News Release – Department of Health announces recipient of 2023 Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award on World AIDS Day

Posted on Nov 30, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom








November 30, 2023                                                                                                    23-153


DOH announces recipient of 2023 Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award on

World AIDS Day



HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i State Department of Health Harm Reduction Services Branch (HRSB) is pleased to announce Keiva Lei Cadena as the recipient of the 2023 Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award. The award will be presented during the annual World AIDS Day ceremony on Friday, December 1, 2023. Cadena is being honored for her outstanding contributions to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) services in Hawai‘i. The award was established in honor of Suzanne Richmond-Crum who died in 2004 after serving for more than 10 years as director of the Hawai‘i Seropositivity and Medical Management Program of the Department of Health HRSB. The award is presented each year to an individual in Hawai‘i for outstanding contributions in providing HIV and AIDS services with competence and compassion, just as Richmond-Crum demonstrated in her work.


Cadena has spent the last 12 years dedicated to supporting people living with HIV, including working to enhance prevention efforts and sharing her own experience to make a difference in the community. Cadena is a passionate advocate for people living with HIV and for people of transgender experience. Cadena’s efforts have inspired many to take control of their health and find their own voice to speak out against stigma and discrimination.


Cadena brings her personal story as a transgendered Native Hawaiian living with HIV to her advocacy work. She uses harm-reduction strategies to reach out to those who most need support and is successful in approaching them from a place of caring and understanding. Cadena’s success in helping assist people to receive care or preventive HIV medications (PrEP) and finding ways to connect individuals with culturally appropriate services are important contributions to the statewide goal of ending HIV in Hawaiʻi.


Due to her efforts, Native Hawaiians are more widely represented within policy and strategic planning on a local, state and national level. In addition to ensuring that the issues of Kānaka Maoli living with HIV are included in policy, funding, and programmatic decisions, she has brought together people living with HIV across the islands for leadership trainings, supportive retreats, and legislative advocacy efforts.


Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Health and Harm Reduction Center and previous Suzanne Richmond-Crum award recipient Heather Lusk said, “Keiva Lei Cadena is a true role model and embodies the spirit of the SRC award. Keiva’s advocacy for people living with HIV demonstrates the same commitment that Suzanne Richmond-Crum showed in her work with the Department of Health and is well-deserving of this award.”


2023 marks the 20th annual bestowing of this honor. The World AIDS Day theme this year in Hawaiʻi is Fight Stigma; End AIDS, so it is especially appropriate that the award be presented to Cadena, who has become a leader in this important effort.


This year’s World AIDS Day will be commemorated at 6:00 pm on Friday, December 1, 2023, at Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu. The public is welcome to be part of the ceremony, either in-person or via the Zoom platform, to observe World AIDS Day and celebrate the presentation of the Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award.


For more information on this and all statewide World AIDS Day events, go to:



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Media Contact:

Claudette Springer

Information Specialist

Hawaiʻi State Department of Health


[email protected]