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Pacific Islanders and the impact of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi

Worthington, Janice Ke'alohilani (2021) Pacific Islanders and the impact of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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This essay analyzes the disparities in COVID-19 cases that Pacific Islanders in Hawai’i have been facing, in depth, during the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses the factors that have possibly contributed to the inequity. At the recommendation of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities, Hawai’i State Department of Health’s (DOH) Disease Outbreak Control Division restructured its disaggregation methodology to be more representative and relevant to Hawai’i’s unique racial demographics. The methodology is adopted from the classification system created by Hawai’i DOH’s Office of Health Status Monitoring, which includes nine mutually exclusive racial groups: White, Black, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Other Asian and Other. Most notably, it disaggregates Asians and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders into the previously mentioned specific race groups. Pacific Islanders have carried the largest share of the COVID-19 case burden in Hawai’i and have a mortality risk comparable to minorities in the continental US like Blacks, Latinos, and Indigenous people. This study further investigates the descriptive epidemiology of specific Pacific Islander race groups.
There is a critical need for more extensive exploration in Pacific Islander health and wellness. These data represent a critical step in improving and distinguishing the individual health of Pacific Islander communities and their needs. The findings reaffirmed that social inequities exist between race groups in Hawai’i. Implementing culturally relevant and respectful practices in Hawai’i was critical in improving case rates and fostering community collaborations that improved Pacific Islander health. These findings can be applied in a broader context to a range of health issues to help decrease the gap of inequities that Pacific Islanders in Hawai’i face and in the continental US.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Worthington, Janice Ke'alohilanijaw310@pitt.edujaw310
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSekikawa, Akiraakira@pitt.eduakiraUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberChang, Yue-fangchangy@upmc.eduyuc2UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberMasaki, Kamalkm1@hawaii.rr.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberQuint, Joshuajoshua.quint@doh.hawaii.govUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 14 May 2021
Date Type: Completion
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 40
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 18:14
Last Modified: 14 May 2021 18:14

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  • Pacific Islanders and the impact of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi. (deposited 14 May 2021 18:14) [Currently Displayed]


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