The PBTRC is committed to expanding the availability of healthcare to undeserved populations via telehealth. The PBTRC will serve as a Telehealth information resource and a Telehealth community-building organization. The PBTRC goal is to assist in the development of existing and new Telehealth networks and offer education, training, strategic planning and background information regarding Telehealth technology, medical information technology infrastructure, mobile health applications, and Telehealth creation, growth and maintenance.

The region covered by the PBTRC includes the state of Hawaii, the US
territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands, and the freely associated states of the Republic of Palau, the
Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. This region faces unique challenges to healthcare access including major geographic isolation and separation by ocean, extremely high costs of travel and telecommunications, small island populations, differing political and cultural environments, and a critical shortage of both primary and specialty care.

Call Us: (808) 956-2897

PBTRC Staff

Deborah Birkmire-Peters, Ph.D
Program Co-Director

Dr. Birkmire-Peters received her B.A. from Loyola College and was awarded her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.  Her dissertation received the International Reading Association’s 1983 Outstanding Dissertation Award. She has over 30 years experience in the fields of human factors, experimental psychology, and telehealth.   She has authored and co-authored numerous research presentations and publications.  She is currently Co-Director of the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center based at the University of Hawaii.

Christina Higa
Program Co-Director

Christina Higa is the Associate Director of the Telecommunications and Social Informatics Research Program (UH TASI) and Co-Director of the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center of the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM).

Her research interests include information communication technology for development and specifically the application of Health Information Technologies to assist in the reduction of health disparities in remote and rural areas in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Focal areas include the application of health informatics, telehealth, electronic health records, and health information exchange for improved access to health care, cost efficiencies, and outcomes. In particular, Ms. Higa’s research includes focus on Chronic Care Models and the potential for health information technology innovation to integrate clinical, public health, community, and self-management programs.

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