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Catherine Marquette Accepts Medical Director Position

Honoka’a, December 25, 2016

Catherine Marquette has given her time, energy and expertise to Hamakua-Kohala Health for over 20 years and has now accepted the position of Medical Director! Catherine is firm and fair and works to consistently improve quality of care for all patients at HKH’s Hamakua and North Kohala locations. Catherine will continue to see patients as a Family Nurse Practitioner specializing in family planning. Empathetic and respectful, Catherine is a good nurse and we know she’ll make a great boss. Please help HKH welcome Catherine to her new position.

HKH Provider is 2016 Third Annual Hawaii Healthcare Heroes Winner

Honoka’a, September 23, 2016

cathy-m-midweek-cover-hi-heros-awardOur very own Nurse Practitioner Catherine Marquette was named a 2016 Hawaii Healthcare Hero by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (AHA). According to AHA, “A Hawaii Healthcare Hero is an extraordinary healthcare worker who went above and beyond to care for you or a loved one in a way that you’ll always remember.” Healthcare providers must be nominated by a patient or family member who has experienced exceptional care. Good job Catherine!

The Big Island is the Place For Us!

Catherine grew up in a small town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California and was raised in a large and closely connected family. Upon graduation from nursing school at the University of Nevada in Reno, her first job was in the Bronx in New York City … something she remembers as “quite an adventure!” Missing her family, she moved back to California, where she met her husband, and together they had a small family farm with fruit and nut trees. She returned to school at the University of California at Davis, and graduated in 1988 as a Nurse Practitioner, going on to work in an emergency room and a community health center in Northern California.

“My husband and I moved to Hawaii in 1993. We were still farming in California but the air quality was getting worse and we were looking for other alternatives. Both our best friends were living in Hawai’i so we visited a few times then realized The Big Island was the place for us. We were worried about living so far from our families, but as it turns out it has been wonderful for our families to have a place to come and visit in Hawai’i.” Catherine was looking for a position as a Nurse Practitioner, and found a home at Hamakua-Kohala Health.

“The staff and patients were very welcoming and really helped me navigate the new cultures and adjust to my new life and practice. It has been an incredible privilege to know and care about all these families through the years. It really is my patients that make me want to come to work every day. Being in Family Practice I get to see the whole family. In doing so, I get to know families very well. I have become a godmother for a child born to a family I had known through three generations. These relationships with patients are very strong and powerful for me.”

She also has genuine love and appreciation for Hamakua’s community history. “I love the story of Hamakua-Kohala Health. Sugar was the boss and owner of almost everything on the Hamakua Coast, including health care. Some very forward-thinking individuals realized the infrastructure of health care delivery would end if they didn’t do something, so they turned “The Infirmary” into a rural health clinic. By doing this they were able to continue to be the provider of health care in Hamakua. I am thankful to those individuals for their perseverance and planning. I have seen staff come and go, however the essential essence of Hamakua-Kohala Health remains – it is an amazing display of commitment to the health of our community.”

Today, Catherine and her husband have a tropical fruit orchard. When not in the clinic, she loves working on the farm and being outside. They grow rambutan, durian, longan, coffee, many different types of sapotes, santol, aibu and citrus, avocado, and their newest crop is blueberries! They also have a vegetable garden with lots of different type of greens, taro and pineapple and have recently expanded their nut trees, growing mac nuts, paradise nuts and pili nuts. If that isn’t enough, Catherine and her husband also enjoy biking and hiking!

As a dedicated member of the Hamakua-Kohala Health ‘ohana, she sums it all up this way, “Working in community health is my life’s passion. I find it fulfilling both personally and professionally. We have a great staff with commitment to our patients and the community and I hope our Board of Directors continues to be forward-thinking and helps the health center achieve its goals. The model of delivering health care as a community health center is simply how I think health care should be delivered. There is a lot of opportunity to make a difference in individual lives, in families and in the community, and I hope Hamakua-Kohala Health will be able to set the example of quality health care delivery in Hawai’i.”

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