With the widespread outbreak of Dengue Fever and other serious health issues looming, such as Rat Lung Worm Disease, it is imperative that the State of Hawaii and its related agencies are mobilized in a timely, and proactive manner to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of our people.
It is my hope that with the call coming from all levels of government, such action will be taken directly, and decisively by our State officials to address this serious health issue. I applaud and support Congresswoman Gabbard’s efforts to bring the immediacy of this situation to the forefront.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Governor David Ige to Declare Hawaiʻi Island Dengue Fever Outbreak a State of Emergency
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today called on Governor David Ige to declare the Hawaiʻi Island dengue fever outbreak a state of emergency and deploy State resources, including the National Guard, to assist with mosquito abatement, public information, clearing, and providing completely free testing for those with suspected symptoms of this incurable disease.
“The dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island continues to worsen. We cannot afford to wait any longer for the aggressive action necessary to combat the spread of this serious disease. An emergency proclamation from the Governor is long overdue,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the people of Hawaiʻi Island. “There have already been 242 confirmed cases of Dengue Fever on Hawaiʻi Island, creating a public health emergency affecting our residents and visitors, and Hawaii Island’s economy. They deserve our state’s full attention and resources to do what it takes to put an end to this outbreak, and prevent it from becoming endemic and spreading to other parts of the island and state.” -Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard
On October 21, 2015 the Dengue exposure rate on Hawaiʻi Island was 1 in 185,079. As of today, 1 out of every 849 residents and approximately 3 out of every 50,000 visitors has contracted dengue fever.
This constitutes an average infection rate of 67 residents and 7 visitors every month since this outbreak began. Additionally, the same mosquito that carries Dengue Fever is also a carrier of the Zika virus, which is “spreading explosively” according to UN health officials, who are currently considering declaring an international health emergency.
In speaking with Governor Ige and by written correspondence, the congresswoman called for the following action items to be addressed immediately:
- Completely free and accessible testing for those who suspect they have symptoms of Dengue Fever. While the cost of the test may be free, residents and visitors are still charged for visits to a physician, nurse, or clinic in order for their blood to be drawn. This could easily be solved by ensuring there are free access points island-wide, and by deploying state or National Guard medical personnel as a mobile testing unit that can travel to both populated and remote locations across the island, draw blood, and get samples to the lab for expedited results.
- Allocate resources to the Department of Health for development and execution of a comprehensive public information and public engagement campaign with quality review measures. Current “Fight the Bite” efforts fall far short of providing residents and visitors with the information they need.
- Provide a full-time entomologist on Hawaiʻi Island dedicated to eradication, reduction, and prevention of further spread of the Dengue virus.
- Allocate resources to hire vector control personnel, purchase more sprayers and other necessary equipment and supplies.
- Provide free supply and distribution of Ovitraps throughout the community to empower local residents to help prevent the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. World Health Organization report studies have shown that population densities can be reduced below disease-transmission thresholds with sufficiently large numbers of frequently serviced traps.
- Appoint a Dengue Czar who can act as the coordinator of efforts with all parties within the state, county, federal, private sector, and community to ensure the objectives are being met.
More than a third of the world’s population live in areas at risk for infection from the Dengue virus, which is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected annually. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been meeting with state leaders, Hawaiʻi County officials and Civil Defense, military personnel, experts in the private sector and at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and listening to concerned citizens of the Big Island, working to protect the people of Hawaiʻi from Dengue Fever, a debilitating disease that has no vaccine, treatment, or cure, so that the Aloha State does not remain a part of this worldwide epidemic.
Mahalo to Hawaii Island Workforce and Economic Development Ohana for this acknowledgement.
I donate to Nine Months: Window of Hope project. This group works with women who may have substance abuse issues to be clean & healthy during pregnancy, allowing the child to be born healthy. — with Carol Matayoshi and Cyd Hoffeld and everyone in the Hawaii Island Workforce and Economic Development Ohana.
Opening Day with some Food Heroes.
Homeowners insurance will continue to be available even in lava threat emergencies.
During the lava threat, insurers were denying homeowners insurance to most of the Puna district. Senator Ruderman’s bill requires insurance to be issues in 95% of cases even during a declared state of emergency. This bill allowed real estate sales to normalize, and property values returned to previous levels. This bill passed and was signed into law in April, 2015.
Property Insurance; Hawaii Property Insurance Association; Policies; Non-renewal; Lava Zone; State of Emergency; Moratorium.
SB589 SD2 HD2 RELATING TO INSURANCE.
Specifies the total percentage of property insurance policies that an insurer may non-renew in a lava zone during a state of emergency due to lava flow in that lava zone, with specific exceptions. Specifies that if residential property insurance is unavailable due to a moratorium on insurance policies in a lava zone during a state of emergency due to lava flow, the Hawaii Property Insurance Association shall remove its moratorium; requires the Hawaii Property Insurance Association to offer new policies and provide a maximum waiting period of six months for the policy coverage to take effect after the moratorium is removed. (SB589 HD2) (S)
5/7/2015- Act 032, 5/5/2015 (Gov. Msg. No. 1132). RUDERMAN, Baker, Gabbard, Inouye PBS, CPC.
