Health & Wellness

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

Posted on Updated on

(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.


Sexual Violence Prevention Webinar

Posted on

Sponsored by:
The Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC)
A program of Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children

Join us for a webinar designed for high school and college students, as well as parents wanting to be informed. Through the viewing and discussion of “SHOTS” a short film developed by the SATC and the Hawai‘i Coalition Against Sexual Assault, we’ll bring this high-risk intersection to life for you. Learn what contributes to the danger, and what can be done to reduce risk.

Click here to register for July 23 from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Click here to register for July 30 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Click here to register for August 6 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Click here to register for August 13 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

COVID-19 PHA Webinar: Clusters & Case Counts: Surviving the Second Wave with Lt. Gov. Josh Green

Posted on Updated on

August 5th Presenter will be Lieutenant Governor, Josh Green, MD.

With the rapid changes regarding COVID-19, it can be difficult to stay up to date with all that is happening in our islands. The Hawai‘i Public Health Institute (HIPHI) will be offering a series of webinars on the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.

After working hard to get our recorded cases down, how concerning are Hawaiiʻs current spikes in COVID-19 cases?

Find out what this means for our state and how we should be responding in our second update from Lieutenant Governor Josh Green.

COVID19 – Ka‘u Community Meeting

Posted on Updated on

13 July 2020

Video Recording of Meeting: (1hr 39m)


DATE:     MONDAY   JULY 13, 2020
                                      (next to Fire Station)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Wearing of Mask and Social Distancing  is required.
To remain in  compliance to Hawaii State Covid 19 Mandates, seating is limited, attendance is based on “First-Come-First-Serve”.

Email or Call the Ka’u Resource & Distance Learning Center at 928-0101 for ZOOM connectivity information.

                COME  JOIN  US  AND “TALK STORY”  WITH: 



Health Insurance Marketplace

Posted on

Health Insurance Marketplace

Welcome to the new

Health insurance is changing in 2014 — so we’ve updated to
help you get ready for the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Our mission is to help you understand your health coverage options so you
can enroll in a plan that meets your and your family’s needs. And if you run
a small business, we’ll help you find a plan that works for you and your employees.
Self employed? We’ve got that covered too.

New features include:

  • The most important health insurance info at your fingertips — just answer a few fast questions and we’ll provide you with a personalized list of coverage options, content you’ll want to read, and a checklist to help you get ready
  • An easy-to-understand question and answer format, with content based on the most common questions we hear
  • A simpler site structure and powerful search features that make it easy to find what you’re looking for
  • A seamless experience on your mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer
When open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013, you’ll be able to
apply, compare plans, and enroll. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014

New Campaign Launched to Educate Americans about Health Insurance Marketplace

Posted on

New Campaign Launched to Educate Americans about Health Insurance Marketplace
The Obama administration has launched a new educational campaign about the Health Insurance Marketplace. The new tools will help Americans understand their choices and select the coverage that best suits their health insurance needs when open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013. On the recently updated website, you can compare plans and get information about the Marketplace in your state. Customer service representatives are also available toll-free at 1-800-318-2596. People with hearing and/or speech disabilities may call using TTY/TDD technology at 1-855-889-4325.
Have health insurance questions? Answer a few quick questions.

Nine Days of Free Health Care Coming to Ka’ū in June

Posted on Updated on

Nine Days of Free Health Care Coming to Ka’ū in June

An innovative training program by the U.S. Department of Defense will bring 75 military reservists to Ka‘ū June 4-12 to provide free medical care in clinics open to the public.Tropic Care 2013 will run two clinics, at Ka‘ū High & Pāhala Elementary School and the Ocean View Community Center. Clinics will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., closing early at 12 p.m. on the final day, June 12.

Health care services that will be provided free of charge include physical exams, dentistry, optometry (exams and glasses), medication review and provision of some medication, and nutrition education. Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis and are advised that there may be long wait times.

“This is an opportunity to bring needed medical, dental and vision services to the district of Ka‘ū,” said Aaron Ueno, Hawai‘i District Health Officer with the state Department of Health. “These services are open to the entire island and we are hoping to do this again in the future with community support.”

Tropic Care 2013 is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and the state Hawai‘i District Health Office, supported by the County of Hawai‘i and the Ka‘ū Rural Health Community Association. It is an exercise of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training program, which challenges reservists to plan and implement rapid mobilizations to distant and unfamiliar areas.

“We thank the Department of Defense and all the reservists for coming to Hawai‘i Island and reaching out to our residents,” said Karen Teshima, Executive Assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi. “This innovative program will benefit everyone involved, and will further our goal of keeping our community safe and healthy.”

Other community partners collaborating to bring this service to Ka‘ū are: the Hawai‘i Department of Education, Ocean View Family Health Center, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi, Bay Clinic, Hawai‘i Island Cardiovascular, Hawai‘i Island Community Lung Assessment Science Studies, Ocean View Community Association, Kona Community Hospital, Hawai‘i Police Department, Hawai‘i National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy, Ka‘ū Hospital, Pacific Quest, and the Veteran’s Administration.

For more information on Tropic Care 2013 or to request special assistance or an auxiliary aid seven days prior to the event, call (808) 974-6035 or email Martha Yamada of the Public Health Nursing Section at

To view the Hawaii County link to this information, please click here.

Domestic Violence 101: A 25-Hour Domestic Violence Training in Kona

Posted on

Kona 25 hour training 2013

Training Information

Domestic Violence 101: A 25-Hour Domestic Violence Training
Kona – May 30,31 and June 6,7
Each Day: 8 am – 4 pm

Location Information:
Queen Lili’uokalnai Children’s Center

Parking Information: TBA. HSCADV does not reimburse for the cost of parking.

HSCADV recommends that all staff that have any level of contact with victims of domestic violence complete this training for the protection of the victim’s confidentiality. Hawaii Revised Statute 06262-0001-505.5 provides client/counselor privilege to individuals who:
1) work for a domestic violence agency,
2) are supervised by a domestic violence supervisor, and
3) have completed a 25 hour domestic violence training.

This training is a four-day interactive experience featuring information that will create a foundation to understand the issue of domestic violence. Each of the days includes topic-specific modules. Participants may register for individual days, up to all four days of training; however, the first day of training requires attendance as it covers the dynamics of domestic violence and is the foundation for the following days of training. Please not that registration for each day denotes commitment to attend the entire day.

Day 1: April 25 (6.25 hours of training)
• Introduction
• Dynamics
• Privilege & Oppression
• Feminism
Day 2: April 26 (6.25 hours of training)
• Batterers and System Response to Batterers
• Child Development & Exposure to DV
• DV and Child Sex Abuse
• Child Abuse/Neglect in the context of DV
Day 3: May 2 (6.25 hours of training)
• Survivors of DV
• DV and the Law
Day 4: May 3(6.25 hours of training)
• Impact of Systems on Survivors
• Interventions
• Resources

Training Fees: Flat fee per person (regardless of # of days of training): $25 for member program staff, $100 for non-member programs/general public (scholarships are available for half price for non-members if cost is an issue). One hour break for lunch is provided each day. Lunch, snacks & drinks are on your own and can be purchased at any number of places in the area.

Participants are required to maintain their documentation of completion as HSCADV does not keep attendance records. All participants who complete this training will receive a comprehensive resource manual that includes information on the above topics and other related information and a certificate for each day of attendance.

Registration can be done on the link provided below: