the MALAMA intervention on clinical indicators of cardiometabolic disease risk. We will also identify facilitators and barriers to sustainability of backyard aquaponics. The findings will allow us to strengthen the MALAMA intervention for broader application in other Native Hawaiian communities and meet NIMHD goals of reducing health disparities in underserved and underrepresented populations in the US.