HONOLULU (AP) — 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."