The Kona campus on the Island of Hawaii is the newest campus for MEDEX Northwest PA education. The Big Island has a population of over 200,000—the fastest growing in the state of Hawaii. This population is medically underserved with the greatest shortage of health care workers in the state.

Kona Is:

  • Tropical, with a semi-arid climate.
    • It is the warmest place in the U.S. in January with an average high of 90 degrees.
    • In the Hawaiian language, Kona means “leeward,” or dry side of the island.
    • Fog can cover parts of the Kona coast from time to time depending on the activity of the island’s Kilauea volcano.
  • Varied
    • The mostly dry Kona side sees an average annual precipitation of 18.93 inches.
    • By contrast, the wet Hilo side sees 130 inches of rain, or 275 days a year.
  • Agricultural
    • It’s the only Hawaiian island that grows coffee, cocoa and vanilla.
  • Connected to the other islands by air.
    • Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the U.S. mainland are all accessible through the Kona International Airport.
  • Recreational
    • Kamakahonu beach is a great place to snorkel in the early morning hours.
    • The area is famous for its deep-sea fishing, including its International Billfish Tournament.
    • Kona is a popular destination for golfers and hosts an annual Ironman Triathlon.

Kona Is Not:

  • Rushed
    • Island living means that people take in a relaxed pace.
    • This includes restaurants, beach walks and plenty of sun.
  • Inexpensive
    • Living on The Big Island is costly because most everything must be shipped in.

Kona Has:

  • Historical Landmarks
  • Mokuaikaua Church, the oldest Christian church on the Hawaiian Islands (dating back to the 1800s).
  • Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark, the last residence of King Kamehameha the Great and originally the capital of newly unified Hawaii.
  • Hulihe‘e Palace, once a summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty.
  • Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park/ Honokōhau Settlement. an archaeological site that preserves ancient temples and petroglyphs (rock carvings).
  • Incredible Views
  • The summit of Mauna Kea (a dormant volcano) is the highest point in the state of Hawaii. It has some of the clearest air in the world, which makes it perfect for stargazing.
  • The crystal-clear waters of beaches like Kua Bay and Makalawena are ideal for snorkeling.
  • You can spot dolphins, manta rays and honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles) on boat tours and snorkeling/diving excursions.
  • Kona is Close To
  • Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau, a national historical park that was once a sanctuary for ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers.
  • Holualoa, an art and coffee hub overlooking Kona on the Big Island.
  • The historic town of Kealakekua, a snorkeling and diving hotspot and declared Marine Life Conservation District.

About the Kona MEDEX Campus:

For decades, MEDEX has been taking students from the state of Hawaii. Similarly, MEDEX has been placing clinical year students with Hawaii-based preceptors over decades.

At present, there are only 350 practicing physician assistants in the entire state. That translates to 46th in the nation for the number of PA’s per capita population, rendering them almost invisible. The establishment of the new MEDEX Kailua Kona campus is an opportunity to address this imbalance. By appealing to native-born Hawaiians and those with strong ties in Hawaii, MEDEX expects to see an impact on these numbers in the Hawaiian community. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for the next application cycle.