Month: June 2012
The Connector’s Permanent Board
Confirmed by the Hawai‘i State Senate, the Hawai‘i Health Connector’s permanent board
will be seated on July 1, 2012. Board members are:
We are pleased to welcome new staff to the Connector as we build our health insurance exchange. The Connector brings a diverse group of professionals together with the confidence, intelligence and courage needed to operate Hawai‘i’s Health Insurance Exchange. We have recently filled the positions of our chief operations officer, director of fiscal services and accounting, grants compliance manager, consumer relations manager and project coordinators.
Kevin Hause—Kevin has accepted the position of chief operations officer for the Connector. Before joining the Connector team Kevin was the vice president for a management-consulting firm where he worked globally on strategic marketing and product optimization. He is widely noted as an expert in leveraging emerging technologies for consumer media and commerce and has been quoted for publications by The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Investor’s Business Daily and Time Magazine. Kevin holds his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Vanderbilt University and his Masters in Business Administration from Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt.
Resty J. Cruz–Resty has accepted the position of director of fiscal services and accounting for the Connector. He comes to us with more than 30 years of experience as a director of finance and financial controller opening international hotels. His most recent post was in Hilton’s European headquarters in England as a regional finance controller, where he oversaw internal audits of hotels throughout Europe. His experience in training, developing, and managing global accounting departments and teams is most welcome as he establishes the accounting department and procedures for the Connector. Resty earned his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Guam and over the years has attended Cornell University’s Professional Development Programs.
Kathy Mitchell–Kathy has accepted the position of the grants compliance manager for the Connector. She has spent the last 19 years working with the State as a planning and contract specialist and is well versed in state procurement laws and administrative rules. Kathy is a graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Leaving state government and joining the connector is an exciting move for her. She explained, “The Connector is ground breaking and everyone [staff] are meeting for the first time to meet the aggressive timelines set forth in the Affordable Care Act.”
Dorene S. Davey–Dorene has accepted the position of policy analyst for the Connector. She previously worked in the legal field as a paralegal for a locally owned and operated law firm specializing in defense litigation. Most recently she worked with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as a research specialist for the Insurance Division. She has also worked as an IT consultant and was assigned to the USS Missouri. Dorene has a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in pre-law from the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa, along with a Masters of Science in Information Systems and a Certificate in Telecommunications Security from Hawai‘i Pacific University.
Roshan F. Rodriguez–Roshan has accepted the position of project coordinator for the Connector. She is responsible for managing aspects of the Connector’s establishment process to ensure that deadlines are met and final work products reflect all policies. Prior to joining the Connector, Roshan was a client relations director with a Washington, D.C. consulting firm providing services to Trinidad and Tobago. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Spanish from George Mason University. She is currently working on her Executive Master of Business Administration.
Emerald Kapi‘olani Adams—Emerald has accepted the position of the project coordinator for the Connector. She will be working closely with Roshan and Dorene to ensure our project deliverables are thoroughly researched and completed to meet our rigorous timeline requirements. She joins the team with a background in research having worked for several years in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. Most recently, she provided research support on native Hawaiian well-being and demography at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Kamehameha Schools. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Scripps College in Claremont, California and a Master of Arts in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kanoelehua K. L. Renaud–Kanoelehua has accepted the position of consumer relations specialist for the Connector. She previously worked with the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE), the East-West Center’s President’s Office and the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau. She has a strong background in working with Native Hawaiian communities, collaborative partnerships and relationship building. She also brings her experience with the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Native Hawaiian Education Council. Kanoelehua graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies and has attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Professional Development Programs.
The Connector has moved into our new office at 201 Merchant Street, Suite 1810 Honolulu, HI 96813. We feel fortunate to have found space that is centrally located and is easily accessible to our consumer stakeholders. Although we are still working with our card tables while we await furniture and equipment, we are enjoying the extra room.
Sneak peak: The vision for our office layout is one that facilitates the cross-functional collaboration required by our team. Our new home provides conference spaces available for committee meetings and future Connector related events.
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all of the staff at the Hawai‘i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs for being such gracious hosts during the early start-up of the Connector and throughout our transition into our new offices.
