Department of Pharmacy Practice

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Deborah Taira, Sc.D.
Deborah Taira Juarez


Dr. Deborah Taira is a health economist. She has a B.A. in economics from Amherst College, a Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and a doctorate in health economics from the Harvard School of Public Health. She also has ten years of experience at the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) as research manager analyzing administrative data. Her research focuses on understanding and reducing health disparities, particularly involving Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.


  • Amherst College, Amherst, MA BA 1987 Economics
  • Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University MPA 1991 Domestic Policy
  • Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA ScD 1995 Health Economics

Classes and Courses

  • Pharmacoeconomics
  • Health Care Systems
  • Marketing & Management

Selected Presentations and/or Publications

    (Out of 98 peer-reviewed published manuscripts)

  • Taira DA, Seto BK, Davis JW, Seto TB, Landsittel D, Sumida WK. Examining Factors Associated With Non-Adherence And Identifying Providers Caring For Non-Adherent Subgroups. Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (in press).
  • Sutton CX, Carpenter D, Sumida WK, Taira DA. 1. The Relationship Between Medication Adherence and Total Healthcare Expenditures by Race/Ethnicity in Patients with Diabetes in Hawaii. HJMPH. 2017; 76(7):183-189.
  • Taira DA, Seto JC, Masterson J, Guimares A, Davis JW. Attitudes of College-Aged Electronic Cigarette Users In Hawaii. Health Behavior and Policy Review (in press).
  • Sentell TL, Shen C, Landsittel D, Mayes MH, Southerland J, Henriques King, M, Taira DA. Racial/Ethnic Differences in Those Accompanying Medicare Patients to the Doctor: Insights from the Medicare Current Beneficiary’s Survey. J Immigrant Minority Health. 2017 April 12; DOI 10.1007/s10903-017-0582-8.
  • Yazdanshenas H, Bazargan M, Jones L, Vawer M, Seto T, Farooq S, Taira DA. Engaging Gatekeeper-stakeholders in Development of a Mobile Health Intervention to Improve Medication Adherence among African American and Pacific Islander Elderly Patients with Hypertension. JHIR. 2016 Oct 26;4(4):e116.
  • Tseng CW, Lin GA, Davis JW, Taira DA, Yazdany J, He O, Chen R, Imamura A, Dudley RA. Giving formulary and drug cost information to providers and impact on medication cost and use: a longitudinal non-randomized study. BMC Health Services Research 2016; 16: 499.
  • Davis J, Tam E, Taira DA. Disparate rates of utilization and progression to combined heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among Asians and Pacific Islanders in Hawai`i. Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2016; 75(8):228-234.
  • Taira DA, Shen C, Henriques-King M, Landsittel D, Mays MH, Sentell T, Southerland J. Access to Medications For Medicare Enrollees Related to Race/Ethnicity: Results from the 2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2016 Nov 23. pii: S1551-7411(16)30500-9.

Active Grants

  • Project Development Coordinator (25% time). NIH/NIMHD RCMI Translational Research Network. The goal of RTRN is to reduce health disparities among diverse minority populations through a clinical and translational research network among minority institutions.
  • Co-investigator (10% time). HHS/AHRQ. Enhancing Hawaii Hospital Information Content. Goals of this project are to build infrastructure to enhance clinical content of a statewide, all-payer hospital-based encounter-level database to support comparative effectiveness research, and demonstrate the usefulness of the database by examining outcomes of patients treated by hospitalists.
  • Director, Research Training and Education Core (25% time). NIH/NIMHD. P20 Center grant. Partnerships for Cardiometabolic Disparities in Native and Pacific Peoples.

Awards and Honors

  • Fulbright scholar to Thailand, 2012