The new mobile medical van, Ka’a Ho‘ola, was recently blessed by Kahu Danny Akaka, Jr. with over 80 guests at the ceremony. With the leadership of Representative Robert Herkes, Kona Community Hospital (KCH) Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) are working together to administer its theme “Growing Rural Healthcare.” Its name translates to a vehicle of revitalization and well-being and exists to serve the medical needs of the southernmost region of the Big Island.
The van is a direct result of over ten years of work by Rep. Herkes. It was his vision that much-needed healthcare services be made available in the area he represents which is District Five; the most remote area of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Rep. Herkes introduced a bill that appropriated $350,000 from the legislature to cover the expense of the production of the van. HMSA has allocated funds for the management and services offered by the van to cover a two-year period. KCH has agreed to utilize their medical expertise and staff to coordinate service activities.
Initially, the project will be to improve capacity for medical services to the underserved school-aged children in Kau. These services will initially begin at Pahala Elementary. Service activities will center on screening, testing and prevention education. Immunizations and school physicals will also be offered. The goal will be to drastically increase the number of services provided within the first six month period. In addition, keiki that need special medical care can be monitored through online tele-health, which provides immediate access to specialists.