Hawaii Health Information Technology Week

Hawaii Health Information Technology Week

Hawaii Health Information Technology WeekHilo Medical Center has been named a 2015 HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award recipient.

Since 1994, the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence has recognized outstanding achievement of organizations that have utilized health information technology to substantially improve patient outcomes while achieving return on investment.

Hilo Medical Center (HMC) is a part of the East Hawai’i Region of the Hawai’i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC), serving as a safety-net hospital for two critical access hospitals, Hale Ho’ola Hamakua and Ka’u Hospital. The East Hawai’i Region also includes nine outpatient clinics with specialties. HMC is a 276-bed facility with 137 acute beds, 20-bed behavioral health facility, and 119-bed, long-term care facility. Overall, 72 percent of HMC’s patients have Medicare or Medicaid insurance.

Governor David Ige, along with Hilo Medical Center Officials and Hawaii Island Legislators, held a “Hawaii Health Information Technology Week” proclamation presentation recognizing Hilo Medical Center as 2015 Recipient of Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Award of Excellence on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the Governor’s Office.


Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/govhawaii/albums/with/72157658973406189

Hawai’i County FEAST Community Food Organizing Event

Hawai’i County FEAST Community Food Organizing Event

feast-hawaii-county-community-food-event-speakingHawai’i County FEAST community food organizing event with Rep. Joy SanBuenaventura and Carol Ignacio of Blue Zones Project.

Other photos are the Kaiser stress vegetables and a graph illustrating what the ag lands in Hawaii is being used for. Surprisingly sugar is still king even though only sugar plantation left is in Maui. Central Oahu has become Hawai’i’s bread basket- but soon to be getting smaller with Hoopili being slated for development. Let’s Grow Puna!


Mana March for Pesticide Bill 2481, now Ordinance 960

A new “Leadership Development and Non-partisan Candidate Training Program for Hawai’i”

Gary Hooser recently shared an update regarding the HAPA Alliance and the importance of getting involved. A new “Leadership Development and Non-partisan Candidate Training Program for Hawai’i” called the “Kuleana Academy” has been formed.
Please continue reading for details.

…from Gary Hooser, Kauai County Councilperson and former Hawai’i State Senate Majority Leader.


This past two years, Hawaii has experienced the birth of an intensely passionate grass roots movement for change. This movement has brought together people from all islands representing many different groups and issues but each sharing at its core the battle for social justice.  Whether that battle be manifested in the fight against health and environmental degradation, cultural debasement or economic inequality, at the end of the day it is about social justice.

The 10,000 that marched recently for Unity and Aloha ‘Āina in Waikiki represent just a small fraction of the large number of our residents who are dissatisfied with the status quo and increasingly empowered to stand up and work now for positive change.  On Hawaii Island, on Kauai and on Maui, thousands more have marched and are demanding a government that listens and responds to the people rather than simply kowtow to big business and big money.

People across Hawaii are demanding to be heard and and their concerns and issues respected by government policy makers, but the majority in political office have their head in the sand, hoping, I suppose, that this whole “movement thing” will just go away.

To be clear the movement is not going away.  The abuse by the status quo has crossed the line and the “in your face nature of the actions” are far too egregious for people to turn away and act like they don’t see.

The rail financial boondoggle, the Kakaʻako “good planning and affordable housing” sham, and the “sustainable agriculture” hypocrisy that accompanies Hoʻopili and so many other ag-to-urban development projects on Oahu and around the islands are just a few examples.

On Maui, over 50% of the voters chose to support an initiative requiring agrochemical companies to prove that their operations are safe; yet the local County government will neither acknowledge that concern with legal support nor offer an alternative solution.  The County Councils of both Hawaii and Kauai County also passed laws attempting to regulate this same industry; and yet State government at all levels takes no action, choosing instead to ignore the possibility that additional regulation might be necessary.

