Month: April 2015

National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces assistance

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The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partners with Conservation Districts and others to provide technical and some cost-share assistance to private landowners. Our main goal is to protect, enhance, and preserve our soil, water, air, plants, and animals using sound science and expertise. Participation in our programs is voluntary. Please see link below:


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State seal
April 24, 2015                                                                                      15-018
HONOLULU – The Department of Health applauds Governor Ige, members of the legislature, and partners statewide for passing and signing Act 19 (HB 940), which restricts the use of electronic smoking devices, or e-cigarettes, in all locations where smoking is illegal. Act 19 upholds the protections created by Hawaii’s very successful Smoke-Free Workplace and Public Places Law, enacted in 2006. The signing of this historic legislation makes Hawaii the fourth U.S. state to have passed such a bill, after North Dakota, New Jersey, and Utah.
The use of e-cigarettes in existing smoke-free locations has had the potential to expose non-smokers and vulnerable populations, such as children and pregnant women, to aerosolized nicotine and other toxic substances, which could be dangerous to one’s health. Studies have found that there is enormous variability among e-cigarette devices in terms of their design, operation, contents, and emissions of carcinogens, other toxicants, and nicotine.
“These products currently are not regulated and many of the hazardous components in cigarettes are also found in e-cigarette emissions,” said Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Just as we found that smoking was dangerous after many years of unrestricted use, we could be unintentionally harming people as a result of not including e-cigarettes as part of our smoke-free laws.”
In a report issued this month on workplace tobacco policies, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health warns about the secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes. Nicotine is addictive and toxic, and harmful even at low doses. It is an acute irritant, and capable of causing headache and nausea. For pregnant women, nicotine can transfer to and harm the developing fetus.
Smoke-free air laws were designed to protect the public from the dangers of nicotine and other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. In addition to potential health consequences, e-cigarette use undermines compliance with these same smoke-free laws by reversing the progress made in establishing a social norm that smoking is not permitted in public spaces.
“The erosion of Hawaii’s smoke-free legislation is evident when looking at e-cigarette use among our youth,” said Lola Irvin, Manager of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. While tobacco use among Hawaii’s public middle and high school students has declined over the past decade, e-cigarette use has been increasing rapidly. In particular, lifetime e-cigarette use among high school students tripled from 5.1 percent in 2011 to 17.6 percent in 2013, and quadrupled among middle school students, from 1.8 percent to 7.9 percent, during the same time period.
Despite the fact that many e-cigarettes are marketed as smoking cessation devices, data has shown that e-cigarette users often do not quit smoking traditional cigarettes but instead become dual users. E-cigarettes are not approved smoking cessation devices. The Department of Health’s Hawaii Tobacco Quitline can provide approved cessation devices to Hawaii residents who are trying to quit smoking traditional or e-cigarettes. Residents can speak or chat with a quit coach free of charge by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW or by visiting
For more information about tobacco prevention and control in Hawaii, go to:

AMA Legislative Update: Congress passes bi-partisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act

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Dear colleagues,

We have achieved an important victory for our Medicare and TRICARE patients.

By uniting our voices on Capitol Hill, we got Congress to pass the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act—which at last repeals the so-called “sustainable” growth rate (SGR) payment formula that perennially threatened patients’ access to care.

The new legislation removes much of the instability and uncertainty that long has plagued the Medicare payment system so our practices can be here to serve our patients. A huge step in the right direction, the bill also includes several other important improvements for physician practices. (You can read more about these provisions at AMA Wire®.)

Thank you for all your efforts to help make SGR repeal a reality. The united voice of the entire medical community is powerful indeed. We celebrate this achievement for our patients.

The AMA will continue our work to ensure the sustainability of physician practices and clear roadblocks to improving the health of the nation.

Be sure to join us in the journey ahead.


Robert M. Wah, MD
President, American Medical Association

P.S. be sure to stay engaged with the Physicians’ Grassroots Network as we continue to work on important health care issues.

For more information, please visit:

AMA Physicians’ Grassroots Network

Violence Action Center – Momʻs are Precious – Celebrates “The Beauty of it All – Flowers for Mom”

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Violence Action Center

Moms Are Precious … 


I am honoring my mom this Mother’s Day. She died in March, and this creates a startling opportunity for me to reflect on all things mom. What an abiding presence, anchor, teacher, and light she was. I feel her absence every day. I have spoken with friends whose moms have been gone for a long time and they say they still feel her missing….aware on Saturday mornings when they used to speak each week that this Saturday they wouldn’t speak. There has been an outpouring of love and tenderness to lift me up as I let my grief flow. I had a phone call from a friend who said to me, “No matter how old you are, it is always too soon to lose your mom.” There is something about that that rings true for me. I had time to prepare myself, see her declining in health and capacity, and still I wasn’t prepared.  I know it is still very fresh, and I imagine the power of my loss will recede some, but my mom was a dynamic part of my life. I hope I made it explicitly clear to my mom that she was a precious force for me.

I have long felt that, in general, we do not value mothers enough. I think we take mothers for granted. We have high expectations for moms; expectations that are long lasting.  They vary some, but the universal idea is they (we) should be resourceful, independent, loving, generous, available, tireless, talented,  good listeners, unmeddling, patient,  creative, joyful, solid role models, willing to meet everyone’s needs, and assume responsibility for the household.

We strive to be that, and falter a great deal. Is there enough forgiveness for mom’s who are doing the best they can, sometimes under very difficult circumstances, sometimes lacking their own role models and no instruction about how to do the job.
My children are adults and still the responsibility I feel for their well-being is abiding and consuming. I have poured so much into my parenting. And always wonder whether it was enough or is enough. The role of a mother is so different than the role of a father. Even in modern times when more dads are active parents and engaged in the work of taking care of children. The cultural imagery and messaging about dads has evolved. But somehow that hasn’t diminished the role or expectations of moms.

