Tobacco Treatment Specialist Kathyrn Akioka, RRT, TTS, is Being Recognized for Keeping Hawai’i Healthy!
The Hawaii Public Health Institute and the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii (Coalition) believes Kathyrn is a “champion supporter and advocate of tobacco control issues,” and invited her to Oahu to be recognized and honored during “a celebration of 20 amazing years of great work through the Coalition.”
Kathyrn is passionate about her life’s work and has been doing it since well before she graduated with a BS degree from Loma Linda University as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. As a teen in the ‘70s, she assisted her father, a progressive doctor, in providing tobacco cessation support groups in the community. She enjoyed encouraging and supporting people ready to make a change.
In 2004, Kathyrn joined Hamakua-Kohala Health and in various capacities, helped run Asthma Camp for 13 years and spent three years at local high schools providing Asthma education and counseling, stressing the dangers of tobacco use. She also served on the Asthma Camp steering committee and even served for three years on the board of the Big Island Chapter of the American Lung Association of Hawai’i.
As a Hamakua-Kohala Health Tobacco Treatment Specialist for the Hawai’i Community Foundation Tobacco Cessation Grant, she still enjoys working with patients and assisting them to achieve a tobacco-free lifestyle!
Kathyrn provides ongoing counseling and support and offers free nicotine replace items such as patches, gum and lozenges for as long as a participant needs the services.
Did you know about 25% Hawaii high school students use e-cigs? Tobacco and e-cig use is started and established primarily during adolescence and that nearly nine out of 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by age 18?
The Tobacco Cessation program is available to everyone in our community (18+) and the participant does NOT need to be a patient of HKH to receive services and nicotine replacement therapy items. Please call Kathyrn directly at 808-937-9979, for appointments at both the Honoka’a and Ka’apau clinics.