Tropic Care earned by numbers

| June 24, 2016 | 0 Comments
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lloydnar Gamiao, medic, 1984th U.S. Army Hospital Pacific, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, begins a hearing screening by checking the patient's ears for fluid or buildup in the audiology clinic at Hawaiian Ocean View Estates community center, June 4, 2016, as part of the services offered during Tropic Care 2016. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay)

Staff Sgt. Lloydnar Gamiao, medic, 1984th U.S. Army Hospital Pacific, begins a hearing screening by checking the patient’s ears for fluid or buildup in the audiology clinic at Hawaiian Ocean View Estates community center, June 4,  as part of the services offered during Tropic Care 2016.

Story and photos by Sgt. Jessica DuVernay
305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

 

The Ocean View Estates community lives up to its name. The breath-taking community with views of the Pacific Ocean from lava-rock encrusted hills is one community in need of help. The community center is the town’s main hub, where residents go to find out about different services and events in the area. It’s also the site of Tropic Care 2016.

“Ocean View Estates was chosen because it is one of the most medically underserved areas. There are a lot of health needs out here,” explained Martha Yamada, public health nursing supervisor for Hawaii. Ocean View Community Association put forth a lot of effort to help overcome the transportation issues, one of the major health care barriers.

Forty-five minutes away is the town of Ka‘u, where Ocean View Estates hosts another Tropic Care clinic. A quiet location, with a tight-knit community also makes for beneficial location to hold a health fair.

Martha Yamada, public health nursing supervisor for Hawaii, assists a patient at the check out station at the Hawaii Ocean View Estates community center June 4, 2016, as part of Tropic Care 2016.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica A. DuVernay)

Martha Yamada, public health nursing supervisor for Hawaii, assists a patient at the check out station at the Hawaii Ocean View Estates community center June 4.

“We’re here because of what we believe the community needs,” said Jessie Marques, executive director and program coordinator for Ka‘u Rural Health Association. “We are a rural underserved community and we are economically distressed, many of our residents are at poverty level and below.”

“There is a small number of local physicians and specialty providers, there is also a high percentage of adults who are uninsured,” said Kenneth Gonzales, public health nurse, State of Hawaii Department of Health.

For some, Tropic Care 2016 will be the only medical care that they’ve received in a long time, making all partnerships and efforts put forward highly impactful.

Tropic Care

Tropic Care 2016 is a U.S. Army Reserve and State of Hawaii Department of Health led, joint services, innovative readiness training program, conducted off military installations in the civilian community, assisting local efforts, providing quality healthcare to the underserved rural communities of Kea‘au and Puna districts of the island of Hawaii from May 30-June 11.

U.S. Army Maj. Brainard Ordonez, pharmacist, 1984th U.S. Army Hospital Pacific, Detachment 2, Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii, counsels patient Francisca Calumpit, a Ka'u resident about the medication she was prescribed after her visit to Tropic Care 2016, Ka'u, Hawaii, June 3, 2016. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica A DuVernay)

Maj. Brainard Ordonez, pharmacist, 1984th U.S. Army Hospital Pacific, counsels patient Francisca Calumpit, a Ka’u resident, about the medication she was prescribed after her visit to Tropic Care 2016,  June 3.

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