Categorized | Health

Free health care in Ka’u, Puna (May 31-June 11)


An innovative training program by the U.S. Department of Defense will bring nearly 150 military reservists to Ka’u May 31-June 4 and Keaau June 4- 11 to provide free medical care in clinics open to the public.

Tropic Care 2016 will run three clinics, at Ka’u High & Pahala Elementary School, the Ocean View Community Center, and Keaau High School.

Clinics will open 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., closing at noon on the final days, Saturday June 4 in Ka’u and Ocean View and June 11 in Keaau.

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 districts of Ka’u and Puna,” said Aaron Ueno, Hawaii 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 2016 is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and the state Hawaii District Health Office, supported by the County of Hawaii and the Ka’u 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 Hawaii 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’u and Puna are: Department of Education, Ocean View Community Association, Bay Clinic Health Centers of Ka’u, Keaau, and Pahoa, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Hawaii Police Department, Ka’u Hospital and Rural Health Clinic, Pacific Quest Volunteers, the Veteran’s Administration, Project Vision, HMSA, Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation, Goodwill, Hawaii Island Food Basket, West Hawaii Community Health Center, County of Hawaii Immigration Services, Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and the University Of Hawaii School Of Nursing, BISAC, Mango Medical, the Blue Zones Project, Ka’u Rural Health Association, Medical Reserve Corps, Hawaii County Civil Defense, and numerous community volunteers.

For more information on the project, contact the state Department of Health’s Public Health Nursing Section at (808) 974-6035.

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