In all of these cases and so many more, the common theme is that government is not working for the common good but rather seems focused only on facilitating the business interests who are the “rent seekers” in search of government favors.    They come before our government officials and agencies asking for zoning changes, permit variances, subsidies and other dispensations, and our government seems only willing to bend over backward to accommodate them.  When their project does not go well or when they feel there is more money to be made, they come back again and ask for even more from the public trough.

The movement surrounding the protection of Maunakea happened not just because of one particular telescope, but rather from decades of State inaction and lack of responsiveness.

There comes a time when enough is enough, and I believe now is such a time.

The word on the street is that the growing movement for change in Hawaii is evolving from marching and carrying signs toward the additional action of meaningful participation in the 2016 elections.  There is a movement afoot to register new voters and emerging leaders fueled by the urgency of the moment are making plans to become candidates for public office.

The Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) of which I am the volunteer President of the Board has recently launched the Kuleana Academy, a five-month leadership development and candidate training program.  H.A.P.A. is working with Alliance Education Partners representing a wide variety of leading Hawaii public interest organizations.  This is a nonpartisan statewide program that will educate the participants through 1) Leadership and Campaign Skills Training, 2)Progressive Values and Statewide Issues Workshops; and 3) Community-Based Hands-On Experience.  Space is limited, but anyone in the public is welcome to apply.  The evaluation of participants and their acceptance into the program will be conducted by a panel consisting of H.A.P.A. Board Members and Alliance Education Partners.

Please read about and support this exciting new opportunity to create positive change in Hawaii.    We need new candidates and we need funding support to make the Kuleana Academy the best that it can be.  To learn more and apply please visit:

Please also consider making a generous tax deductible donation to support this important program and the many other projects H.A.P.A. now has underway.  We urgently need your help today.

HAPA’s mission is to catalyze community empowerment and systemic change towards valuing `aina (environment) and people ahead of corporate profit.

Hawaii needs more progressive government leaders who value ʻaina and the people ahead of corporate profit and who have the courage to stand up for their convictions.

Small numbers matter.  While big numbers are important when measuring the success of a march or a concert, when it comes to casting votes at the legislature and in County Council meetings across Hawaii, a handful of votes can make an important difference.  At the State legislature a handful of new, forward-thinking, community-based individuals can likewise make a significant difference, giving courage to other likeminded colleagues and catalyzing change within the body.

Please, if you are a leader and want to take your potential to a higher level, apply to the Kuleana Academy today.  If you have the financial capacity to help Hawaii’s new emerging leaders to reach out, take on, and carry that mantle of leadership, please offer your financial support.

Together we can do this.
Gary Hooser

Attitude of Gratitude

A Week of Gratitude Day!

Aloha kakou a Mahalo for joining millions of people around the world in World Gratitude Day! It’s also the Autumn Equinox and Happy Yom Kippur to the tribe and our friends. On this day (Yom Kippur – ‘Day of Atonement’) I ask forgiveness for anyone I’ve harmed or offended, in the hope that we can all move forward together in peace. It’s also “World Gratitude Day” and on this day of receiving some great news, I am indeed grateful.

This is a great time to think of not only your food crops and like-minded friends but also a time to forgive those that may not seem like our friends, yet. It’s also a time when we begin to experience shorter days and less solar radiation.

Yom Kippur (/jɔːm ˈkɪpər, jm, jɒm/;[1] Hebrew: יוֹם כִּפּוּר, IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpuʁ], or יום הכיפורים), also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism.[2] Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. –Wikipedia

The equinoxes are the only times when the subsolar point (the place on Earth’s surface where the center of the Sun is exactly overhead) is on the Equator, and, consequently, the only times when the Sun is at zenith over the Equator. The subsolar point crosses the equator, moving northward at the March equinox and southward at the September equinox. The equinoxes are the only times when the solar terminator is perpendicular to the Equator. As a result, the northern and southern Hemispheres are equally illuminated. –Wikipedia


There’s always something to celebrate everyday.



