Psychiatrist & Founder,
McKenna Recovery Center
Board of Directors, Wilcox Hospital
Past President, Hawai’i Medical Association
Past President, Hawai’i Psychiatric Medical Association
Past President, Hawai’i Society of Addiction Medicine Medical Association
Past President, Kaua’i County
Medical Association
Clinical Professor, University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine

Gerald McKenna, MD is a board member of the Physicians Foundation and one of the early members of the Foundation. He currently serves on the Research, Grants and Physician Leadership committees, was the chair of the Scope of Practice Task Force and a member of the Medical Cost Drivers Task Force.

Throughout his career, Dr. McKenna has worked in various renowned medical facilities that are components of Harvard Medical School and faculty. These include the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, the Cambridge Hospital and formerly, Boston City Hospital. He was also the Chief of Psychiatry at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Brentwood, in Los Angeles. Dr. McKenna has worked as a psychiatrist and addictionist for the past 45 years.  He has served in a number of administrative positions within Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry.

He is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. He is currently the CEO and Medical Director of his private practice in Addiction Medicine, McKenna Recovery Center. This program services residents of Kaua’i, O’ahu, and the Big Island of Hawai’i. He founded Ke Ala Pono Kauai in 1989, followed by Ke Ala Pono Hilo in 1999, and the Honolulu Professionals Program in 2004.

Dr. McKenna is a graduate of Marist College in NY and has received its Distinguished Alumnus Award. He earned his medical degree from the State University of New York: Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

He served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War as the Chief of Psychiatry and Mental Health Services for the Air Force in Thailand, and later as a consultant to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force at the Pentagon and a member of the Drug Abuse Education Team.

He completed a residency in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. McKenna has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School, and UCLA School of Medicine.



Recent Sessions at Neurovations Events

2018 Kaua’i Pain Conference


Select Publications

  • McKenna, G. J. (1982). Methadone and opiate drugs: Psychotropic effect and self‐medication. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences398(1), 44-55.