Unfortunately, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi had to close our Primary Care Clinic on March 8, 2014. This was an extremely hard decision for our Board of Directors and agency leadership to make. For the past 6 years we have struggled to keep our clinic running. As the climate in our government changes and our nation is being hit with federal cutbacks, HMONO Board and leadership constantly worry about our federal funding and the need to keep all of our services going island-wide.
Before making this tough decision we considered many, many factors including:
- On-going staffing problems – we have constantly struggled to find a stable doctor for our clinic so we have instead used Nurse Practitioners as our providers; and while our Nurse Practitioners are EXCELLENT!, they cannot always provide the level of care that our patients need; also that means we have to have additional support staff (such as a full-time referrals clerk) to make sure our patients’ needs are met
- The continuous rising costs of primary care services and the low reimbursement rate we get
- our clinic is NOT a Community Health Center so we don’t get the government benefits that they get (such as we have to pay for malpractice insurance and they don’t)
- insurance companies don’t reimburse Nurse Practitioners as much as Medical Doctors, which means we get less income to keep the clinic going
- we accept all insurances, including uninsured, so most of our patients have Medicare and Medicaid which have a very low reimbursement rate, and again means we get less income to keep the clinic going (our patient volume is 78% Medicare and Medicaid, and 2% of our patients are uninsured)
- The requirement by our funders to focus our energy and resources on our federal mandates of health education, health promotion, and outreach services – the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act tells us what services we have to provide, and those requirements do not include Primary Care, but do include services such as outreach and education.
These are some of the biggest reasons we had to make this hard decision. And although our clinic will be closing, all of HMONO’s Health Promotion Services (such as Diabetes Education and Outreach) are staying the same!
If you have more questions please call our Executive Director, Michelle, at 969-9220.
Ladies’ Night Out 2013
Ladies’ Night Out 2013 was a HUGE success! Mahalo nui loa to all our partners, co-sponsors, providers, and guests!
On September 27, 2013 the Hilo Civic (Afook-Chinen Auditorium) was alive! Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi sponsored our 13th annual women’s health and wellness event: Ladies’ Night Out 2013. The smiles that radiated from our 486 guests during LNO 2013 spoke volumes as they moved from providers giving wonderful hands-on pampering, to receiving amazing prizes, to gathering priceless health information. Leaders, providers, transporters, mediators, healers, chefs, and cheerleaders are just a few of the titles given to our women of today. A haircut or a beautiful manicure, which many of us take for granted throughout the year, is considered pampering for many of our clients with health issues and hardships in their life.
We are so very grateful to all the support we had to make this event a success! We couldn’t have done it without our event partners: Hilo Medical Center, Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, Kamehameha Schools, and Men of Pa‘a. We couldn’t have done it without our co-sponsors: Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women, Hawai‘i County Committee on the Status of Women, East Hawai‘i Local Area Consortia, HMSA, and Aloha Care. And we certainly couldn’t have done it without the 165 “pampering services” providers and the 80 volunteers who selflessly gave of their time and amazing talents!
Mahalo nui loa to all who helped make Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi Ladies’ Night Out 2013 a truly incredible event!
Michelle M. Hiraishi
Executive Director, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi
Here are a few Pictures from our Ladies Night Out Event 2013!
Ladies Night Out 2013 Hair Cut & Styling
Foot Massages Creative Arts & Crafts
Our Event Volunteers Polishing Nails
Click the link before to see this years participating organizations!
There’s just certain things that we can talk about amongst each other that we can’t talk about in the presence of men,” said Mehanaokalā Hind, one of the coordinators of the ʻAha Wahine.
Hind is leading the charge to implement the first ever ʻAha Wahine.
“Native Hawaiian women have been gathering in smaller groups in their particular practices. Whether that be hula or lauhala weaving or kapa,” explains Hind, “But to have one on a grander scale that dealt with larger issues that all of us as Native Hawaiian women deal with. Socioeconomic issues, health issues, education issues and so forth.”
The focus is reconnecting women to their Hawaiian culture to help them prosper.
“What I want the women to walk away with is a sense of of, a growing sense of their Native Hawaiian identity,” said Hind.
The women’s-only conference is largely based on the success of the ʻAha Kāne, a males-only health conference.
“That was a really good push because it let people out there know and especially men that there is a role for men. There is a role for Native Hawaiian women in our, in our society, and they play very pivotal roles. So why not gather and highlight those roles?” asks Hind.
While all the details are being worked out, Hind is organizing a mini-ʻAha Wahine in February at Windward Community College.
“I want Native Hawaiian women to thrive. I want Native Hawaiian families to thrive and I see this as one of those steps in making that possible,” said Hind.
To register or for more information, visit www.AhaWahine.Org.
A discussion aired on ‘Olelo in 2009 focusing on the health care issues facing the Big Island. This particular discussion focused on healthcare programs and services provided to Native Hawaiians on the Big Island. Taking part in this discussion were Senator Russell Kokubun, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee, Robert Lindsey, Papa Ola Lokahi Executive Director, Hardy Spoehr, and Hui Malama Ola Na ‘Oiwi Executive Director, Michelle Teuber.