Dr. Balaz is a local girl who grew up in Hawai’i. She attended the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and received a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree in Nursing, along with a leadership award for her service as class president. Dr. Balaz received her Masters of Science (MSN) degree in Nursing Education from the University of Oklahoma, graduated with honors and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society. After working in Los Angeles she returned to Hawai’i to obtain her Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. Dr. Balaz describes herself as lifetime learner and is double board certified as a family nurse practitioner.
Dr. Balaz professional interest involves Native Hawaiian Health especially the kupuna, caregivers, and ‘ohana who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Her devotion to her profession stems from her culture which is based on ‘ohana (family) respect for na kupuna (elders), and the notion to serve others before yourself. Her culture, education, and training play a pivotal role in addressing her kuleana to improve the quality of care for the people of Hawai’i. From this stems her perspective to treat the whole person, increase overall wellness, nurture the brain and help patients obtain their ola pono (overall wellness).
Dr. Balaz is also a full-time caregiver to her father who has Alzheimer’s disease, facilitates a support group, and co-facilitates the Savvy Caregiver Program which helps to address the needs of caregivers. Internships have included neuro-geriatrics, primary care, rural health, Native Hawaiian Health, and understanding health care systems by traveling abroad to Argentina. Here at Hawai’i Pacific Neuroscience (HPN), Dr. Balaz heads our Brain Health and Wellness department and is a Sub Clinical Investigator for research conducted here at HPN.
Dr. Balaz’s is an avid traveler as she love’s new experiences. Other travels have included Europe, Asia, South America, and the South Pacific. Her passion for life includes enjoying being in nature and she can be found on hiking adventures, diving, paddle boarding, or simply enjoying the Hawaiian sun at the beach.