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Health Matters

The Project Vision bus made its annual roadtrip to Molokai last Saturday – by way of barge, of course – to give local residents eye exams free of charge.

This year, the bus came to Molokai as part of Ohana Heath Plan’s Wellness Clinic Health Fair, a free healthcare event held in partnership with the Molokai Lions Club Saturday and Sunday at the Mitchell Pauole Center.

The Project Vision bus stayed on Molokai through Wednesday, Nov. 9, holding additional exam sessions in Kilohana, Kualapu`u and Maunaloa. Young Brothers shipped the bus free of charge.

Anne Chipchase, community outreach director for Ohana Health Plan, said in addition to offering free services, the weekend fair was designed to get residents thinking about their health. Representatives from Hawaii COPD Coalition (which helps people who may be affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition), Hepatitis Support Network, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii and more hosted booths to educate residents and offer various screening and tests.

“We want to motivate them to get healthier,” Chipchase said. “People need this stuff. They need the attention – you cannot get that at the doctor’s office.”

At the same time, Chipchase said, individuals need to take responsibility for their own health.

“[We tell patients] you’re not gonna get health from a doctor,” she said. “You’re gonna get health from yourself.”

Ohana Heath Plan’s Wellness Clinic Health Fair has been touring Hawaii since February, Chipchase said, and has one more stop on Oahu for its 2011 schedule. She said the fair will return to Molokai next year.

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