Dr. Russell Woo Named Hawaii Pacific Health’s First Chief Academic Officer


Russell Woo headshot

Pediatric surgeon Dr. Russell Woo has been named Hawaii Pacific Health’s (HPH) first chief academic officer. In this new position, Dr. Woo will work to ensure the future of clinical excellence for Hawaii patients in conjunction with University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). He will support and coordinate medical education programs for medical students, physician residents and fellows, as well as the academic activities of HPH physicians who are also JABSOM faculty members.

“I am honored to accept this new role to help further the clinical and academic missions and goals of both HPH and JABSOM,” Dr. Woo said. “Clinically focused research empowers our medical teams to innovate by asking ourselves, how can we do things better to improve our patients’ outcomes? Through advancing the field of medicine while training the next generation, we can provide better care for our communities for years and decades to come.”

Dr. Woo has been a strong advocate of research and education throughout his career. A graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine, he completed his residency training in general surgery at Stanford University. After completing his fellowship in pediatric surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, he joined Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in 2009. Dr. Woo co-chairs HPH’s Biomedical Research and Innovation Center and has served as JABSOM’s medical student research director.

As Kapiolani’s medical director for children’s surgery, Dr. Woo was instrumental in Kapiolani becoming the first and only medical center in Hawaii, and just one of only about 50 hospitals across the country to earn Level 1 Children’s Surgery Verification from the American College of Surgeons in 2022. The prestigious national distinction recognizes excellence in pediatric surgery.

“As a nationally recognized surgeon, Dr. Woo’s passion for providing the best care for patients at Kapiolani is only matched by his dedication to educating and building Hawaii’s next generation of physicians to ensure high-quality care for our community,” Dr. Leslie Chun, Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Group chief executive officer, said. “We look forward to Dr. Woo’s work strengthening our collaboration with JABSOM.”

In his new role as chief academic officer, Dr. Woo will be a key liaison between HPH and JABSOM to advance the shared vision for clinical excellence and academics.

He will guide the continuing development of JABSOM medical education programs for students, residents, fellows and faculty at all HPH medical centers. Dr. Woo will also become JABSOM’s first associate dean for clinical programs at HPH, and will assist JABSOM’s dean and work closely with the medical school’s educational leaders and department chairs on academic programs and infrastructure within the many HPH clinical learning environments.

“Dr. Woo has supported JABSOM’s academic and clinical activities as a faculty member within our Department of Surgery since 2009 and has held multiple service and leadership positions in the department and the medical school,” Dr. Lee Buenconsejo-Lum, JABSOM interim dean, said. “In addition to his JABSOM positions, maintaining his surgical and research career with HPH uniquely qualifies him for this joint position, and we look forward to building on the strides he’s already made.”

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Liz Chun Uyehara