DKICP alum in new DOH position

March 22, 2022

From left: Dr. Garret Hino Jr., DKICP alumnus; Dr. Roy Goo, PharmD.

DKICP alum Garret Hino Jr. recently started a new full-time position at the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), working on antimicrobial stewardship. “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,” he says. “Our goals are to optimize antimicrobial stewardship practices through increasing awareness and education on multi-drug resistant organisms, providing management strategies, and reducing the development of antimicrobial resistance that can occur from inappropriate antibiotic use.”

Experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic clarified the importance of strengthening DOH capacity to address emerging infectious diseases, such as healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance, explains Epidemiologist Enid Vélez-Valle, who works in the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division. “Our focus is to prioritize patient safety and quality improvement through direct engagement with Hawaii’s healthcare facilities, such as acute-care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Dr. Hino was brought on board to assess current areas of need in the healthcare setting. He comes to us with great expertise.”

Hino completed a B.S. in Biology at UH Hilo, graduated from DKICP in 2018, was selected for a PGY-1 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. He is one of only two board-certified infectious disease pharmacists in the state.

“The college has a long history of working with the DOH on antimicrobial stewardship and COVID response, and we assisted in the development of the proposal to the CDC for this new position,” explains Dr. Roy Goo, Pharm.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “As a result of our work and demonstration of the value of pharmacists in public health, the DOH has justified this full-time pharmacist position to continue working on these initiatives.”

Goo says the college will continue providing oversight, strategic guidance and assistance in defining the scope of this role. “This new position represents a significant step forward in the expansion of pharmacist roles in public health in Hawaii, and Dr. Hino’s selection brings great credit to himself and the College.”

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