More States Work to Implement Health Care Law
Six more states are moving ahead with plans to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges to comply with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sibelius announced in May that Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington will receive more than $181 million in federal grants to help develop their state’s Insurance Exchange.
The Affordable Care Act stipulates that by January 1, 2014, all states must operate Insurance Exchanges like Hawai‘i’s Health Care Connector to help consumers and small businesses choose a private health insurance plan at competitive prices. To date, 34 states and the District of Columbia have received Establishment grants to fund their progress toward building Exchanges.
New Federal Guidance for States
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has assigned the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) to oversee state-based Health Insurance Exchanges. The CCIIO recently released an Exchange Blueprint to provide states with guidance to set up health exchanges that offer a wide range of competitively priced private health insurance options.
States can choose from three flexible Exchange models with varying degrees of federal involvement in operations. Due to the unique features of Hawai‘i’s Prepaid Health Care Act, our state Legislature determined that Hawai‘i’s health insurance exchange should be developed locally. The Connector will operate under the State-based Exchange model with minimal federal involvement, ensuring that the Connector is “of Hawai‘i and for Hawai‘i.”
To receive HHS Approval or Conditional Approval, as well as reinsurance and risk adjustment programs, each state must complete and submit an Exchange Blueprint that documents how its Exchange meets all legal and operational requirements by January 1, 2013.
Hawai‘i First State to Make Health Declaration
On June 13, 2012 Governor Neil Abercrombie has issued a “declaration letter” to the U.S. Health and Human Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIOO) verifying that Hawai‘i is establishing a state-certified health insurance exchange, the Hawai‛i Health Connector.
In late May 2012, CCIIO issued a call for states to declare their intentions for the exchanges and how they will be structured. Hawai‘i is the first state in the nation to officially declare its intent, which is to develop a State-Based Insurance Exchange. Although some states are opting for a greater degree of federal facilitation and control of their exchanges, the Connector’s executive director Coral Andrews explained, “We’re very focused on establishing the exchange as State-Based, ensuring that the Connector is of Hawai‘i and for Hawai‘i.”
“Hawai‘i has already received two grants from the federal government to assist with planning and set up of the Connector,” stated State Healthcare Transformation Coordinator Beth Giesting. “The Hawai‘i Health Connector, a nonprofit partner with the state, will be crucial in moving Hawai‘i toward universal coverage, providing consumers clear, understandable information, and ensuring that all choices offer high quality care.”
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Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act in major victory for public health
This morning, in 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. The majority opinion was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and was joined by Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. The ruling represents a major victory for public health advocates who worked tirelessly over the past two years in support of the law.
“Today’s historic ruling by the nation’s highest court marks a significant milestone in our national efforts to improve the delivery and financing of health services in the U.S. and to promote health and wellness rather than disease treatment,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA in a statement released by the Association following the court’s decision.
On Thursday, July 5, at 3 p.m. ET, APHA and other health partners will sponsor a webinar with leading health legal experts to discuss the implications of the court’s decision.
For background on key provisions in the ACA, including the Prevention and Public Health Fund, visit APHA’s health reform website. For an overview of the law as well as state-specific fact sheets on how your state is benefiting from the ACA, visit the Healthcare.gov website.
APHA releases prevention fund brief
In June, APHA’s Center for Public Health Policy released a new issue brief: The Prevention and Public Health Fund: A Critical Investment in our Nation’s Physical and Fiscal Health.
Created by the ACA, the Prevention and Public Health Fund is an investment in activities that can help communities improve health outcomes and help the U.S. decrease health care costs. The issue brief summarizes the need for and impact of prevention and public health funding, reviews the design and intentions of the Fund, and provides an update on how the Fund has been implemented and allocated to date.
Recipe For Volunteering
By Naznin Dhanani
2 cups of listening
1 teaspoon of trust
1 1/2 cups of kindness
1 teaspoon of honesty
2 cups of happiness
1 cup of responsibility
1 cup of patience & laughter
1 tablespoon of communication
1 tablespoon of compromise
1 dash of commitment
2 teaspoons of give and take
2 dashes of forgiveness
2 tablespoons of appreciation of each other
3/4 cup of tolerance
Combine listening, trust and kindness. mix well. Add communication, honesty and compromise. Blend. Cream happiness, commitment and responsibility until light and fluffy. Sift together patience, give and take laughter. Fold together gently. Add dashes of forgiveness, to taste. Top with appreciation and tolerance.
