Challenges and Lessons Learned in Implementing a Community-Academic Partnership for Drug Prevention in a Native Hawaiian Community

Susana Helm, Kanoelani Davis, Anonymous youth participants - Haumana


Objective: The broad purpose of this project is to improve health in Native Hawaiian communities through the prevention of substance use. Our community-academic partnership (CAP) team developed an intervention called Puni Ke Ola for this purpose. This paper provides a brief overview of the intervention, then describes challenges and lessons learned in piloting Puni Ke Ola. Methods: A single module of the Puni Ke Ola intervention was implemented, after which the intervention leaders (N=3) convened for a debriefing meeting. The information shared was content analyzed to identify challenges in implementation. Results: Five challenges were identified: 1) timeline and schedule, 2) participant recruitment and sample size, 3) place-based intervention intensity and transportation, 4) communication, and 5) staff time and funding. Conclusion: Challenges were reframed as lessons learned and organized under the overarching theme of Kapu Aloha. Kapu Aloha refers to the idea that practicing aloha (love and compassion) is sacred and extends to all of our interactions. By honoring this value, our CAP team managed a number of challenges throughout the implementation process, which also has implications for future implementation.


drug prevention; youth; Native Hawaiian; photovoice

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Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
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