Interim Executive Director
Chief Financial Officer
Anthony Giasolli, MD
Hāmākua Health Center (HHC) was Hāmākua Sugar Company’s infirmary until the company closed in 1993. Residents organized to save their health services and opened Hāmākua Health Center (HHC) as a non-profit Community Health Center. HHC is the only health provider in a rural district with approximately 7,800 residents clustered in small villages and former plantation camps spread out over 903 square miles. The largest population center has fewer than 2,500 residents. Almost all of the land is agricultural, and stretches from the mountains to the sea. The nearest acute medical care facility is 25 minutes away. HHC will open a new site in Kohala in late 2006.
HHC provides family practice medicine, family planning, STD screening, immunizations, mental health and substance abuse counseling, prenatal care, diabetes case management, and health counseling and preventive education. HHC also provides after-hours availability. HHC has a Volunteer Program that offers community services and excellent learning opportunities for those interested in health care. Translation services are available in several Filipino dialects. The Community Health Center works closely with North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, Honoka‘a schools, Hale Ho‘öla Hāmākua and other providers of service to meet community needs.
Special Populations/Health Issues
Elderly plantation retirees; geographically remote communities. Community Health Center patients include an elderly population with high rates of chronic illness. Teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and mental illness are serious concerns. Residents in this rural district experienced tremendous upheaval upon the closure of the sugar plantation, which had been the area’s major source of employment, housing, and social security for generations. As the population copes with life outside the plantation system, they have made significant efforts to address broad social concerns including suicide, crime, alcohol and drug consumption, domestic violence, and teen pregnancy. The large elderly population requires strong emphasis on senior services.
Patient Profile for 2006
- Ethnic groups served (top 3): Caucasian (41%), Pacific Islander (20%), Native Hawaiian (17%)
- Unduplicated Patients: 4,870
Patient Visits: 19,119
- 19 years of age and under: 21%
- 65 years of age or older: 17%
- Female: 57%
- Uninsured: 19%
- Medicaid: 17%
- Medicare: 18%
- Patients best served in a language other than English: 16%
- Patients with an income less than 200% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL): 82%
- Homeless Patients: 38
HHC has on its professional staff physicians in internal medicine, family and general practice, a nurse practitioner, nurses, and case managers.
Hāmākua Health Center is the grantee or subcontractor for:
- 330(e) Grantee
- 3-year Rural Health Outreach Grant
- Hāmākua Asthma Camp
- Family Planning
- Dental HPSA
- Mental Health HPSA
- Rural Health Center (RHC)