So, this Mother’s Day, if you are lucky enough to have a mom, or know a mom, celebrate her!

The women we work with at the Domestic Violence Action Center who are moms are under enormous stress to get safe, get free, support their children, protect their children, meet the needs of their children, and forge a way forward. We are celebrating them and all the mothers in our community who are making their island families a beauty to behold!

Won’t you join us? The Beauty of It All is dedicated to all the loving moms! Please click on this link or the image above to find out more.

– Nanci

KRHCAI receives $25,000 from County of Hawaii Human Services and Social Services Committee

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HAWAI`I COUNTY COUNCIL’S COMMITTEE on Human Services and Social Services approved distribution of $1.5 million to county nonprofit agencies Tuesday. The committee received 137 eligible applications requesting more than $5.5 million. Last year, 103 organizations requested slightly more, while the budgeted amount was the same.   Ka`u Council member Maile David, who chairs the committee, said, “Although amounts requested by organizations far exceeded recommended award amounts, all applicants expressed their understanding and conveyed their determination to continue providing services to supplement the needs of our island communities and increasing population.
Ka`u nonprofits receiving funds include Boys & Girls Club, $10,000 for Out-of-School Fitness for Life in Pahala; Ho`omalu Ka`u, $3,000 for a native dry-land plants workshop; Ka`u Rural Health Community Association, $25,000 for Ka`u Rural Health Academy; and `O Ka`u Kakou, $20,000 to be divided equally among its Family Fun Fest, Ka`u Coffee Trail Race and `Ohana Day, Ka`u Sanitation Program and Keiki Fishing Tournament at Punalu`u.
Except for Boys & Girls Club, these organizations did not receive grants from this funding source in the past two years.
Other nonprofits with a presence in Ka`u include Bay Clinic, which received $35,000 for its mobile health unit; Big Brothers Big Sisters, $7,000 for one-to-one mentoring; The Food Basket, $20,000 ensuring capacity for East and West Hawai`i; Hawai`i County Economic Opportunity Council, $20,000 for drop-out prevention program and $35,000 for its transportation program; Hawai`i Meth Project, $5,000 for meth prevention youth outreach; and Hui Malama Ola Na `Oiwi, $3,000 for 15th annual Ladies Night Out, $10,000 for its cancer program and $35,000 for Kokua Hali Health transportation.

Maile David, Kaʻu Councilmember


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Effective April 2015

April 13 (placement) & 15 (read)
May 11 (placement) & 13 (read)
June 8 (placement) & 10 (read)
July 13 (placement) & 15 (read)
August 10 (placement) & 12 (read)
Sept. 14 (placement) & 16 (read)
Oct. 12 (placement) & 14 (read)
Nov. 16 (placement) & 18 (read)
Dec. 14 (placement) & 16 (read)

Kau TST give and read will be the 2nd Monday & Wednesday of the month from 9am-10am, except for November because of the Nov. 11 holiday.

Another Successful Conference

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March 27, 2015, KRHCAI held its 18th Annual Ka’u Rural Health Conference. To their pleasure, the attendees or participants outweighed the registration rooster. Guests and exhibitors were welcomed through Pahala Community Center’s front entrance. They were greeted at the entrance with a view of the stage. The beautiful flowers were donated by Wood Dell Farms and the centerpieces were arranged by Sweetie Grace (a former supervisor of the previous McCall Flower Farms).

“I can’t help but notice the stage. Its gorgeous and matches the layout of this conference” K. Waltjen (HMONO, exhibitor)

Through collaboration including partnerships and long hours that volunteers willingly contributed, the 18th Annual Ka’u Rural Health Conference was a sweet success. It comprised of numerous exhibitors: College of Pharmacy, Hiilei Aloha, LLC, Maui Economic Opportunity, Hawaii Health System Corporation, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Unitedhealthcare, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Kahuku Ahapua’a, HMSA, ADRC, University of Hawaii Hawaii Community College-Rural Hawaii Business Program, HiClass, University of Hawaii CCES, Department of Public Health, and the Ka’u Community Asthma Project Program.

“We’re happy with the turn out. Actually, I was ecstatic to see many members attend the conference including those who did not register. This conference wasn’t entirely about the association; it’s a meeting to inform our members and others of the resources available through different opportunities. Overall, success comes in different forms and we achieved our own success today.”

H. Grace (KRHCAI, Secretary)


To capture the moments, we have included several shots throughout the event. More photo’s to come…

Luz & Elisa Yadao (HMSA)
Luz Miguel (KRHCAI’s Director) poses with our keynote speaker Elisa Yadao from HMSA.
JM & TR Award for 2015
Theresa Richardson receives a Certificate of Appreciation of KRHCAI’s Executive Director, Jessie Marques.
DKekoa introduces BOD 2015
Donna Kekoa opens the conference, introducing her Board of Directors (L-R): Donna Kekoa, President; Luz Miguel, Director; Heanu Grace, Secretary; Jody Adams, Vice President; and Lono Grace, Treasurer Missing from photo: Wanda Louis, Director
Luz's Asthma Project 2015
For her dissertation, Luz tirelessly advocates for better asthma management in the communities of Ka’u.
A collaboration of KRHCAI’s Directors and Hawaii Health System Corporation Directors, Interim CEO and Ka’u Hospital Administrator. Pictured from L-R: Heanu Grace, Theresa Richardson, Jody Adams, Lono Grace, Luz Miguel, Wayne Kanemoto, Merilyn Harris, Dennis Nutting, Donna Kekoa, Dr. Camacho, Jessie Marques, and Interim CEO Dan Brinkman