Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Program Announces Its First Class of Residents

Hilo, Hawaii – Hilo Medical Center is excited to announce the first class of resident physicians for the Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Program (HIFMR) are Hamed Ahmadinia, Svetlana Shchedrina, Kavita Rama Nathan and Ka′ohimanu Akiona. The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) notified the residents and program officials on Friday, March 21 that they have been matched to one of the most dynamic programs in the country consisting of the following partners: The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s School of Nursing, The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, and I Ola Lahui, a behavioral health training program.  

“We are proud to announce our first class of Family Medicine resident physicians, and extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who worked so very hard to bring our program to fruition,” said Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “These four individuals come to us with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. We are excited about this moment in our program’s history and we look forward to our residents’ journey in their training and incorporation into our community.”  

“We are really excited about the commitment of this group of physicians to meeting the needs of Hawaii Island and the neighbor islands,” said Dr. Kristine McCoy, HIFMR Director. “Their training will be tailored to give them the skills to keep our communities as healthy as possible.”  

“Recruiting for the HIFMR Program began immediately after the October 22 accreditation,” said Boyd Murayama, HMC Assistant Hospital Administrator and Medical Group Practice Director. “In the initial application process, a total of 112 applications were received for the 4 family medicine residency positions. Through this process, we believe we have a good fit with the caliber of doctors that possess the intelligence and personality to develop our program.” HIFMR officials narrowed the pool down to interview 30 applicants via skype and selected 19 applicants for on-site interviews in Hilo. The 4 residents that emerged out of the March 21 match were based on the combined preferences of the applicants and HIFMR officials’ scores.  

According to a report by the “Hawai’i Physician Workforce Assessment Project” presented at the 2013 Legislative Session, Hawaii Island saw a 34 percent physician shortage in 2012 with 341 physicians in supply compared to 514 physicians in demand or needed to adequately care for the island’s population. Statewide, the shortage was 18 percent or 2,955 physicians in supply compared to 3,590 physicians in demand. Among other findings, the report concluded the physician shortages were especially acute in the area of primary care. A 2012 survey by Karen Pellegrin, PhD of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy found that Hawai‘i Island will lose 32% of its current physicians within the next five years due to retirement or other causes.  

The HIFMR Program will provide a unique interdisciplinary team approach and greater access to primary care that will manage 5,000 patients, compared to 2,000 patients by one doctor in solo practice setting. The HIFMR physicians and their teams will provide routine screenings and proactive care for debilitating diseases, such as diabetes and coronary heart disease, that when caught early can prevent avoidable emergency room visits and hospitalizations and keep the community healthy. For more information on the HIFMR Program, go to: www.hifmr.org.    

Since the 2006 revival of the HIFMR Program, hospital leadership and the HMC Foundation have garnered across-the-board support from the community, local businesses, medical community and county and state legislators. In the 2014 legislative session, $2.8 million in funding for the HIFMR Program, legislatively known as the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, is currently being considered under House Bill 1700. Last year, the state released $1.8 million in appropriations for the program with an additional $250,000 donation from UnitedHealthcare made to the HMC Foundation to manage.  

In 2006, significant seed funding to revive the program started with the offices of Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka facilitating a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare grant and additional funding by TriWest and HMSA Foundation, respectively. In 2009, the HMC Foundation organized a campaign to raise funds to continue the program through countless private and public donors, businesses, local and state government, organizations and grant writing. All funds raised have been managed by the HMC Foundation since the beginning of the Foundation’s commitment to the program in 2006. For more information on contributing, contact Lori Rogers, HMC Foundation Executive Director, at 935-2957, lrogers@hhsc.org or go to: www.hilomedicalcenterfoundation.org.  

Resident Background Information 
  • Hamed Ahmadinia – Attended the American University of Antigua College of Medicine and Masters in Physiology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Medical Missions to the Philippines, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Indonesia.
  • Svetlana Shchedrina – Attended the Russian National Research Medical University, previously Internal Medicine Residency in Russia, and has a Masters in Business Administration from Dowling College in New York. Has lived in Hilo since 2011.
  • Kavita Rama Nathan – Attended the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry in the United Kingdom and is currently practicing medicine in Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Ka′ohimanu Akiona – Attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and previously received her Bachelors of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Bachelors of Arts in Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Born on Oahu. 

HIFMR Program Timeline
  • 1990’s: First push to create the Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency (HIFMR) Program
  • 2006: Support revived to create the HIFMR Program
  • 2009: Hawaii Island Family Health Center established at 45 Mohouli Street to care for patients and house the HIFMR Program
  • 2011: The East Hawaii Regional Board, governing Hilo Medical Center, voted to assume the HIFMR Program as a part of the region’s responsibilities and commitment to the community.
  • 2013: October 22, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) notifies the HIFMR Program notified of 2-year accreditation, starting July 2014
  • 2014: March 21, the National Resident Matching Program® matched first class of residents
  • 2014: July 1, the HIFMR Program will welcome the first class of residents  

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About Hilo Medical Center
As the Big Island's leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care, Hilo Medical Center (HMC) delivers a full range of services and programs. Our 20-acre campus consists of 275 beds located throughout the 141-bed acute hospital, 20-bed behavioral health unit and a 134-bed long-term care facility. We have 1,000 employees and a medical staff comprised 250 community physicians, physician assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, representing 33 specialties. As a medical center, we have a network of ten outpatient clinics offering primary and specialty care. The hospital is a Level III Trauma Center which  includes the second busiest emergency room in the state that provides 24-hour care to more than 42,000 patients annually.   

HMC is the recipient of Mountain Pacific Quality Health's Quality Achievement Award. We were recognized in 2012 by the insurer HMSA as Hawaii's leading hospital in improving quality and reducing the cost of providing care. HMC was also named 2012 Press Ganey Top Improver Award winner for patient satisfaction for improvements. In 2013, we received the American Heart Association Gold Award for cardiac care. We were also recognized for quality long term care by Providigm for Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement Accredited Facility and Embracing Quality Award for the Prevention of Hospital Readmissions. Our long term care met the requirements for the American Health Care Association's Three Tier Level Quality Initiative Recognition Program.   In 2013, HMC's EMR team, HealthConnect, attained the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Meaningful Use Stage 1. In addition, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recognized HMC for achieving Stage 7 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM.  

We are part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a public entity established in 1996 by the State of Hawaii to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare. For more information, go to: www.hilomedicalcenter.org.
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