Legislative Milestones and Community Resilience Highlight District Progress

For Puna and Ka’u, the past year was unlike any other! First we survived Hurricane Iselle, which was followed within weeks by the Lava Threat. We were fortunate in both events, as there were no lives lost or major injuries as a result of the hurricane, and Pele has spared our community from the major impacts that for a time we feared. In both cases we saw the strength of our community as we came together to help neighbors and find solutions.
Perhaps the most important single bill that passed with benefit to Puna is the Insurance Bill, SB 589 Relating to property insurance, This bill requires most homeowner’s insurance policies to be renewed and new policies to be issued during emergency declarations. This will allow home sales and property values to return to normal following a period when such policies were being denied.

We also established a Farm-to-School coordinator in the Department of Agriculture, a medical marijuana dispensary system, a commitment by DOA to begin a farmer hemp project, and a commitment by Department of Health to greatly expand the cottage food program, and insurance coverage for autism.
Other milestones include funding for albizia control; funding to fight the coffee berry borer and macadamia felted coccid; tax credits for those forced to convert cesspools to septic systems; a new alternate road in Puna; expanding the student laptop program to Pahoa and Mountain View schools; and restoration of Keonopoko for students to return to home schools.

I am especially happy to report that planning has begun for a Puna regional library! This will be a major investment in our community and provide a much-needed resource for education, workshops and gatherings. Input is desired for possible locations for the new library. I was honored to be selected Legislator of the Year from the Hawaii Friends of the Library, for my advocacy for libraries.

During the year we said “Aloha” to Uncle Robert Keliihoomalu, a true icon of our community. His legacy of aloha in action and his tremendous positive influence will outlive us all.
Mahalo for your support throughout the year and for the valuable input you’ve provided to help guide my actions in the Senate on behalf of Puna and Ka’u.

Check out the latest Legislative update at the link below:



Russell Testifying at the County Council on on “Roundup Ban” Bill 71

On Tuesday, I testified before the Hawaii County Council Committee on Environmental Management in favor of a bill (Bill 71) that would ban certain pesticides from being sprayed on government grounds. The Council Committee postponed their discussion and vote on the bill until their next meeting.

Courtesy of Big Island Video News


Russell's Speaker Series

Russell’s Speaker Dinner Series

Senator Ruderman Speaker Series - Gary Hooser

Download and Share PDF | JPG

The Friends of Russell Ruderman present…
Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser will discuss
Take Back Our Government:
the Why, the How and the Hope

Friday July 31st 5-8:30pm
Akebono Theatre in Pahoa,

A fundraiser for Senator Russell Ruderman

Bookings Essential:

Special Musical Guest:
Kalapana Awa Band

For Details Call Barb: 808-339-4344

$10 an Hour! Ruderman collects SBA award, announces new minimum wage


Earlier this year, Russell Ruderman, founder and owner of the Island Naturals chain of health food stores, visited the White House, where he was honored as State of Hawaii Small Business Administration Business Person of the Year.

Ruderman joined winners from all 50 states at the awards ceremony hosted by Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the SBA.

Ruderman, who also is a state senator, opened his first Island Naturals Market in Hilo in 1998. That store was followed by other Big Island outlets in Pahoa and Kailua-Kona.

Island Naturals now employs more than 200 people at its three locations.

Ruderman said he believes treating his employees well is good business. Earlier this month, he announced that Island Naturals established a $10 per hour minimum wage for all employees. While most of his staff already were paid above $10 per hour, some entry-level employees got an unexpected raise in their paycheck this month as the company adopted the higher wage.

“While $10 an hour is not a true living wage in Hawaii, this is a step in the right direction, as raising our minimum also results in higher wages for midlevel staff,” he said.

“Doing so approaches a living wage for more and more workers. We are happy to share our success with our staff, and we all work together to make our company successful.”