Puna Community Medical Center is Expanding
Our Puna Community Medical Center Medivan, which has been parked across from Pahoa High School since last year, has now been driven down to Kalani Honua, where it will see patients on the first and third Fridays of every month from 9 am to 1pm. Dr. Hart Miller will provide the same services as at our Pahoa clinic, including urgent and acute care, school and job physicals and referrals. No appointment will be needed. Patients should bring their insurance card, if they are covered. This is being done as a feasibility demonstration project to determine if it is (a) needed by the coastal community, and (b) economically viable. At the end of the one year cycle we will have enough data to determine if the project should be dropped, continued as is, or expanded. A big mahalo to Kalani Honua for hosting this project and to councilman Ilagan for providing start-up funding from his District 4 Contingency fund.
Our urgent care clinic at the Pahoa Marketplace will also be staying open longer. We will be open on Christmas Day and on New Years Day from 8:00 am to noon. And we will increase our Sunday hours to 5:00 pm starting January 3rd (although we will still be closed for staff lunch).
Future plans to continue expansion of our Puna Community Medical Center services are being finalized, as the logistics have to be worked out regarding shift changes and staffing, but we will be moving our current 5:00 pm closing time to 7:00 pm and staying open through the lunch hour on weekdays. This will help our working people get the medical care they need without losing time at work or their sick leave. Date for this change will be announced.
We have signed a 65 year lease for state land on Hwy. 130 and are now waiting for the governor to sign it. At that point drivers will see a banner in front of the property, announcing “Future Home of Puna Community Medical Center’s Emergency Dept. & Medical Park”. The emergency facility will be the first increment. Future plans may include a Birthing Center, Senior Day Care, Dental Clinic, Dialysis Center, or other components on an as-needed and/or fundable basis.
Puna Community Medical Center continues to honor its commitment to provide medical services to the Puna community. We will keep doing it until Puna no longer has a federal designation as a “Medically Underserved Area”.
Want to help? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. (Rene Siracusa)
Hawaii Farmers Union United annual meeting in Wailuku.
With Big Island HFUU chairs Kyle Studer ( East Hawaii), Greg Smith (Ka’u), Steve Sakala (Kona), & Dashiell Kuhr (Kohala)
Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) is changing the narrative concerning the future of food production in Hawai’i through our growing membership in nine chapters and our presence on legislative committees at both the state and national level.
HFUU represents and advocates for family farmers and ranchers on all of the Hawaiian Islands.
The purpose of the informational briefing is to receive updates and information relating to the 2016 Legislative Session.
The following informational briefings have been scheduled for broadcast this week:
Thursday, November 19, 2015
2:45 p.m. House and Senate EDU/EDN (room 309)
• Oahu Channel 49.
o You may watch it in-house on channel 72.
o See ‘additional information’ below for Neighbor Island channel information.
o LIVE to the Neighbor Islands
Friday, November 20, 2015
9:00 a.m. House and Senate HLT/CPH (room 329)
• Oahu Channel 55
o You may watch it in-house on channel 75.
o See ‘additional information’ below for Neighbor Island channel information.
o LIVE to the Neighbor Islands
Additional Information regarding Neighbor Islands:
The Neighbor Island cable television stations may not take our coverage as it is generated, since they may prefer to carry our programming at times that are more convenient to their own schedules. Neighbor Island viewers may consult the resources listed below for Capitol TV broadcast and rebroadcast information.
• Kauai: Hoike Community Television (www.hoike.org), phone (808) 246-1556 (no web-streaming).
• Maui: Akaku: Maui Community Television (www.akaku.org), phone (808) 871-5554 (web-streaming available).
• Big Island: Na Leo O Hawaii (www.naleo.tv), phone (808) 935-8874 (Hilo) or (808) 329-9617 (Kailua-Kona) (web-streaming available).
If two proceedings are being covered at the same time, one will be broadcast live statewide and the second will be broadcast live to Oahu and tape delayed to the Neighbor Islands.
All broadcasts may be viewed live via the internet. Visit Olelo Community Television at Olelo.org and select the Oahu channel indicated above.
All broadcasts will be archived on the Legislature’s website for later viewing. To find them, click on the “Broadcasts” link and select either House Webstreaming or Senate Webstreaming.
Please contact the Public Access Room (PAR) at 587-0478 if you have any questions. Mahalo!
Assistant Public Access Coordinator
PUBLIC ACCESS ROOM (PAR)
A Division of the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB)
State Capitol, Room 401
415 S. Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
* Toll Free from All Islands
Hawai’i….. 974-4000, ext. 7-0478
Maui………… 984-2400, ext. 7-0478
Kaua’i………. 274-3141, ext. 7-0478
Moloka’i/Lana’i…(800) 468-4644, ext. 7-0478
It’s that time again….
Our next Community Talk Story meetings will be held in Pahoa on November 4th at 6PM, and in Kea’au on November 5th at 6PM.
This next legislative session will be a critical one with new leadership in place and many interesting changes in the Senate Committees. Your input and testimony will be crucial this next legislative session, don’t miss this opportunity to be learn how to be an active participant and get involved!
We will dedicate these meetings to presenting proposed legislation for 2016, hearing your ideas & thoughts, and getting everyone involved in the legislative process. We will also have a question and answer discussion. Light refreshments will be served. I look forward to seeing you and urge everyone to come and have your voices heard.