Health

New Coach Helps Gym-Goers Get Healthy

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

New Coach Helps Gym-Goers Get Healthy

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Post-COVID, many residents are looking to get back in shape or start new, healthy practices. Lance Purdy, a fitness trainer who began working at Na Pu’uwai’s Integrated Fitness Center gym in February, is here to help. 

“During the pandemic, a lot of people lost their habits so the whole idea is trying to get back those habits,” said Purdy, IFC supervisor and coach. Though the gym was closed or open with restrictions and limited hours during much of the past several years, everyone is getting back on track and he’s happy to see the gym busier these days. …

Health Center Welcomes New Full-Time Family Dr.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Health Center Welcomes New Full-Time Family Dr.

MCHC News Release 

Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC) announced the addition of Dr. Raquel Cisneros to its clinical provider team. Dr. Cisneros is a board-certified family and community medicine physician with extensive experience working in underserved populations. She earned her medical degree at the University of Arizona and completed her family and community medicine residency training at the University of New Mexico as its chief resident. As the youngest of nine children to migrant farm workers, Dr. Cisneros understands the importance of the family unit and how it affects the health of the community. She is also a passionate advocate for women’s health and strongly supports patient autonomy.…

COVID Cases Stay Steady, CDC Guidelines Updated

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

COVID Cases Stay Steady, CDC Guidelines Updated

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Last week there were six new COVID cases reported on Molokai between Aug. 3 and Aug. 10, according to the Dept. of Health as of Aug. 15. New cases have leveled off over the past month, ranging between about six and 15 per week reported. This number represents those cases officially reported and does not include results obtained through home tests. 

Statewide, there has been a slow decline in cases reported over the past couple of months, after a spike in cases at the end of May. 

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for COVID-19 to “help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus.”…

MCHC Gets Voter Engagement Grant

Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

MCHC News Release

Molokai Community Health Center (MCHC) has received Hawaii’s first $4,500 Community Civic Engagement Program (CCEP) award from Vot-ER and its partners, the National Association of Community Health Centers and AltaMed, to support nonpartisan voter education, engagement, and mobilization efforts across the country. The award comes on the heels of the American Medical Association’s acknowledgement of voting as a social determinant of health at its annual meeting held earlier this month. 

As a trusted resource to help the Native Hawaiian patient population overcome historically low voter turnout and voting barriers, MCHC is the first health center in the state to access the funds that will provide voter education resources and training for its patients.…

DOH Says School Masking Now Optional

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

State Dept. of Health officials announced last week that masks will not be mandatory in indoor settings at public schools this year. COVID-19 vaccines will also not be required for students. 

At a news conference last Tuesday, State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble said wearing masks will be up to individual teachers and students, but the DOH “will strongly encourage indoor mask use when COVID levels are high or medium.”

According to CDC criteria, COVID-19 community level for Maui County is currently listed as high, as of July 14. The CDC uses a combination of three metrics such as new COVID cases in the past seven days, and hospital beds occupied by COVID patients, to determine a community’s level as low, medium or high. …

COVID on Molokai

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

COVID on Molokai

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Last week Molokai had eight new COVID cases officially reported between June 29 and July 6. The previous week, between June 22 and June 29, there were 10 positive cases, according to the Dept. of Health. There have been 1,150 cases on Molokai reported since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Because of home COVID tests which are not reported to the DOH, officials recommend multiplying the reported number of cases by as many as six or seven for a more accurate count of actual cases. 

Statewide last week, there were 4,381 cases reported, with a daily average of 651.…

Mobile Clinic Offers Accessible Medical Services

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Mobile Clinic Offers Accessible Medical Services

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A new, mobile clinic, launched by the Molokai Community Health Center, will help increase access to telehealth services for Molokai residents with no internet, lack of mobility or other access challenges. 

The Mana Mobile Medical Clinic has an exam room, a restroom, vaccine refrigeration, a blood draw station and other medical integration. The clinic also has the technology and equipment to connect patients virtually through video appointments to off-island specialists – something MCHC CEO Helen Kekalia Wescoatt said became especially important during the pandemic. 

“At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare providers across the nation quickly adopted or expanded telehealth into the primary care setting, many for the first time ever,” she explained, via email. “Although…

Molokai Gains a New Doctor

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Molokai Gains a New Doctor

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

“’Doctor’ was never in my life plan,” said Dr. Randi Olds, MD, who has moved to Molokai from Kauai to serve the island’s rural community at the Molokai General Hospital Outpatient Clinic. 

Her ‘life plan’ changed, however, when she attended community college in Las Vegas after graduating from Kamehameha Schools, initially majoring in business. 

“I always liked chemistry,” she said. “My organic chemistry teacher mentored me and asked me if I ever thought about going into medicine. ‘Like a nurse?’” she asked. “’No, a doctor,’” he told her. “It was the first time I ever thought about it.”…

COVID Slowly on the Decline

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

COVID Slowly on the Decline

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

COVID trends are back on the decline statewide after sharp increases in May and early June. 

Daily average cases statewide are hovering at just below 1000, with an 18.9 percent positivity rate over the last week as of last Wednesday. That’s down from a daily average of more than 1200 at the end of May. 

On Molokai, the week between Wednesday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 15 brought 10 new cases, with 23 positive cases the previous week. Officials suggest multiplying the number of officially reported cases by a factor of five or six to account for home tests, which are not reported to the Dept.…

Newly Graduated MD from Molokai

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Newly Graduated MD from Molokai

UH JABSOM News Release 

The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (UH JABSOM) recently graduated 69 doctors including many minorities as well as those from rural communities on the neighbor islands. The new crop of physicians include 16 that identify as being of Filipinx or mixed Filipinx descent, four Native Hawaiians and 10 with neighbor island roots. One is from Molokai. 

Six out of the 16 physicians of Filipinx descent participated in the UH Manoa Filgrad Ceremony, a celebration of Filipinx students’ heritage, identity and community. Four Native Hawaiian kauka ʻopio (young physicians) were honored in the Annual Kihei Ceremony sponsored by the ʻAhahui o na Kauka and JABSOM Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence.…