Hamakua-Kohala Health has been a part of the Hamakua community in one form or another since the early plantation days.
Before 1966, every plantation along the Hamakua Coast had its own dispensary – one each in Haina, Pa’auhau, Pa’auilo, O’okala, and Laupahoehoe, serving both outpatients and hospital in-patients. In 1966, all the dispensaries were consolidated to form the Hamakua Infirmary in Honoka’a. For 27 years the Infirmary continued to provide care for plantation families, and to many other families of the Hamakua Coast communities.
In 1993, when Hamakua Sugar announced its final closure, the Hamakua Infirmary once again adapted and changed its form. Thanks to the inspired vision and dedication of then-administrator, Gail Walker, the Board of Directors, our legislators and community, the Hamakua Infirmary was given new life as Hamakua Health Center.
Kohala Clinic Celebrates 10th Anniversary in 2016
Healthcare in Kohala was also rooted in the history of the sugar plantation. Prior to the closure of Kohala Sugar Co. in 1973, plantation employees and their families received healthcare at the dispensary, which is the current location of the Kohala Family Health Center. In 2006 with the reduction of healthcare services in North Kohala and at the request of Kohala residents, Hamakua Health Center acquired Kohala Family Health Center. In 2014, Hamakua Health Center was renamed Hamakua-Kohala Health.
Hamakua-Kohala Health Timeline:
Prior to 1966 – Every plantation in Kohala and along the Hamakua Coast had its own dispensary, including one in Haina, Pa’auhau, Pa’auilo, Laupahoehoe and O’okala, each serving both outpatients and hospital in-patients.
1966 – July 22, Hamakua Infirmary opens and brings the individual plantation infirmaries of the Hamakua Mill Co., Honoka’a Sugar Co., Pa’auhau Sugar Co., and Laupahoehoe Sugar Companies together under one roof. For 27 years the Infirmary continued to provide care for plantation families and many other families of the Hamakua Coast communities.
1973 – Kohala Sugar Company closes. Its dispensary is the current location of Kohala Family Health Center.
1993 – Hamakua Sugar announced its final closure and thanks to the inspired vision and dedication of then-administrator, Gail Walker, the Board of Directors, our legislators and community, Hamakua Infirmary was given new life as Hamakua Health Center.
2006 – With the reduction of healthcare services in North Kohala and at the request of Kohala residents, Hamakua Health Center acquired Kohala Family Health Center.
2014 – Hamakua Health Center is renamed Hamakua-Kohala Health.
2016 – Hamakua-Kohala Health continues to offer healthcare to all Hamakua and North Kohala community members regardless of their ability to pay.
2016 – May 5, Hamakua-Kohala Health named 2015 Hypertension Control Champion by Million Hearts and the Center for Disease Control. Champions are recognized for being outstanding healthcare teams who work together toward the goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes in five years. Hamakua-Kohala Health is one of only 18 healthcare groups nationwide to achieve blood pressure control for at least 70% of adult patients with hypertension and win this prestigious award.
2016 – May 28, Hamakua-Kohala Health 50th Anniversary Health Fair, Honoka’a.
2016 – August 25, HKH Nurse Practitioner Cathy Marquette named 2016 Hawaii Healthcare Hero by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. A Hawaii Healthcare Hero is an extraordinary healthcare worker who went above and beyond to care for a patient in a way that ‘ohana will always remember. A Hero must be nominated by a patient or family member who had direct care experience from the nominee. Cathy is one of only five Healthcare Heroes statewide. Heroes attended an Awards and Scholarship Gala held in their honor on Oahu.
2016 – October, Tobacco Treatment Specialist Kathyrn Akioka, RRT, TTS, recognized for Keeping Hawai’i Healthy! The Hawaii Public Health Institute and the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii believes Kathyrn is a “champion supporter and advocate of tobacco control issues.” Champions attended an Awards Celebration held in their honor on Oahu.