Our ʻohana is constantly growing!

Ilima Ho-Lastimosa, MSW

Founder & Community Researcher ilima888@gmail.com

Ilima Ho-Lastimosa is a proud third-generation Native Hawaiian resident of Waimānalo, Hawaiʻi. A strong proponent of food sovereignty and sustainability, she is passionate about giving Pacific Island communities the tools, knowledge and skills they need to grow food in their backyards. To that end, Ilima became a certified Master Gardener and an aquaponics expert, with which she has spent the last six years teaching aquaponics throughout the Pacific and Pacific Northwest. Ilima has raised over $400,000 for programs benefiting indigenous peoples throughout the Pacific and North America. Ilima received her BA in Hawaiian Studies and MSW from the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaiʻi . Presently employed as the Community Coordinator for the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Waimānalo Research Station, Ilima concurrently works with numerous school-aged children through partnerships with several schools. Also a founding member of God’s Country Waimānalo, Ilima has and continues to offer programs to the Waimānalo and Native Hawaiian Communities.

Jane Chung-Do, DrPH

Public Health Researcher chungjae@hawaii.edu

Dr. Jane Chung-Do is an Associate Professor with the University of Hawai‘i Office of Public Health Studies. She obtained her MPH in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences and DrPH in Community and Translational Research from the University of Hawai‘i. She currently teaches and advises public health graduate students at the University of Hawai‘i. Jane has been working with the Waimanalo community since 2006 and has provided research support with the gardening, aquaponics, and wahine wa'a initiatives with God's Country Waimanalo and Ola Kino. She also has a background in mental health wellness, violence prevention, and suicide prevention and worked with a Waimanalo youth-driven organization called BRAVEHEART. She strives to use community-based participatory research by forming partnerships with communities to ensure that all research and health programming are grounded in the values, needs, and strengths of the community. Jane loves to surf and spend time in the ocean with her family.

Ted Radovich, PhD

Agricultural Researcher theodore@hawaii.edu

Dr. Ted Radovich is an Associate Professor/Extension Specialist in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). Born and raised in Waimanalo, Ted graduated from Kailua H.S. where he was an active member of Future Farmers of America (FFA). He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from UHM, and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Ted leads the Waimanalo Learning Center at the UHM Waimanalo Research Station, featuring 4 acres of certified organic land and an aquaponics facility. He co-coordinates the Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program at UHM and is principal investigator of the Sustainable and Organic Farming Systems Laboratory. The primary focus of his lab's research are the links between ecological farming practices, yield, and crop quality. Ted also teaches multiple classes, including Herbs, Spices and Flavorings, Organic Food Crop Production, and Vegetable Crop production. Ted lives in Waimanalo with his wife and four children.

Phoebe Hwang, DrPH

Research Director phoebe.w.hwang@gmail.com

Dr. Phoebe Hwang is a faculty member at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Office of Public Health Studies and Kapiʻolani Community College Community Health Workers Program. She graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi with her doctorate in Public Health, with a specialization in community-based participatory research and life course epidemiology, masters in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering with a specialization in cancer cell biology and tropical alternative medicines, and undergraduate degrees in Biology and Dance. She currently teaches Research Methods in Public Health, and works as a health research consultant for various organizations. Phoebe is also a yoga and Tai Chi instructor, massage therapist, and coffee enthusiast. She lives in Makiki with her family and loves to sleep and eat chocolate cake (that is at least 3 layers tall) on her spare time.

LeShay Keli'iholokai


LeShay Likolehua Keliiholokai was born and raised in Waimānalo, Oʻahu. LeShay received her Bachelors of Science in Pre-Medical Studies from Hawaiʻi Pacific University. Over the course of eight years, LeShay was part of Hui Mālama O Ke Kai Foundation, where she created the ʻŌpio Leadership Program. This program was developed to instill servant-hood leadership within the ʻōpio of Waimānalo. LeShay went on to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Art Therapy and Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She believes that through art we are able to explore emotional, behavioral, and social challenges to better understand the human psyche, allowing access to one’s core self.

Kahaulahilahi Vegas, MPH


Kahaulahilahi Vegas hasa background in Hawaiian language and Hawaiian culture. She graduated with her Masters in Public Health focusing on Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health. Since 2015, Kahau has been working in partnership with the John A. Burns School of Medicine, Department of Native Hawaiian Health on a culturally-based study, Ola Hou I Ka Hula focused primarily on Native Hawaiians with hypertension, which is a Hula study and program looking to lower high bloodpressure. Kahau is also an alakaʻi for the hālau that she has been dancing for over 18 years, she also graduated two levels in hula.

Sarah Hipp, MPH


Sarah Hipp is a project manager with Pacific Survivor Center, a local nonprofit dedicated to advancing health and human rights in the Hawaiʻi-Pacific region. She coordinates medical, social, and legal services for survivors of trauma and abuse including domestic violence, human trafficking, and torture. She earned her MPH in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her background is in women's health and social justice and she has a passion for community-based work. Sarah loves traveling, espresso, camping, hiking, and any ocean activity.


