PROTECTING OUR HEALTH WAS THE FIRST HEADLINE IN HAWAI'I'S SATE OF THE STATE presentation on Monday. Gov. David Ige gave the address to the Hawai'i Senate and House of Representatives, the mayors and other elected officials, as well as the public. He aska the legislature tohelp fund an expansion of the residency program at the University of Hawai'i Medical School to help with the doctor shortage in Hawai'i, proposing the number doctors practicing their residency on Hawai'i and other Neighbor Islands increase from five to 50. He notes that "most young doctors end up
practicing where they do their residency."
He also asks for funding "to strengthen the university’s nursing program and add more clinical instructors at our community colleges. We want to add 39 lecturers across multiple campuses to handle the increased demand for nursing programs." In a program that could involve Pāhala and Nāʻālehu Libraries, the governor mentions $3.7 million in federal funds to improve access to health information, especially for underserved communities. The project will train and employ high school and undergraduate students to be health and digital “navigators” in 50 libraries across the state. These navigators will help individuals access telehealth services and find information on the coronavirus and other health topics. The governor says, "I believe everything begins with keeping us healthy and safe. Over the last seven years (of Ige serving as governor) we focused on modernizing our telehealth infrastructure, providing health services to underserved populations, and strengthening mental health services. "In response to the pandemic, we moved quickly to: Take immediate action to protect our health; provide healthcare for another 110,000 residents
The governor also points to the need "to strengthen the medical facilities in our prisons to protect the health of our inmates, staff and the general public. Our plans to relocate OCCC to Halawa will create a modern facility better suited to support the behavioral, mental health and medical needs of its population. In our current budget request, we’ve also asked the Legislature for $45 million to build a consolidated healthcare unit at Halawa that will allow us to better deliver medical and health services there. Clearly, the coronavirus has shown us how persistent and adaptive it can be, as we’ve seen with the Delta and Omicron variants. Even as we learn how to better protect ourselves, we need to remain vigilant." See other topics from the State of the State in Wednesday's Kaʻū News Briefs.
Weak to light shaking, with a maximum instrumental intensity of IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, and has been reported widely across Maui and as far away as the islands of Hawai‘i and Oʻahu. At that intensity, no damage to buildings or structures was expected. The USGS “Did you feel it?” service received over 475 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.
He said, however, aftershocks are possible and may be felt. HVO continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes.
MANA UP IS LOOKING TO ADD TEN Hawaiʻi-based product companies to the seventh cohort of the Mana Up Accelerator Program. The goal is to scale local companies into global brands. To date, 63 companies have graduated from their six-month accelerator program. Criteria for their accelerator program includes being a Hawaiʻi-based company, producing retail, beauty, home or value-added food products, and having the potential for international expansion. To apply, fill out the following application form due on February 18, 2022: https://manauphawaii.com/pages/apply?utm_campaign=C7%20Recruitment%20Announcement%20%28SA2BeQ%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Mana%20Up%20Community%20%28Via%20manauphawaii.com%29&_kx=uDiBYiEBkXfsSapKQVmsESdsdq1-i2FcE-Tmc7jMoG9bhOeBYJvcLnlo31WZgN3g.WDUPceTo read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at www.kaucalendar.com.
"The hospital continues to be very full with COVID and non-COVID patients," said Cabatu.
|COVID nurses at Hilo Medical Center. Photo from HMC|
"We have opened eight additional acute beds in overflow areas of the hospital and are prepared to open 24 additional beds if demand further exceeds capacity," she said.
Cabatu noted that "Our Emergency Department is experiencing longer than usual wait times due to a combination of factors:
HMC is unable to discharge waitlisted patients to a number of long term care facilities that are closed for new admissions due to COVID exposures and positives among their staff and residents.
These waitlisted patients at HMC, combined with an already full hospital, means that patients waiting beds to open up upstairs on the units have to be held in the Emergency Department.
"Today we started off with 10 holds in our 28-bed Emergency Department, which left our ED staff with 18 beds and a number of hallway beds available to care for patients today."
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