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Hamakua Health Center Appreciates Leon and Dora Thevenin

December, 2011, Hamakua Times –


Leon and Dora with friends

Saturday, October 22 was a day of celebration, appreciation and remembrance at the Hamakua Health Center Open House as we recognized the kindness and generosity of Leon and Dora Thevenin. They are a part of the legacy of primary healthcare of the Hamakua communities – past, present and future. As longtime patients of the Hamakua Health Center the Thevenins want to ensure that the under-served of our community have access to necessary healthcare in the future. This was our day to honor them. Hosts of friends, former co-workers and former students stopped by to enjoy the festivities with these dear friends. We knew it was a success, when at the end of the day, Leon said, “You make us feel so special.”


Mahalo Nui Loa!

Deacon Larry Ignacio, Board Member, opened with a warm welcome as he shared his personal memories and tribute to Leon and Dora Thevenin. Former Plantation co-workers, Dora’s students and Infirmary staff were acknowledged with group photographs.

Hamakua Health Center Appreciates Leon and Dora Thevenin – Past, Present and Future

Past – The Past was remembered in a video Talk Story with Leon and Dora filmed and edited by George Fry in the Thevenin’s Puako home where they were interviewed by former Hamakua Mill Company “kids” – Valerie Souza Poindexter and Romel DelaCruz. It was humor and history as they remembered “back when” there were “little hospitals” at the plantation dispensaries, life as it was known in the camps and the opening of the Hamakua Infirmary. Pat Linton, CEO of the Hamakau Health Center, acknowledged the contributions of past administrators, Gail Walker, Potter Swartz and Susan Hunt. A special recognition and mahalo was presented to Fritzie Hoffman for the donation of the Medical Library in honor of her husband, Fletcher Hoffman.


CEO Pat Linton

Present – Pat Linton continued with a review of the Present and the successes and challenges in today’s healthcare environment as it relates to our community. He acknowledged the generous donation of the Joseph Leon Thevenin Trust to the Hamakua Health Center which contributed to the renovation of the Patient Admissions Center and the Nurses’ Station. Staff and children presented gifts; a Koa Plaque and a model of the “Amazing Tooth Bus.” A gift of the heart and grace was the hula performed by team member Kai Gacayan followed by four little girls who wowed the crowd with their charm and dance.

Future – Jeani Navarro, President of the Board of Directors presented the Future – Looking Forward in Hope. She expressed our appreciation of the vision of the Thevenins in establishing the Charitable Trust for those in need in years ahead.


Kai’s graceful hula

The program concluded with a prayer and re-dedication of the Hamakua Health Center by Board Member, Pastor Ilima Moiha. Leon and Dora Thevenin were asked to untie the maile lei, and the guests were invited to come in to view the recent renovations and the displays of photographs of plantation history and Leon and Dora courtesy of UHH/NHERC Heritage Center, the Laupahoehoe Train Museum and John and Anne Bowen.

Throughout the day photographer Sarah Anderson captured the moments of renewing friendships. Videographers Ginny Robb and Gail Chanley filmed guests as they remembered their favorite stories of Leon, Dora and Joey. The generous donations of time and talent by the staff, the Board and community members made for a wonderful tribute to these dear friends of the Hamakua Health Center. We knew it was a success when we said goodbye to Leon and Dora and Leon said, “You folks make us feel so special.” It was a special day for us too. We are so glad that we took the opportunity to say “Thank You.”


In memory of Joseph Thevenin

Kaye Lundburg. “Hamakua Health Center Appreciates Leon and Dora Thevenin “Hamakua Times, Nov. 26. 2011.


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