AHARO offers teaching centers with full Waianae Coast health center

Honolulu (KHON2) – The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center on behalf of AHARO Hawaii has established educational centers to meet growing demand with a diminishing supply of primary care providers.

It is an evolving paradigm for patient care with an outdated system that is having a ripple effect on the vulnerable Indigenous Hawaiian population.

According to Dr. Stephen Bradley, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, here are the contributing factors:

* Over-representation in the ranks of the underprivileged

* Statistically, develop the burden of chronic disease 10 years earlier than similar populations

* Important issues related to the social determinants of health

The role of community health centers emerged over 50 years ago when Jack Geiger adapted the South African neighborhood health center system, with a holistic view of team-based health care.

AHARO is an association of community health centers with similar missions and populations served.

AHARO includes WCCHC, Waimanalo CHC, Molokai CHC, Hamakua-Kohala CHC and Bay Clinic

Question: How important are educational programs and what has been done?

Education is part of the mission statement, with a vision for health care training paths for community members, from childhood to career.

Several programs serve the community, including: ATSU School of Osteopathic Medicine, Nationally Certified Nurse Practitioner Residency Program, APA Certified Psychology Training, Pedodontics Residency, Medical Assistant Training, etc.

There are big plans for the family medicine residency program. Over a decade of experience in training primary care providers primarily within CHCs, with additional hospital experience needed, significantly improved recruitment and retention issues, with extensive experience and community ties during residency training, thus allowing a smooth transition.

The result is increased potential for providers to stay and serve in their community.

AHARO will be the pioneer of this initiative in Hawaii.

Website: www.wcchc.com

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