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Wealth of Health

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Health care advances raise big fiscal, ethical questions

Given the current trajectory of pharmaceutical and biotechnical developments in the treatment of cancer, inherited diseases and infection, modern health care is on the precipice of unprecedented transformation. Read More

Accepting death as natural would alleviate fear, stress

Society continues to have difficulty accepting death as a natural part of life. We go on hoping it won’t happen to us, at least for now, and when death raises its head, we look the other way. The result is fear, confusion, denial, poor decision-making and an unskillful use of resources. Read More
 

Time will tell whether health insurer’s new model succeeds

Hawaii Medical Service Association is on the verge of making a historic change in how it reimburses primary care medical providers. Until now the largest private payer in the state has reimbursed physicians on a fee-for-service basis. Under its Payment Transformation Pilot, HMSA will instead pay selected providers a fixed dollar amount for each member in their practice each month. HMSA believes that this will benefit patients, providers and the insurer because it will improve clinical outcomes and contain costs. Will it work? That remains to be seen. Read More

Addressing homelessness is a worthwhile investment

About 3.6 percent of the Medicaid population in Hawaii uses 61 percent of the Medicaid budget annually. That’s right, 14,000 people — including those covered under Quest and AlohaCare — utilize $1.2 billion of Hawaii’s Medi­caid. Read More

Health care would benefit from Big Pharma reform

Twenty million more Americans now have health insurance since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law six years ago. This brings the portion of those who are uninsured down to 11.5 percent of the population. Read More
 

Isle groups answering call to restore food sovereignty

Hawaii imports roughly 90 percent of the food it consumes and exports as much as 80 percent of what is grown here. Particularly, in view of climate change and the persistent El Nino, this leaves the health of island residents vulnerable to uncontrollable hiccups in container transport. Read More

Brazil’s slums are fertile ground for spread of Zika

Earlier this week I returned from Brazil, a nation in crisis over the Zika virus epidemic. This public health calamity creates a perfect storm when combined with the economic and sociopolitical woes now facing South America’s largest country. The lack of fiscal resources and waning confidence in the current government present dire constraints in managing the current epidemic. Read More

Modern nations must value first peoples above earnings

When Hokule‘a first sailed to Tahiti in 1976 using only noninstrument navigation, it became a major catalyst not only for the Hawaiian cultural renaissance, but also for a broader awakening among indigenous peoples throughout Polynesia. Hokule‘a continues this legacy, touching many during its around-the-world voyage. Read More

‘Blue economy’ must learn from green-washing errors

As Hokule‘a sails across the Atlantic from South Africa to Brazil, safety protocols require its crew to monitor other vessels, including large, commercial longline-fishing vessels and lumbering container ships bound for the great ports of the world. There is no mistaking the fact that for many the oceans are there only to extract a profit. Read More

Sailing in fog and lightning, canoe reaches Saint Helena

After 16 days at sea, Saint Helena arose out of the mist. Our heading could not have been more perfect had we used GPS. Each member of the crew is in awe to be part of this historical leg of the around-the-world voyage where spirituality and ancient science join as one, where the mana of the Hokule‘a, guidance by the ancestors and support from the community bring unity of purpose to the dedicated souls on board. Indeed, the sense of common destiny was articulated by one crew member during an awa ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, the night before our departure: “May my bones be your bones. May my blood be your blood.” Read More

Reconciliation, not revenge, will heal wounds of slavery

In the midst of the longest leg of the Hokule‘a’s around-the-world voyage, across the Atlantic from Africa to South America, I cannot help but think of the millions of Africans who, in centuries past, made the crossing in shackles, within the bowels of slave ships — and of the many more millions who never made it. In Brazil, our next destination following a stop at St. Helena, more than half the population is of mixed heritage. The majority have ancestors who were brought here as slaves by the Portuguese, initially to work on sugar plantations and later to work in gold and diamond mines. Read More

Long voyage brings to mind outsize players from history

As the Hokule‘a sails to the island of Saint Helena, the first planned port stop from South Africa en route to Brazil, during the longest leg of the Malama Honua around-the-world voyage, I am reminded of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled there. Read More

In cheering the Paris pact, don’t forget feeble Namibia

Hokulea Hugs Drought-Stricken Namibian Coast. After a successful dry-dock in Cape Town, South Africa, the Hokulea is now heading north, up the west coast of Namibia to Walvis Bay. Read More

Hokule‘a leaving Cape Town with gratitude, hopefulness

The crew for leg 16 of the Hokule‘a’s around-the-world voyage arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, last week. I am joining the crew for this leg as their medical officer. Read More

Occupational therapy gets patients invested in health

Occupational therapy has long run under the radar in the eyes of both health providers and patients. Occupational therapy is underutilized, simply because our scope of practice is not completely understood. Read More

Loyalty, balance necessary for today’s health, wellness

It has been 41 years since I first took up the study of martial arts. This month, testing for the next black belt fell on my birthday. Instead of feeling the anticipation of competing in a triathlon, I had the inner sense that the test was done before it started. Read More

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