Kuakini Health System president and CEO Gary K. Kajiwara was presented The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, by Consul General of Japan Koichi Ito on Feb. 1 at the Japanese Consulate. Kajiwara was recognized for his contributions to strengthening and promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United States in the fields of medicine and healthcare and for advancing the status of Japanese Americans in the United States. He was also recognized for promoting collaborative international research projects and health care-related training programs, including affiliation/partnership agreements with several universities and health care organizations in Japan.
Kuakini has welcomed more than 900 international organizations and training delegations under Kajiwara’s leadership. He has also visited Japan numerous times to strengthen the relationship between Kuakini and Japanese health/medical/research organizations and medical equipment manufacturers.
Kuakini’s chief medical officer Dr. Nobuyuki Miki presented an overview of Kajiwara’s initiatives and achievements in fostering ties with Japan. Dr. Satoru Izutsu, retired vice dean of the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine and former head of JABSOM’s Global and International Health Program, offered a kampai toast in honor of Kajiwara.
Kajiwara, who has over 40 years of health care executive experience, holds a master’s of public health degree in health services administration and an MBA from the University of Hawai‘i. He joined Kuakini in 1976 as an assistant vice president of patient care services. In 1990, he was appointed president and CEO of Kuakini Health System. Kajiwara is a member of several health care-related and community organizations.
He thanked Consul General Ito and Mrs. Misako Ito, the Consulate staff, his key mentors, Kuakini’s health care team, and his family and extended family of friends for their support and guidance.