Richard Creagan, MD, is the Democratic candidate running in District 5, which covers the area on Hawaii Island extending from Kailua-Kona to Naalehu. Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed him to complete the legislative term after Rep. Denny Coffman resigned in January 2014 to take care of his daughter who is battling cancer on the Mainland.
Dr. Creagan has served in the emergency department of Kona Community Hospital for the past 23 years and currently is Vice Chief of Staff.
He also served as a Bioterrorism Preparedness Epidemiologist for the state Department of Health where he helped investigate and monitor disease outbreaks.
He also helped found and operate the Hualalai Urgent Care clinic, and is Vice President of Kiolakaa Mountain Farms, which he founded with his wife, Marilyn, in 1994.
He first came to Hawaii in 1966 while training for the Peace Corps on Molokai in preparation for a two-year stint as a health care worker in the Marshall Islands. He speaks fluent Marshallese.
Creagan graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and then received a Medical Degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He returned to school and earned a Certificate in Plant Tissue Culture in 2005 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2009 from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Before his medical career, Creagan was a student and Human Genetics Researcher at Yale University and the University of Connecticut Medical Center. He later helped found and run San Francisco-based AGRI, a firm which focused on animal vaccines and human blood products. The start-up company was eventually bought after five years, which led to his move to Hawaii.
As an educator, Creagan assisted in teaching junior scientists at Yale and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer, seventh and eighth grade Math and Science in Pittsburgh, and has tutored students in English at Naalehu Elementary School.