Month: October 2014

A Refresher in Academics

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E-Cigarettes now off limits at all State Government buildings

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Oct. 13, 2014                                                                                     14-041

HONOLULU – Electronic cigarettes, also known as electronic smoking devices or e-cigarettes, are now prohibited in all state government buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS). The new policy went into effect this month and is part of the State of Hawaii’s commitment to keep workplaces and public locations smoke-free. The policy sets the tone for private sector employers and others in the community to follow.

“Based on various tests, vapors or aerosols emitted from e-cigarettes contain nicotine and other carcinogens and toxic chemicals that are just as harmful as those in secondhand smoke of regular combustible cigarettes,” said Linda Rosen, director of the Hawaii Department of Health. “It’s important that consumers be aware that e-cigarettes are not healthier than regular cigarettes, for users or those surrounding them.”

The policy is based on the Hawaii Smoke-Free Workplace and Public Places Law, which went into effect nearly eight years ago in November 2006.  The law prohibits smoking tobacco products in places open to the public and places of employment.

Under the state’s newly issued policy, e-cigarettes are prohibited from use in any enclosed or partially enclosed area such as offices, lobbies, lanai, interior courtyards, patios, covered walkways, and 20 feet from entrances, exits, windows that can be opened and ventilation intakes that serve enclosed or partially enclosed area. This mirrors the current law for regular cigarettes.

“We anticipate the smoke-free zones of other employers will also begin to include e-cigarettes to protect their employees, customers and others in the public,” Rosen said.
For additional information on the laws and policies for a smoke free environment visit
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Janice Okubo
Communications Office
Phone:  (808) 586-4445

“Money isn’t the Motive” – Applied Learning student Lono Grace shares

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Student Lono Grace helping at the Kaʻu Licensed Practical Nursing lab. Picture provided by Luzviminda Miguel.

Money isn’t the Motive

October 8, 2014

Written by Amber Manini

In the art of nursing you learn all of the organs, body parts, and how each function working together to keep us alive. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to work in the health field. For some of us it is for the money whereas for others it is for the eagerness to help those around us. Throughout our schooling on our way to becoming medical professionals, students have the opportunity to learn not only from their teachers but, from their peers and, through the community around them. Through these experiences students will one day become the doctors and nurses that take care of us when we can’t take care of ourselves.

Hawaii Community College Licensed Practical Nursing student, Lono Grace, is a part of the Kaʻu Cohort of student nurses. Grace, a resident of the rural Kaʻu community sees first hand the effects of the geographically isolated and medically underserved population. Lono is a student who volunteers with both the Kaʻu Rural Health Community Association as well as Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi in Naʻalehu. She currently assists with the following; In the Kaʻu Rural Health Community Association, Board of Director, Treasurer, Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Member of the Special Events Committee, and Member of the Outreach Promotional Volunteer group. Grace is a tutor for the Kaʻu Rural Health Academy and the Co-Chair for the Better Choices, Better Health Support Group.

Student Lono Grace helping at the Kaʻu Licensed Practical Nursing lab. Picture provided by Luzviminda Miguel.

“I took the initiative to promote HawCC PN program in Ka’u to members in my community to give them a positive outlook on life.  When the Ka’u Sugar Plantation closed, many people lost their jobs and faced financial hardship.  The only jobs readily available in the community are picking macadamia nuts, coffee or ranching.  I will continue to promote the numerous programs available through Ka’u Rural Health Community Association, Inc. to the people in the community to give them the opportunity to make a difference in their lives and work smarter, not harder.  I feel honored and privileged in assisting the people in the community to go back to school, further their education and create a better life,” said Grace.

Grace says she enrolled herself into the Hawaii Community College Practical Nursing Program to help the Kaʻu community as well as better herself. Upon her completion of the Hawaii Community College Practical Nursing Program she plans to continue her education here at UH Hilo achieving her Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree. As a student, Grace sees volunteering as a way to give back to her community that had once given to her. “I want the people in my community to receive the same education and quality of care that is afforded to more prominent communities.  I chose to further my education and become a licensed practical nurse to benefit my community and other communities,” said Grace.

