Company gets new name after protests by Hawaiians

 

Associated Press

A company aiming to provide easier access to sexually transmitted disease test results and other medical records announced a new name on Wednesday after facing protests by Native Hawaiians for using the word hula.

The Los Angeles-based company will now be called Healthvana Inc., founder and CEO Ramin Bastani said.

The previous name Hula drew complaints that it was culturally insensitive. An online petition asking Bastani to change the name argued that it exploited a sacred cultural dance.

Bastani immediately removed any references to "getting lei'd" in company marketing material but said the Hula name would remain. Then in May, after learning to understand the concerns of the Native Hawaiian community, he announced the name would change.

The new name combines the words health and nirvana while matching the company's goal of enlightened health care, he said.

"We were very thoughtful about what name we selected, so we made up a word," he said. "We went through maybe a thousand different names."

The state Senate Hawaiian Affairs Caucus and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs had issued a statement calling the Hula name "highly insensitive, tactless and inappropriate."

After Bastani said the company would find a new name, Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe said the change was appreciated, "in acknowledgement that no culture should be demeaned for profit or convenience."

The company helps patients get instant electronic access to their medical records and test results. A key function involves acquiring and sharing with partners or health providers through a mobile app the results of STD tests.

"We think patients should be empowered to get their records every single time," instead of relying on the belief that "no news is good news," Bastani said.

Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at http://www.twitter.com/JenHapa .

Read more Technology stories from the Miami Herald

  • Waste Management 2Q results mixed

    Waste Management Inc. on Tuesday reported that its second-quarter profit fell 14 percent. Its adjusted profit topped analysts' expectations, but revenue fell short of Wall Street's view.

  • Institute: NKorea upgrading rocket launch site

    North Korea is upgrading its main rocket launch site and has conducted a series of engine tests as it develops a mobile, intercontinental missile that could increase the threat it poses to the United States, a U.S. research institute said Tuesday.

  •  
In this undated photo provided by the University of Michigan, The University of Michigan's three-wheeled car named Quantum races on its way to its fifth national title in a row at the American Solar Challenge competition. The 1,700-mile event started July 20 in Austin, Texas. The three-wheeled car was the first to cross the finish line in Minneapolis on Monday afternoon, July 28, 2014.

    University of Michigan wins 5th solar car title

    The University of Michigan has won its fifth national title in a row at the American Solar Challenge competition.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK


  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category