Health Grant for Hawaii


October 8, 2010

Hawaii has been awarded a one-year grant to help formulate a plan for addressing the state’s health needs. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the amount of $150,000.

According to James Hardway, the executive director of the Hawaii Workforce Development Council, the plan will involve three primary goals, including: 1. How to recruit, train and place workers in the health care industry in 12-18 months. 2. How to address long-term health care labor shortages. 3. How to bridge the communication gap between health care providers and the University of Hawaii.

Hawaii’s slice of the grant is just one part of the $253 million in funding that has been designated for this purpose under the federal health care reform bill to help correct for nationwide shortages in primary care providers. The funds should bolster the health care community nationwide by training a total of 889 primary care providers.

Hardway also explained that this grant will help open some doors for future federal funding in addition to its purpose of addressing health care work force challenges, including the primary care issue.

Only time will tell how effectively the grant money is used and whether implementation of plans is done efficiently. While Hawaii residents have better health on average than other places in the U.S. (presumably thanks to our more physically active lifestyle and lower stress environment), it will still be nice if this grant leads to more improvements in our health care system.

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