Governor Josh Green, MD Governor’s Office – Press Release – Blessing at Pūlama Ola Medical Respet Kauhale
Governor’s Office – Press Release – Nima at Pūlama Ola Medical Respet Kauhale
Posted May 26, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor press releases
Honolulu, HI — Governor Josh Green, MD, hosted a blessing today for the first Kohali site built under his administration. The kauhale medical resting place, called Pūlama Ola, is located in the backyard of the governor’s house in the Ministry of Health parking lot. This community housing project will serve inpatients and emergency rooms who have been discharged from Honolulu metropolitan hospitals who would have been discharged from Medicare to homeless.
Governor Green opened the ceremony, providing details of the project being built by the nonprofit HomeAid Hawai’i (HAH), which will be managed by Project Vision Hawaii (PVH).
“By embracing ‘yes in my backyard’, we have the power to create a more compassionate community that nurtures change from within. Our partners who made this koala a reality showed us that excellence and care can be simulated, and that by working together, we can achieve change.” long-term “. “Just as aloha comes from within and is shared externally, we can also embody the aloha spirit and inspire others to do the same.”
The kauhale medical respite, intended for patients who have been discharged from the hospital and who do not require skilled nursing, but need a safe and stable place to continue recovery, will include staff around the clock to receive, supervise, and coordinate care. Registered nurses will also be on staff to make daily rounds for basic care needs.
“A project of this nature highlights this administration’s dedication to serving our homeless neighbors and finding solutions to the realities facing homeless people in our community,” said James Kosheba, the governor’s coordinator on homelessness. “The immediate response to the need for medical respite highlights the bold and rapid action needed to address problems immediately as we create durable, long-term solutions toward highly affordable housing for our unpaid neighbors statewide.”
Unlike the state’s plan for permanent koala villages, which might include small homes, multi-family dwellings, apartment buildings, or other possible formats—all managed with a collaborative community focus, the koala’i medical respite is temporary.
The state is working simultaneously with private and community partners to provide additional medical comfort space within existing community facilities. As these spaces become available, the need for the kauhale medical rest period will decrease and the units will be moved to other areas, with the intent of using them at the kauhale site long-term.
“Our value engineering brought the project cost of nearly half a million dollars down to $300,000, which was then incurred as a contribution from private donors,” says Kimo Carvalho, CEO of HomeAid Hawaii. “Pūlama Ola is a testament to how improved policies and access to resources make it possible to rally our partners in developing this site in record time.” “HomeAid Hawaii and its partners are honored to bring the gift of kauhale to the State of Hawaii,” added Carvalho.
HomeAid Hawaii is an organizer for developers, financiers, service providers, and the homeless to co-design and build low-cost housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness. The real cost of Pūlama Ola is estimated at $471,500. Through HomeAid Hawaii, 100 percent of costs have been donated through volunteer work, in-kind materials and supplies, and financial contributions from Queens Health System, First Hawaii Bank Foundation, HMSA, and Home Depot. True construction and development costs include planning and design, site preparations, infrastructure connectivity, furnishings, fencing, and safety precautions. The project is estimated to save taxpayers an estimated $800,000 annually in appropriate discharge planning for the medically vulnerable homeless who do not use hospitals for step-down care.
“What a nice day! Under Governor Green’s leadership, it took many people and organizations to get here today, all with the goal of providing a place for the homeless community,” said Queens Health System President and CEO Jill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN. Shelter for them by giving them the resources and comfort to be in a safe place and not on the streets.”
“We applaud the Green Administration’s efforts to bring together public and private partners to address this issue of access to Medicare for some of our most vulnerable residents,” added Bob Harrison, Chairman, President and CEO of First Hawaiian Bank. “Pūlama Ola is an important initiative that will play an important role in uplifting Hawaiian communities, and the Bank is honored to be a partner in this initiative.”
“Homelessness in a person with a chronic illness is both a social and health issue. The kauhale program is an ingenious and innovative way to address both. HMSA is proud to support this community effort, which is in line with our mission to create a healthier Hawaii,” said the President and CEO of Hawaii. HMSA Mark M. Mogeshi, MD, FACS
Capitol District employees also came together to support the initiative in their backyard earlier this week, collaboratively putting together furniture and putting the finishing touches on the units.
Kahu Kordell Kekoa performed a traditional Hawaiian blessing for each room within the 10-unit village, which also includes a nurse’s station and accessible hygiene trailer.
Pūlama Ola speaks of a person’s embracing of life, health, and potential—and the kauhale embrace of those who seek that health and life. E Ola!
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