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Owner, Keanuenue Pediatrics, LLC


YWahine In Business Financial Accelerator participant

Keanuenue Pediatrics has a vision to bring pediatric medicine to communities in Hawaii using modern technology to provide the highest level of care to patients and their families, along with an old-school, family doctor feel where everyone knows your name, and patients and their families feel like they’re going to visit their “favorite aunty.”

Owner and founder Dr. Jasmine Waipa, a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, found her path to medicine while studying sociology at Harvard University, where she did volunteer work with children who were obese or at risk of obesity, many of whom were ethnic minorities. “I think studying sociology, I was fully aware of social structures and constructs and how they impact health,” she said. Eventually, this led her to apply to medical school, and she was accepted to Stanford University School of Medicine, where she also completed her residency and continued to work primarily in ethnic minority health.

Upon moving back to Hawaii in 2011, Dr. Waipa worked at Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and the neonatal intensive care unit at Kapiolani Medical Center for five and 10 years, respectively. She later joined a group private practice with the intention to take over the business, but after five years, Dr. Waipa decided that instead of waiting, it was time to start her own practice, and Keanuenue Pediatrics came to life in July 2020. “I had to make a decision about whether I wanted to stick around or hang up a shingle of my own,” she explained. “It was right in the middle of the pandemic. Things were really getting bad, and we were still quarantining when I had to decide, so I took a leap and started my own practice.”

Nearly four years later, Dr. Waipa’s practice has grown to a team of 13, including four pediatricians, five medical assistants, an office manager, a receptionist, a care coordinator, and a medical biller. Although the office is situated in Honolulu, they take pride in serving patients and families not only across Oahu but those from neighboring islands who travel for care. Dr. Waipa and her team also offer telehealth services.

“We see patients from zero to 21 years old, so we’re with them really from the beginning, a few days after they’re born all the way until potentially, they graduate from college,” Dr. Waipa said. “We really enjoy that longitudinal care over time. We get to know families really well and get to watch them grow.”

Keanuenue Pediatrics emphasizes preventive care, conducting frequent well-checks in the critical first two years and annual check-ups from age three. They offer both in-person and virtual acute care visits, accessible through secure video and text messaging. Additionally, they provide extensive education and resources on their website, including a symptom checker.

Reflecting on her journey as a physician and woman entrepreneur, Dr. Waipa is proud of the practice that she’s built with her team. “I’m proud of how quickly we’ve grown and the number of patients and families we serve. I’m proud that we keep learning from our mistakes, learning to serve better,” she said. “I really like the freedom we have as entrepreneurs to do what we want and what we think is going to be best for our patients as well as our business. We get free rein to make those decisions—I take the risk, of course, but I also get to do what I think is best.”

Like many entrepreneurs, Dr. Waipa has dealt with imposter syndrome, where she felt unsure of herself because she lacked formal business training. She’s grateful for resources like the MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center as well as other courses and networking opportunities. “I have to learn from other women, even if it’s in different fields,” she said. “It’s easy to feel alone, so it’s nice to have opportunities to know that there are other ambitious entrepreneurial women out there.”

When asked about her experience as a participant in the YWahine Women in Business Accelerator program with instructor Mariko Gordon, Dr. Waipa said: “I love seeing a strong local woman who is in a field dominated by men be so confident, so successful in what she does; it makes me feel inspired. I enjoy hearing the stories and insights from all the other entrepreneurs as well. It’s been such an amazing experience, and I have to watch and rewatch the videos because there’s so much to learn. I feel like even one pass is not enough, but I’m grateful for the material and how well Mariko explains everything to make it easy to understand.”

Keanuenue Pediatrics is nearing completion of an office expansion that will double its size from four to eight exam rooms, and they have recently added a new doctor to the staff. Dr. Waipa’s long-term goal is to create micro-satellite clinics on the east and west sides of Oahu, closer to where their patients are, making care more convenient and accessible. She also hopes to add more services to the practice, including an in-house lactation consultant, nutritionist, and mental health specialist.

To her fellow woman entrepreneurs and small business owners, Dr. Waipa offers the following advice: “Starting a business is the best thing you can do for yourself because you definitely have it in you, and you’re smart enough, and you’re good enough to do it. There’s something you can offer to the world through your business, but also for your family—all of the advantages of being a business owner that can help you financially, as well, have made a big difference to me. You’ll regret not doing it sooner, so just do it.”

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