Categorized | Health

Free health care in Ka‘u (June 4-12)


An innovative training program by the U.S. Department of Defense will bring 75 military reservists to Ka‘u June 4-12 to provide free medical care in clinics open to the public.

Tropic Care 2013 will run two clinics, at Ka‘u High & Pahala Elementary School and the Ocean View Community Center.

Clinics will be open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., closing early at noon on the final day, June 12.

Health care services that will be provided free of charge include physical exams, dentistry, optometry (exams and glasses), medication review and provision of some medication, and nutrition education.

Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis and are advised that there may be long wait times.

“This is an opportunity to bring needed medical, dental and vision services to the district of Ka‘ū,” said Aaron Ueno, Hawaii District Health Officer with the state Department of Health. “These services are open to the entire island and we are hoping to do this again in the future with community support.”

Tropic Care 2013 is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and the state Hawaii District Health Office, supported by the County of Hawaii and the Ka‘u Rural Health Community Association.

It is an exercise of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training program, which challenges reservists to plan and implement rapid mobilizations to distant and unfamiliar areas.

“We thank the Department of Defense and all the reservists for coming to Hawaii Island and reaching out to our residents,” said Karen Teshima, executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi. “This innovative program will benefit everyone involved, and will further our goal of keeping our community safe and healthy.”

Other community partners collaborating to bring this service to Ka‘u are: the Hawaii Department of Education, Ocean View Family Health Center, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Bay Clinic, Hawaii Island Cardiovascular, Hawaii Island Community Lung Assessment Science Studies, Ocean View Community Association, Kona Community Hospital, Hawaii Police Department, Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy, Ka‘u Hospital, Pacific Quest, and the Veteran’s Administration.

For more information on Tropic Care 2013 or to request special assistance or an auxiliary aid, call (808) 974-6035 or email Martha Yamada of the Public Health Nursing Section at

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