Accurate representation of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) is sorely needed in the health care system, especially as the long-term impacts of the COVID pandemic continue to arise, according to Native Hawaiian oncologist Kekoa Taparra, MD, PhD.  Paka Ola Lokahi, a non-profit focused on improving Native Hawaiian health, recently hosted a webinar where Taparra … Read more

Hawaii legislators are working to pass dozens of health bills in preparation for the second decking deadline on April 8th. Recent movement in the legislature included bills that address telehealth, substance use, and the rural health workforce.     Health insurance coverage and reimbursement Several bills were referred to the House Committee on Health, Human … Read more

Will White became director of the Hawaii Budget and Policy Center (HBCP) in early 2022. He returned to his home neighborhood, Kalihi Valley, following several years as the Senior Director of Policy and Government Affairs at United Way Bay Area. His main focus has been on utilizing Hawaii’s state budget and tax code to foster … Read more

Ashley Shearer, LCSW, Director of Care Coordination, Utilization Management, and Clinical Documentation Integrity at the Queen’s Medical Center, is working to address Hawaii’s high emergency department utilizers, especially those who come in for non-emergent needs. Shearer’s work with the Queen’s Care Coalition aims to identify the broader, health-adjacent needs of Hawaii’s residents and address them … Read more

Hawaii is one of just six states that rank above average in health care for all ethnic groups, according to a November 2021 study from the Commonwealth Fund. The study collected data on 24 different health indicators and grouped them into three general categories: health outcomes, health care access, and health care quality.      … Read more

A compounded tax policy, low reimbursement rates, and more are straining Hawaii’s health care workforce to the point where facilities, particularly on neighboring islands, are beginning to shut down. These gaps in care are contributing to otherwise preventable health disparities in Hawaii.  State of Reform spoke with Dr. Scott Grosskreutz, a Hilo-based physician, on the … Read more

State leaders are having more conversations about reopening Hawaii as residents continue to get vaccinated, but others say more should be done to assess the pandemic’s physical, economic, and social impact on Native Hawaiians. Civil Beat held a virtual conversation with three panelists on Tuesday to foster dialogue around the issue.      Dr. Gerard … Read more

The Hawaii Budget and Policy Center (HBPC) is calling for lawmakers to pass tax reform that would address racial and socioeconomic disparities across the state.     Health care costs in Hawaii are unevenly distributed between low and high wage earners. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the bottom 10% of wage … Read more

In the final installment of a three-part conversation series, Hawai‘i health equity advocates gathered to share innovative strategies that support asset-limited, income-constrained, and employed (ALICE) communities. The panel highlighted key legislation and financial opportunity programs that could benefit a significant portion of Hawaii households.     A 2017 report from Aloha United Way (AUW) found … Read more