Ikaika Rogerson


Ikaika Rogerson is a civil service worker at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for the last 12 years. He graduated from both Kamehameha Kapālama and the University of Hawai’i with a bachelor of Hawaiian Studies currently pursuing his Master’s Degree. Ikaika is the owner of Rocky Farms, LLC specializing in Hawaiian Lā’au Lapa’au with products available at the Waimānalo Market Co-Op. He is a graduate of the GoFarm Program offered by the University of Hawai’i as well as an established aquaponics farmer. Ikaika is also a senior instructor at 101 Financial. Aside from his own businesses, Ikaika serves on the board of directors for O’ahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association as the Recording Secretary, and as a board member for both the Waimānalo Market Co-Op board and the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association board. Ikaika lives in Waimānalo.

Mike Spencer, PhD

Mentor spencerm@umich.edu

Dr. Mike Spencer is the Fedele F. Fauri Collegiate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. He will join the faculty at the University of Washington School of Social Work as Professor and the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) as Director of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Oceanic Affairs. He also served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Hawaii Department of Native Hawaiian Health and School of Social Work from 2015-2017. His research examines inequities in physical and mental health among low-income, populations of color and is currently focused on interventions that promote health among Native Hawaiians through indigenous practices and values. Since 2005, he served as Principal Investigator of the REACH Detroit Family Intervention, an NIH-funded, community-based, participatory research (CBPR) project which aims at reducing disparities in type 2 diabetes through the use of community health workers among African American and Latino residents in Detroit. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) and the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR).

Keawe Kaholokula, PhD



Dr. Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula is a Professor and Chair of Native Hawaiian Health in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He received is 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 is a National Institutes of Health funded investigator whose community-based participatory research (CBPR) involves developing sustainable community- and worksite-based health promotion strategies and programs to address cardiometabolic health inequities experienced by Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. His research also examines how biological, behavioral, and psychosocial factors interplay to affect their risk for, and treatment of, cardiometabolic-related diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Among his various studies of Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, he has examined the effects of depression on cigarette smoking and diabetes management; of racism on physiological stress indices, hypertension, and psychological distress; of acculturation on the risk for depression and diabetes; and of community-placed interventions on reducing obesity, hypertension, and diabetes inequities. He is an advocate for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander health and serves on several community boards and committees whose mission is to address the social and cultural determinants of health in Hawai‘i. He is also a member of Halemua o Kūali‘i and ‘Aha Kāne, Hawaiian cultural groups dedicated to the revitalization of traditional values and practices to build leaders in our Hawaiian communities.

Keawe Kaholokula, PhD



Dr. Bradley (Kai) Fox is currently an instructor in the Sustainable Agriculture Program of the Department of Natural Sciences at Windward Community College, and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at UH Mānoa. Kai was born and raised in Nu'uanu, O'ahu and graduated from the University Laboratory School. Following graduation, he earned a BS in Biology from the University of Redlands, and an MS in Animal Science and PhD in Fish Physiology from UH Mānoa. Kai enjoys fishing, diving and hiking and lives in Nu'uanu with his wife, son, and two dogs.

Lima Kōkua

Kenneth Ho Jr., MSOM



Kenneth Ho, Jr. is a firefighter with certifications in water safety, emergency medical technician, and personal training. He is also the executive director of OLA KINO, a pilot program he conceptualized, implemented, and executed over summer 2017 with the intent to combat health disparities, social injustices, and historical traumas Kānaka Maoli endure. The target audience for the program is Native Hawaiian Youth from Waimānalo aged 5-12 years. Also one of the founding members of another grass-roots organization, God's Country Waimānalo (GCW), Kenneth is the Safety Officer for Waimānalo Limu Hui, a limu restoration group formed under GCW. Kenneth graduated from the Kamehameha Schools, received his BS from Wayland Baptist University, and completed the MS of Operations Management at the University of Arkansas. In January 2018, Kenneth will begin doctoral studies at the University of Southern California. Kenneth lives in Waimānalo with his two children.

Kirk Deitschman


Kirk Kaulu Deitschman, a child of Waimānalo, O'ahu. He is a 2013 graduate of Henry J Kaiser High School and received his BBA in Business Management from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Shidler College of Business along with a minor in Religion Studies. He had a wonderful opportunity to spend a semester studying International Business in Florence, Italy. He has interned at Hui Malama O Ke Kai, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and Ko'olau Mountains Watershed Partnership. Before working at Hui Mālama O Ke Kai as an Alaka'i (leader, program alumni), he participated in their after-school programming from 5th-12th grades. Kirk has a deep passion for the Waimānalo community and wants to continue the advancement for our kānaka. He has a strong desire to restore our native natural resources and to be more self-efficient society, strongly believing in the power of the youth.

Student Kōkua

Coming Soon..