$1 million gift from HMSA grants UHERO Chair in Health Economics


January 23, 2022, 6:00 PM HST
* Updated January 23 at 12:11 p.m.

The Hawaiʻi Medical Service Association has donated $1 million to establish the HMSA Distinguished Professorship in Health Economics at the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization within the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii. ‘UH-Mānoa.

The endowment will support UHERO’s research in health economics.

Carl Bonham, Executive Director of UHERO

“This is a key part of a broader health policy initiative at the College of Social Sciences focused on improving health care for the people and economy of Hawaii,” said the Dean Denise Eby Konan, professor of economics and UHERO researcher. “This endowment will enable the university to attract and retain high caliber health economics faculty and advance research in the field of health economics. We are grateful to HMSA for recognizing the critical importance of healthcare to Hawaii’s economy.

UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham has worked closely with HMSA President and CEO Mark M. Mugiishi on Hawaii’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years .

“UHERO has been a key player in our efforts to revive economic development as we emerge from the adverse effects of COVID-19 across the state,” Mugiishi said. “HMSA remains committed to creating a healthier Hawaiʻi, particularly in our efforts to improve the overall economic health of our local community.”


“We have a shared vision of a future where shared data, research and analytics drive policy to improve the lives of Hawaiians,” Bonham said. “We already have several projects underway that will benefit from working closely with HMSA, including the development of a new housing and health-related database and a new Hawaiʻi Longitudinal Health Survey. Both efforts are designed to study systemic health disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 and inform the design and delivery of public health programs in Hawaiʻi.


HMSA and its philanthropic arm, the HMSA Foundation, have a long history of giving to major health care initiatives at UH. In 2021, the HMSA Foundation donated $6 million to support various initiatives at John A. Burns School of Medicine and Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing.

“HMSA’s support over the years has been critical to the work done at the University of Hawaii,” said Tim Dolan, CEO of the UH Foundation and Vice President of Advancement at UH. “This donation builds on HMSA’s support and strengthens UHERO’s research in such an important area. Mahalo to HMSA and Dr. Mugiishi for recognizing UHERO’s role in improving Hawaii’s economic health.


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