What They’re Watching: Laura Esslinger, AlohaCare

Laura Esslinger is the CEO of AlohaCare. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss preventative medicine.


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“Well, we recently did a community reinvestment program called Waiwai Ola. And the purpose of that was to focus on some of these key areas where we want to get upstream and be more proactive, and look at simultaneously how do we save some money and improve quality and outcomes in the near term on high cost, high need members? And then, also, how do we think proactively about the future and work on things like social determinants of health?

So, there’s actually a very broad array of pilots in that program and we’re about to do the press release, but twenty recipients of five million dollars in total and they range from things like cultural projects that help reconnect Native Hawaiians to the aina, to the land, to regain the sense of place, and to remember the roots and the cultural practices, such as healthy cooking, that really existed historically on this island and celebrate those. All the way to things like a project called Malama Kidney, which is embracing helping people who have chronic kidney disease avoid becoming end-stage renal disease, avoid needing dialysis, and stay healthy as long as possible.”