Waimanalo Health CenterHawaii
Health Center saw 80 new medical patients the last two months, and 60 new dental patients. They anticipate a total of over 800 patients for the next two years. Thanks to the stimlulus money, the health center is hiring an experienced Dental Hygienist, Dental Assistant, and a receptionist. "Native Hawaiian adultshave a high rate of tooth loss and extensive gum disease, yet have the lowest dental services use rate when compared with other ethnic groups," said May Akamine, Executive Director. "Part of this could be attributed to the fact that the State's QUEST coverage for low-income residents does not cover basic dental care for adults such as cleanings, cavity fillings and annual check ups. By offering affordable dental care, we hope to meet the oral health needs of everyone living in our community. So far, the community has really embraced this new service. Since starting our service in April, we have surpassed our expected number of patients by leaps and bounds. We expect to hire a full-time dental hygienist and a part-time dentist in the coming months." The health center will also extend Saturday hours for patients. The number of Hawaii's uninsured has doubled in the past 20 years and continues to climb. Half of the health center's patients were uninsured as compared to rate of 33 percent uninsured last year. -- Information provided by the health center and news articles.