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Pac Health Dialog. 2004 Sep;11(2):225-32.

Na Liko Noelo: a program to develop Native Hawaiian researchers.

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'Imi Hale-Native Hawaiian Cancer Network, Papa Ola Lŏkahi, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.


Native Hawaiians are underrepresented in health research. They also have expressed dissatisfaction with the way in which many non-native researchers have formulated research questions, conducted research, and disseminated findings about Native Hawaiians. 'Imi Hale - Native Hawaiian Cancer Network was funded by the National Cancer Institute to increase research training and mentorship opportunities for Native Hawaiians. To this end, 'Imi Hale has followed principles of community-based participatory research to engage community members in identifying research priorities and assuring that research is beneficial, and not harmful, to Native Hawaiians. Developing indigenous researchers is a cornerstone of the program and, in its first 4 years 'Imi Hale enrolled 78 Native Hawaiian "budding researchers (called Na Liko Noelo in Hawaiian), of which 40 (68%) have participated in at least one training and 28 (36%) have served as investigators, 40 (51%) as research assistants, and 10 (13%) as mentors on cancer prevention and control studies. The major challenge for Nă Liko Noelo is finding the time needed to devote to research and writing scientific papers, as most have competing professional and personal obligations. Program evaluation efforts suggest, however, that 'Imi Hale and its Na Liko Noelo program are well accepted and are helping develop a cadre of community-sensitive indigenous Hawaiian researchers.

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