Viana Health Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary November 19, 2022 by admin Mahalo to endorse the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Wayanae Coast Comprehensive Health Center is hosting a free community event Wednesday in celebration of its 50th anniversary. The center has grown significantly since the closure of the Waianae Sugar Mill in 1957, becoming a lifeline and innovative resource for the community, which lost its only source of medical care. “This is a rural community,” said Chief Medical Officer Stephen Bradley. “It is difficult for many people here, both physically because of the distances and economically because it is a highly deprived area, for them to go out west to seek health care or any other services. “ WCCHC opened its doors in 1972 with just one doctor and five staff members, acting as an urgent-care provider, said Bradley, who has worked there for nearly 30 years. Once residents became accustomed to health care closer to home, the center broadened its spectrum of medical care and eventually included areas such as internal medicine, pregnancy and pediatric care, and a large behavioral health department. did. Bradley said the facility serves as a comprehensive health center capable of addressing all aspects of a person’s well-being in a single visit. He said that people coming here get complete treatment. “Sometimes someone comes in for a cold, but it’s not the cold that’s their real problem. It’s their family issues, it’s that they’re depressed or anxious — it’s a lot of things. Treat them, but we can also say, ‘Wait a second. Let me take you to a behavioral health provider so they can help you, too.'” According to Bradley, WCCHC staff recognized early on that effective treatment for area residents required a direct “warm handshake” from one staff member to another, as referrals often resulted in follow-up. Up appointments are missed. “We realized that in behavioral health the need is often urgent,” he said. “You have to have someone there to pick them up right away and help them with their problem.” WCCHC’s ability to do this contributed to its standing as a certified training site for health care providers in a variety of practices. Bradley said it is also the largest graduate training site for psychologists in the state. Bradley said that being in a community with a large Native Hawaiian population, the Waianae Health Care Center has embraced Native Hawaiian values since its inception. It established a Native Hawaiian Healing Center two decades ago that offers Lomilomi Massage Therapy, Hooponopono Conflict Resolution, Lau Lapau Herbal Healing and Lau Kahia Spiritual Healing. According to WCCHC’s website, the center is governed by the Kupuna Council of Elders, consisting of master practitioners, who maintain and preserve the center’s cultural practices. Noting that Native Hawaiians developed a higher likelihood of chronic disease after Western colonization, “Having a Native Hawaiian presence in our treatment center really helps to try to combat that disparity, And also help patients get the best kind of care they possibly can,” Bradley said. These days, WCCHC continues to make efforts to make its health care more accessible through technology. Kiosks were recently installed in many places to facilitate telehealth appointments, Bradley said, and remote devices are available for home use by at-risk patients that allow doctors to monitor blood sugar and oxygen levels, blood pressure and other metrics. allow monitoring. “Even though we are a community health center and an underserved community, we try to deliver the latest and greatest care that we can,” he said. Today the center has more than 650 staff members, serving approximately 36,000 patients throughout West Oahu, according to a news release. WCCHC is expecting over 800 attendees for the “Ohana Night Under the Stars” celebration from 3 to 8 p.m. on the center’s main campus, with shuttle service available from Wayne Mall. Activities will include a visit to the health center, a movie about Kiki and health activities, food trucks, and free chili and popcorn. Entertainment will be provided by the Royal Hawaiian Band and the Nanakuli High and Intermediate School Performing Arts Center. Attendees are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Registration is encouraged but not required. Register at wcchc.com/events. Lynsey Dover covers ethnic and cultural affairs and is a core member of Report for America, a national service organization that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues and communities.