(BIVN) – A new pharmacist position has been created by the Hawaiʻi Department of Health with the support of faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy. The DOH and DKICP have a long-standing collaboration
According to the University, Dr. Garrett Hino was hired by the health department in February 2022. “The DKICP graduate is one of only two board-certified infectious disease pharmacists in the state, and will focus on promoting antimicrobial stewardship that includes appropriate use of antibiotics,” a UH news release reported.
“Dr. Hino was brought on board to assess current areas of need in the healthcare setting,” said Epidemiologist Enid Vélez-Valle of the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division. “He comes to us with great expertise,” she added.
UH officials say Hino completed a B.S. in Biology at UH Hilo, graduated from DKICP in 2018, was selected for a one-year residency at the College, and then went on to complete a two-year infectious disease fellowship at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California in 2021.
“In this new position, I’m part of a DOH team working to establish a relationship with the staffs at long-term care facilities and acute care hospitals around the state,” said Hino. “Our goals are to optimize antimicrobial stewardship practices through better education, and to reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance that can occur from inappropriate antibiotic use. I’m really happy to be able to work in my home state and serve our local communities,” he added.
“Experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic magnified the need for strengthening DOH capacity to address emerging infectious diseases, such as healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance,” explained Vélez-Valle. “Our focus is to prioritize patient safety and quality improvement through direct engagement with Hawaiʻi’s healthcare facilities, such as acute care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.”
“The College has a long history working with the DOH on antimicrobial stewardship and COVID response, and we assisted in the development of a proposal to the CDC for this new position,” explained Dr. Marian Davis, healthcare consultant from Crossroads Pharmacy. “This new position is a result of our work and demonstration of the value of pharmacists in public health.”
“This new position represents a significant step forward in the expansion of pharmacist roles in public health in Hawaiʻi, and Dr. Hino’s selection brings great credit to himself and the College,” Dr. Goo said.