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Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, DrPH, MS, APRN


School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 409
Honolulu, HI 96822
Ph: 808-956-5329
Fax: 808-956-3257

Larger photo of Merle Kataoka-Yahiro, DrPH, MS, APRN


Dr. Merle R. Kataoka-Yahiro has been a clinical nurse in academia for more than 30 years specializing in family health nursing and has a doctorate degree in public health. Her research trajectory has been in the area of health disparities research working with vulnerable populations including women, children, older adults, and minority populations.

She has held leadership roles in three research education/training grants. Since 2013, Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro has served as the Co-Director and Associate Director for the Research Education core of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Mountain West Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Clinical and Translational Research Infrastructure Network (CTR-IN) grant. In 2013, she served as the Principal Investigator for the NIH Extramural Associates Research Development (EARDA) Awards, Office of Research Development. From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro served as the Section Leader and Co-Leader for the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Multidisciplinary and Translational Research Infrastructure Expansion Hawaii Grant (RMATRIX).

Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro is an investigator working on population data sets with Asian and Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian populations in the prevention of chronic kidney diseases and related cardiovascular diseases. Since 2006, she serves the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii (NKFH) as a nurse researcher and educational consultant and assists the NKFH to develop research protocols for the Kidney Early Detection Screening (KEDS) program. She has cultivated investigator partnerships between NKFH, UH Manoa Nursing, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, and the University of California, Irvine.

She has contributed to all levels of the department’s instructional program: BS, MS, and PhD. She has served as the Graduate Chair and has overseen the curriculum audit of the Master’s Graduate Core and Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) curriculum, Master’s Entry in Nursing Program, and Undergraduate Nursing Programs in preparation for the 2010 CCNE accreditation. She was responsible for graduate nursing courses in family nursing, curriculum evaluation, teaching practicum for nursing education, and nursing research. Her educational publications are in critical thinking, decision-making, service-learning, and cultural diversity.


Dr.P.H., University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health
MPH, Northwestern University, School of Medicine, Public Health
MS, Rush University, College of Nursing
BSN, University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene

Clinical Practice

Family Health Nursing

Teaching Focus

Dr. Kataoka-Yahiro has taught courses at all levels in the department. In her clinical specialty area, she has taught and coordinated the undergraduate didactic and clinical courses N373 and N373L Child and Family Health and N647 Family Systems in Health & Illness. At the graduate level, based on her strong foundation in curriculum development and evaluation, she has taught and provided oversight to many courses in nursing education. She has also taught PhD nursing courses: N743 Advanced Qualitative Research II, N751 Concept Analysis, and N767 Culturally Competent Research Methods.

Research Focus

Population Health – Big Data Sets, Health Disparities Research, Chronic Diseases – Chronic Kidney Diseases and Related Risk Factors (DM, HTN, Obesity), Chronic Diseases and Self-Management, Family Caregiving and Culture, Decision-making, and End of Life Care

Recent Publications

Kataoka-Yahiro, M, Page, V., & Li, D. (2016). Relationship of associated cardiovascular risk factors and chronic kidney disease with participants enrolled in the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii Kidney Early Detection Screening (KEDS) Program. Journal of Health Disparities Research & Practice, 9 (3), 66-79.

Kataoka-Yahiro, M.K., Kealoha, M., & Sy, A. (2016). Asian and Native Hawaiian family caregiver satisfaction with palliative care services in nursing homes. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 22 (3), 141-149.

Kataoka-Yahiro, M., McFarlane, S., Koijane, J., & Li, D. (2016). Culturally competent palliative and hospice care training for ethnically diverse staff in long-term care facilities.
American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. doi:10.1177/1049909116638347.

Wong, K.A., & Kataoka-Yahiro, M. (2016). Nutrition and diet as it relates to health and well-
being of Native Hawaiian Kupuna (Elders): A systematic literature review. Journal of Transcultural Nursing. doi:10.1177/1043659616649027.

Braginsky, N., Kataoka-Yahiro, M., & Inouye, J. (2016). Lived experience of Pacific Island women in Hawaii with a “big body size”. Asian Pacific Islander Nursing Journal, 1 (2), 10-23.

Kataoka-Yahiro, M., & Saylor, C. (1996, 2001, 2005). A critical thinking model for nursing judgment. In Potter and Perry (Ed.), Fundamentals of nursing (4th, 5th, 6th eds.).

Kataoka-Yahiro, M., Inouye, J., Braun, K., & Seto, T. (May 2015). Translational research education and training needs in Hawaii. Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health, 74(5), 4-8.

Kataoka-Yahiro, M., Wong, K. A., Tamashiro, J., Page, V., Ching, J., & Li, D. (2012). Evaluation of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii (NKFH) Kidney Early Detection Screening (KEDS) Program. Hawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health, 71 (7), 186-192.

Kataoka-Yahiro, M., Yancura, L.A., Page, V., & Inouye, J. (2011). Advanced care planning decision-making among Asian Pacific Islander family caregivers of stage 4-5 chronic kidney disease patients on hemodialysis. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 13 (6), 426-434.

