A Historic Day
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2012

 

NHCH held a public blessing and open house of Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program, on Friday, August 31st at 9:00 a.m. “NHCH’s Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program, helps meet the needs of Native Hawaiians who make up nearly 30 percent of the community NHCH serves,” said Ken Wood, President and CEO of NHCH.  


“Kaheleaulani understands and embraces a culturally-appropriate healthcare approach for Native Hawaiians and takes into account traditional Hawaiian healing principles that differ significantly from those of Western medicine,” says Dr. Claren Ku’ulei Kealoha-Beaudet, Clinical Psychologist and Kaheleaulani Behavioral Services Director. “We envision a vibrant, inter-dependent Native Hawaiian community based on cultural values with individuals achieving their optimal spiritual, mental and physical potential.”

Kaheleaulani’s mission is to clearly identify Native Hawaiian health disparities particular to North Hawai’i and to clearly formulate a plan of action with the goal of rectifying those health disparities. “Over the last year, we have identified a high rate of Native Hawaiians in North Hawaii who are currently at risk of chronic disease due to diabetes or obesity,” says Dr. Claren Kealoha-Beaudet. “Thanks to funding support from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kaheleaulani is kicking off the Ho’omalule Project, which provides Native Hawaiian ‘ohana a comprehensive program with the highest quality, culturally-informed medical, behavioral and psychosocial change interventions. The Ho’omalule Project supports qualified participants in reducing their body weight by 10% or more over a 12 months period by empowering Native Hawaiians to be proactive in their overall health and well-being.

Kaheleaulani, formerly known as the Native Hawaiian Health Clinic at NHCH, opened in September 2011.  During the past year, NHCH renovated its facilities to better accommodate the program.  This blessing marks its new name and space.  “The name Kaheleaulani honors Lucy Davis Henriques’ wishes as stated in her will executed in 1932 to establish a medical facility to care for the families of Waimea,” says Dr. Claren Kealoha-Beaudet. “Lucy Kalanikumaiki'eki'e Davis Henriques expressed such compassion for the people of North Hawaii, and we are proud to honor her through the naming of our Native Hawaiian Health Program.”  Kaheleaulani was most likely a name within Lucy Henriques’ family.  It refers to the procession of the ali'i and the accompanying adornment. Speakers at the blessing included Robert Lindsey, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee and NHCH Board Member, Senator Malama Solomon, and Hawaii Island County Mayor Billy Kenoi.  
 
Kaheleaulani is currently accepting patients with a target population of Native Hawaiians age 13 and older, non-Hawaiians who are married to a Native Hawaiian or a life partner of a Native Hawaiian, non-Hawaiians who are widowed and whose spouse was a Native Hawaiian, and non-Hawaiians who are divorced or separated from a Native Hawaiian and have Native Hawaiian children.  Kaheleaulani is located in North Hawaii Community Hospital at 67-1125 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI 96743.  For more information about Kaheleaulani, The Ho'omalule Project or to make an appointment, please call 808-881-4843.

Photos: (top left) NHCH Kaheleaulani staff and hospital staff at blessing. (top right) Hawaii Island County Mayor Billy Kenoi speaking at event.  (bottom left) Hawaiian cultural practitioners weaving kukui leaf and Lehua left into a lei at blessing. (bottom right) Claren Ku'ulei Keahloha-Beaudet, Psy.D., Kaheleaulani's Director of Behavioral Services, speaking at event.