Remembering the essence of volunteering.
~reprinted from Hospice of Hilo’s newsletter April, 2010
Continuing Education & Training
July, August, September, 2012
Schedule of Classes
Get the Training to Become a Better Manager!
Many more classes, click on the link above to download the schedule or visit our website at
July is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to spread the word about sun, fun and UV safety to your family and to your community. For myself, as a kid, summer meant being the first ones on the beach and the last ones to leave. Back in the day, we hardly used any kind of protection from the sun, and expected to be going to bed that night with sunburns, but it was always worth it, for a few precious hours of perfect freedom in the ocean. Now, with the rise of skin cancer rates rising in young adults, I look back on those days and think, “If I only knew then, what I know now!” I sometimes look out the window on a cloudless blue day, and imagine packing a picnic lunch to spend a day at the beach , to recapture those carefree days, relaxing on the sand and soaking up some rays. Fortunately, the “responsible” adult in me, also causes me to take a step back and think: “safety first.”
The sun emits 3 types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
UVA rays make up the majority of our sun exposure and are responsible for causing premature skin aging and wrinkling (bad for us, great for the anti-aging cosmetics industry!) and also contribute to skin cancer.
UVB rays are the cause of many skin cancers. They also cause sunburns, cataracts and damage our immune system.
Last, but certainly not least, UVC rays are the most dangerous, but fortunately, these rays are blocked by the ozone layer and do not reach earth.
Not all sun exposure is dangerous, however. In fact, some sun is actually necessary. The sun is our primary source of Vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. Here are a few ways to protect yourself and your keiki from the sun’s rays:
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply every 2 hours when working or playing outdoors.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays.
- Avoid sun exposure during the hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest- between 10a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand. Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Do not burn. Sunburns significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
- Seek shade.
- Cover up by wearing a hat and clothes that are tightly woven, loose fitting and full-length.
Have a safe and fun summer!
Online Support Groups
CancerCare’s online support groups connect people coping with cancer with others who are facing a similar situation. All online support groups are led by professional oncology social workers and are password-protected.
We offer over 20 online support groups, including a brain tumor caregiver support group and Healing with Words, a therapeutic writing group for people currently in treatment or who have completed treatment within the last two years.
Oncology Social Worker of the Year Award
CancerCare’s Director of Education and Training, Carolyn Messner, DSW, has been named Oncology Social Worker of the Year by the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW).
For four decades, Carolyn has presented and published on the emotional and practical impact of cancer on patients, caregivers, and families. Among Carolyn’s many roles, she is an instructor at Hunter College, and serves as longtime director of CancerCare’s Connect Education Workshops, our one-hour telephone and online workshops featuring the world’s leading cancer experts, who present on a wide-range of cancer-related topics. Past workshops can be listened to over the telephone at any time, and are also available as podcasts.
We’ve created two new fact sheets that provide helpful information about caring for a loved one with cancer. Read our fact sheets online, “Coping with the Stress of Caregiving” and “Managing the Practical Concerns of Your Loved One’s Diagnosis,” or order free copies today.
Are you caring for a loved one with cancer in the New York City area? CancerCare will host a free workshop for caregivers at our national office on Monday, June 25 at 5:30 p.m.
CancerCare’s Annual Spring Gala honors individuals and corporations that support our mission to help people coping with cancer. This year, we honor actress and longtime CancerCare advocate S. Epatha Merkerson, best known for her portrayal of Lt. Anita Van Buren on NBC’s long-running drama series, Law & Order. Oscar-winning actress and producer Whoopi Goldberg will present the Help & Hope Award to Merkerson.
Our Gala will take place June 14 at The Mandarin Oriental in New York City. To learn more, visit www.cancercare.org/gala.
For a complete list of upcoming events, visit www.cancercare.org/events.
Our free Connect Education Workshops give you the latest cancer information straight from leading experts. You can listen in live by telephone or online and will have a chance to ask the experts your own questions.
Register for these workshops online, or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).
Missed a Connect Workshop? Listen to past workshops as podcasts through the CancerCare website.
And as always, you can help us continue our free, professional support services to anyone facing cancer by making a donation today.
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