Inouye, J., Braginsky, N., & Kataoka-Yahiro, M. (2011). Randomized clinical trials of self-
management with Asian/Pacific Islanders. Clinical Nursing Research, 20(4), 366-403.
doi: 10.1177/1054773811417708

Kataoka-Yahiro, M. R., Yancura, L. A., Page, V., & Inouye, J. (2011). Advance care planning decision-making among Asian Pacific Islander family caregivers of stage 4-5 chronic kidney disease patients on hemodialysis: A focus group study. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 13(6), 426-435.

Kataoka-Yahiro, M., Richardson, K., & Mobley, J. (2011). Benefits, barriers, and intentions/desires of nurses related to distance learning in rural island communities. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 42(3),127-135. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20101201-01

Kataoka-Yahiro, M., Conde, F, Wong, R., Page, V., & Peller, B. (2010). Advance care planning among Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians receiving hemodialysis for stage 4 to 5 chronic kidney disease. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 16 (1), 32-40

Kataoka-Yahiro, M. (2010). Filipino American grandparent caregivers’ roles, acculturation, and perceived health status. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 17 (1), 24-33.
Cohen, S.M. & Kataoka-Yahiro, M. (2010). Provider adherence to clinical guidelines related to lipid-lowering medications. Military Medicine, 175 (2), 1-5.

Williams, P, Piamajariyakul, U., Kataoka-Yahiro, M., Alvaro, S., Ceria, C., Conley, L., Kotsubo, C., Leake, A., Ratliffe, C., Urso, P., & Williams, A.R. (2009). Effects of an intervention for Hawaiian American siblings and caregivers of children with chronic illness or disability: A pilot study. The University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International, 5 (1), 44-46.

Cohen, S. M. & Kataoka-Yahiro, M. (2009). Themes in the literature related to cardiovascular disease risk reduction. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 24 (4), 268-276.

Ellermann, C., Kataoka-Yahiro, M., & Wong, L. (2006). Building of logic models: A nursing movement in the curriculum. Journal of Nursing Education, 45 (6), 220-227.

Willgerodt, M.A., Kataoka-Yahiro, M., Kim, E., & Ceria, C. (2005). Issues of instrument translation in research with Asian immigrant populations. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21 (4), 231-239.

Funded Grants

NIH/NIGMS: Clinical and Translational Research Infrastructure Network IDeA-CTR-IN Subcontract Grant
Kumar (PI); Langer (PI)
The goal of this application is to develop clinical and translational research across a consortium of seven IDeA states in the Mountain West region
07/01/13 to 06/30/18
Role: (Kataoka-Yahiro) PI Subcontract; Co-Director; Associate Director

National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
National Institute of Health RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN) Research Enhancement Award
Ofili (PI)
Relationship of BMI & CKD Progression Trajectory in Asian American & Native Hawaiians.
This project offers a unique health disparities model to study the interaction and relationship between obesity and chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression trajectory among the understudied Asian Pacific Islander (API) populations.
08/7/14 to 07/12/17
Role: (Kataoka-Yahiro) PI 03/29/17 to 08/31/17

National Centers for Research Resources and the National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities
U54RR026136-01A1; U54MD007584
Hedges (PI)
To goal of the NIH RCMI – Multidisciplinary and Translational Research Infrastructure Expansion Hawaii Multidisciplinary was to provide Research, Education, Training, and Career Development to academic and non-academic researchers in Hawaii.
09/01/2010 to 08/31/2013
Role: (Kataoka-Yahiro) PI Subcontract; Section Leader

Hawaii Medical Service Association Foundation (HMSA)
Kataoka-Yahiro (PI)
The goal of this project was to have the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Statewide Palliative and Hospice Care Training Program in partnership with Kokua Mau, Hospice Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene deliver a culturally competent curriculum on palliative and hospice care to physicians, nurses, nurse aids, and ancillary health professionals in long term care facilities in Hawaii.
05/2013 to 06/2015
Role: PI Subcontract

NIH Extramural Associates Research Development Award (EARDA), Office of Research Development (ORD) #5G11HD054969
The purpose of this project was to: (1) develop capacity to support faculty in preparing research grant applicants, contract proposals, training, and fellowship applications; (2) collaborate with other research intensive schools to develop consortium research arrangements, and (3) develop undergraduate interest in careers in biomedical research.
01/2013 to 06/2013
Role: PI

National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii
This project addressed the end-of-life issues among Asian American and Native Hawaiian family caregivers of individuals receiving hemodialysis for Stage 4-5 chronic kidney disease
2008 to 2009
Role: PI

Sigma Theta Tau International, Gamma Psi Chapter Kataoka-Yahiro (PI) 12/2008-12/2009
This project addressed the end-of-life issues among Asian American and Native Hawaiian individuals receiving hemodialysis for Stage 4-5 chronic kidney disease.
12/2008 to 12/2009
Role: PI

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