Grace is not only the type of student that has an impact on the community and her peers around her but her positive outlook also has affected her instructors as well. “She is very helpful to others. She just helps or lends a hand in any way she can, and I do not have to ask her,” said Luzviminda Miguel one of Grace’s professors. “I believe in giving back to the community and sharing the knowledge and talent that we all have. If talent and knowledge are not shared to help others or used to put a smile on someone’s face; then, they don’t mean anything and they are wasted. Giving your time to others when you can is a noble thing to do. The good actions we have can come full circle and when you need it, it will be there,” said Miguel.

The art of nursing is not one that can simply be learned from a text book. It takes dedication, time and heart. Through volunteering experiences such as the ones Grace takes part in, students are able to help the community around them while obtaining valuable first hand experience in their job field of interest. Let the eagerness and the love of helping others overpower any material object.



KRHCAI’s pre-regis fee for LANTERN KITS CLOSED

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The KRHCAI’s Pre-registration for 25 lantern kits are closed.  Registration for the Lantern Ceremony is still open until 11 -14 -14


NOTE:  A ll lanterns are property of KRHCAI and will be collected at the end of the launching ceremony.



Support AARP requests help to tell Congress to PROTECT Social Security and Medicare

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Social Security and Medicare are not safe from harmful cuts.

It seems crazy, but even though millions of Americans count on these programs each year, some in Congress still don’t see the harm in cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits. With special interests ramping up their spending and Election Day just around the corner, new budget proposals and potentially more back-room deals are still on the table — so Congress needs to know we’re counting on them to protect the benefits we’ve earned.

I just took action with AARP to tell Congress to protect Medicare and Social Security. It just takes a second to add your voice too:

Thanks and pass it on!

Dept. of Health Media Release – Stop Flu at school parental consent forms due 10/16/14

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State seal





For Immediate Release: October 1, 2014                                                14-037


HONOLULU – Parents choosing to have their children vaccinated at school through the Hawaii Department of Health’s Stop Flu at School program are urged to act quickly this year. Vaccination consent forms, both online and in print, are currently available and are due back to schools on October 16.  Students must have their completed and signed consent forms returned to their school by the deadline in order to receive a flu vaccination at their school’s clinic.

“Our school-based flu vaccination clinics offer a convenient option for parents of students from kindergarten through 8th grade statewide,” said Health Director Linda Rosen.  “More than 72,000 students and school faculty were vaccinated last year, helping to prevent the spread of illness among classmates, families, and communities.  This reduces lost school and work days, saves medical costs, and ultimately saves lives.”

This year’s clinics will be held from November through December.  The Department of Health is collaborating with school administrators, health care providers, pediatric associations, health insurers, and federal partners to continue this important program.

This year, Hawaii Association of Healthcare Plans (HAHP) members agreed to subsidize some of the cost for two program years.  HAHP members’ contribution for the 2014-2015 school year is $815,000 of the total program cost of $1.7 million.  “Our warmest mahalo to HAHP for ensuring that Hawaii’s keiki are able to be vaccinated at school,” said Dr. Sarah Park, State Epidemiologist.  “Their funding to continue this program will help limit the spread of disease among families, the elderly—the whole community.”

Through the Stop Flu at School program, more than 65,000 elementary and middle school children in more than 300 public, private and charter schools statewide are vaccinated against flu each year, contributing to Hawaii having one of the highest flu vaccination coverage rates in the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Information packets and vaccination consent forms are distributed to parents through participating schools. Parents may choose to complete the consent form online at

For more information about Stop Flu at School, visit  Parents needing assistance completing the consent forms, including those needing assistance in other languages, may call Aloha United Way’s information and referral service at 2-1-1.

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Mark Berthold

Disease Outbreak Control Division

Phone: (808) 587-6596


Bob Herkes remembered. A hui hou, Bob

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The following link is being shared in remembrance of Bob Herkes.