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UH Wildfire Exposure Study seeks more participants during community outreach, Feb. 23-25 : Maui Now


February 23, 2024, 1:29 PM HST

Monitoring health and wellness for a stronger recovery: A University of Hawaiʻi and community partnership to assess and enhance health and well-being in the wake of the Maui wildfires. PC: UH

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Maui Wildfire Exposure Cohort Study (MauiWES) continues to recruit participants who were affected by the August 2023 Lahaina wildfires.

The grassroots, community based initiative aims to recruit at least 1,000 individuals affected by the wildfires to participate in the study. Current recruitment events take place: Feb. 23 from 3-7 p.m. at the Royal Lahaina Resort, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lahaina Civic Center, and Feb. 25 from 10 am. to 2 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua. 

Visit the website for more information and to register.


As of Feb. 8, the six month mark since the fires, there were 224 study participants. Preliminary findings were released showing about half of respondents saying their health is worse now compared to a year ago. More than half say they lost their jobs because of the fires, according to a preliminary report issued by the University of Hawaiʻi. 

MauiWES participants contribute data through a detailed questionnaire and health assessments, including biospecimen collection, to evaluate the short- and long-term health outcomes of potential hazardous substance exposures.

The study is led by UH Mānoa Professors Ruben Juarez of UHERO in the UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences, and Alika Maunakea of the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology at the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine.


The initiative is a partnership with community-based organizations including the Maui Medic Healers Hui and Roots Reborn, and supported by seed funding from the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund. This public impact research project is the result of an ongoing partnership between UHERO and JABSOM.

Source: Maui News

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