Month: September 2020

Aloha Connects Innovation (ACI)

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From: Pono Shim <>
Date: September 20, 2020 at 10:30:10 AM HST

Aloha mai kakou,  

For the past 3 months we (Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, skilled consultants, and program designer Omar Sultan) have been working on a program to work with the State of Hawaii to use Cares Act Funding to assist displaced workers or individuals who have been significantly affected financially by COVID 19. This past week with the signing of the contract the Governor issued the Press Release with the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism.  

The State’s program funding will help 350 participants to be placed in Host Companies who have the ability and need to host, train, and support a couple of participants in their organizations thru a paid internship thru December 15th. We know that we cannot help the thousands of individuals suffering thru the pandemic and that there are more businesses that would like to participate then we can onboard. However, we strongly recommend and hope that you will register as either a “Participant” or “Host Company” (if you can support a couple of interns and are aligned with the objectives/compliance of the program).  

Please visit and click on Aloha Connects Innovation “learn more” tab. When you enter the page please select either Participant or Host Company based on your interest and review the information. When you get to the bottom of the page you can select “learn more” to be a Participant (you can register there) or if you’re desiring to be a Host Company you can select “register”. We should be following up with you within the week.  

To reiterate we know we cannot assist all (including companies who would like to Host participants) in being placed in ACI but please don’t be discouraged. If more funding is released thru Congress and subsequently our local Government we believe that we have designed infrastructure for more funding to be invested to help more people discover new career opportunities and skills for their future thru ACI.  

To that point we would love the opportunity to train/prepare displaced workers to position themselves for these types of opportunities regardless if they get placed or not. In a partnership with Microsoft and my Higher Skills Academy training we have opened up training that we begin every 2 weeks for free. We also know that thru these trainings we are opening relationships with ourselves with the hope that these relationships can be helpful to your future. If this is of value to you please register here:

Friday, October 2, 2020 10:00 AM Hawaii – Higher Skills Academy

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.   Another free training (thru the end of the 2020 year) you can immediately register thru the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation website for over 3800 courses thru the Coursera online learning platform.  

If the menu options are too vast and you don’t know where to begin or choose and would like assistance in considering career opportunities and what pathway you might consider we are hosting a free “Choosing a Path” webinar on September 28 at noon please register here:

Monday, September 28, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Hawaii –
“Choosing a Path” Webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Please feel free to share this message with others.  

Mahalo nui loa,
Pono Shim Oahu Economic Development Board

 Additional Higher Skills Academy registration dates will be posted on the OEDB websiteat as the information becomes available.

Hands-on telemedicine; Hope Services Street Medicine program assists homeless with health care during pandemic

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(from Hawaii Tribune, Saturday, September 5, 2020, 12:05 a.m.)

At every level of society, people experience barriers to accessing health care.

For people experiencing homelessness, each barrier is amplified by the daily struggle to survive. Having to make choices between going to the doctor or risking their possessions being stolen, spending money on food or medicine or simply having lost faith in health care because of previous negative experiences, these challenges seem insurmountable.

According to the American Medical Association, “marginalized and minoritized patients have and will suffer disproportionately during the COVID-19 crisis due to the inequities in society perpetuated by systematic practices.”

Telemedicine has proven to be a viable, cost-effective solution that improves access to health care. And telemedicine use has skyrocketed during the pandemic.

Prior to COVID-19, there were an average of 13,000 Medicare beneficiaries receiving telemedicine per month. To date, more than 10 million Medicare beneficiaries have received telemedicine during this public health emergency.

Hope Services Hawaii’s Street Medicine was developed in May 2019 with the objective of reducing inequities and barriers.

Each Wednesday night, a team of dedicated active and retired health care professionals canvass the streets, encampments and emergency shelters of Hilo to connect with people.

Outreach specialists, registered nurses, medical doctors, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and paramedics provide emergency nutrition, hygiene, first-aid kits, masks, hand sanitizer and health care education. They clean and bandage festering wounds, remove sutures, provide comprehensive medical assessments, conduct COVID-19 screening and testing, schedule medical appointments and transportation, facilitate emergency case management, facilitate entry to detox and rehab and assist in emergency shelter placement.

When a medical doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant is present, prescriptions are called in, picked up, paid for and delivered to the patient — sometimes all in the course of an hour.

On the nights when the team is without one of those providers, they’ve used telemedicine, and realized the world of potential it offers to those on the street.

In partnership with Premier Medical Group, the team can connect with a physician on a smartphone and facilitate a patient assessment right there on the street. The patient can benefit from this by having a prescription called in, receiving a specialty referral, obtaining a note to their primary doctor or scheduling a face-to-face follow-up visit by the telemedicine physician the next day.

During a time when the homeless face monumental barriers, street telemedicine is an innovative technological solution helping address health disparities exacerbated by the pandemic.

To date, the team has been on 67 missions, seen more than 400 patients and helped avoid countless emergency room visits by treating preventable maladies before they become emergencies.

Unfortunately, the team does not have the funding or manpower to deliver care beyond Wednesday nights, but members hope these encounters are the first step toward nurturing meaningful relationships between the health care and houseless communities.

The Street Medicine team is excited about the power of telemedicine and is working with Community First and the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center in pursuit of funding for dedicated telehealth access points for the Big Island’s homeless.

When programs such as these are funded, barriers become surmountable, inequities become less stark and patients become healthier.

The Street Medicine program is made up of Hope Services staff and community volunteers and works under the medical direction of Premier Medical Group, with support from Bay Clinic, Clinical Labs of Hawaii and HMSA.