Faculty, Staff & Students


Joseph Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula, PhD

Associate Professor and Chair of Native Hawaiian Health, John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Dr. Keawe Kaholokula is an Associate Professor and Chair of Native Hawaiian Health in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in behavioral medicine. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2003 and completed a clinical health psychology post-doctoral fellowship in 2004 at the Triple Army Medical Center.

He has provided clinical services at various community health systems on O‘ahu and Maui in helping people to quit smoking, lose excess body weight, manage their hypertension and diabetes, and manage psychological factors that get in the way of people living healthy lives. He also provides training to other health care providers and community health advocates on topics relevant to culturally competent behavioral health services, motivational interviewing, behavioral strategies to health promotion, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health.

He is a National Institutes of Medicine (NIH) funded researcher who examines how biological, behavioral, and social factors interplay to affect a person’s risk for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, especially in Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Peoples. His research also involves developing sustainable community-based health promotion programs to address obesity, diabetes, and heart disease disparities in Hawai‘i for people of all ages.

He serves on the boards of the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, Papa Ola Lōkahi Native Hawaiian Health Board, and Kaho‘omiki: Hawai‘i Council on Physical Activity and Sports. He also serves on the advisory committees of the Children’s Healthy Living Program for Remote Underserved Minority Population in the Pacific Region, Kawaihonakealoha: Papakolea‘s Kūpuna Service Project, and the National Advisory Council for Hā Kūpuna: The National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders.