(BIVN) – Access to healthcare and the level of service on Hawaiʻi island will be focus of the Hawaiʻi Island Healthcare Conference on October 5th.

The event, to be held at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, is free to attend but seating is limited, organizers say.

From a news release courtesy Community First Hawaiʻi:

Community First Hawaiʻi founder, the late Barry Taniguchi said it best, “There is no way to transform healthcare and achieve a sustainable system without coming together. If all districts of the island come together, we can build a County-wide system of health governed by each community to best address their needs while leveraging information technology and payment models which require scale.”

This island-wide Healthcare Conference seed was planted from a brainstorming session at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce’s Health and Wellness Committee. Not wanting a regional West Hawaii focus, the committee pitched the Island of Hawaiʻi Chamber HUI consisting of the Kona chamber, Hawaii Island Chamber, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaiʻi and Hui Oihana – Hawaii Island Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce on the concept of an island-wide conference. With Community First’s leadership and organizational capacity, the Healthcare Conference moved forward.

Coming Together

To that end, the conference is coming together. Members of the organizing committee were involved in setting up the previous healthcare conference over 10 years ago under former Mayor Billy Kenoi’s guidance. Many of the same issues discussed then are unfortunately prevalent today.

This year’s conference will feature engaging presentations and conversations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities for those who share a common passion for enhancing healthcare accessibility and community well-being on Hawaiʻi Island. A work plan will also be developed leading into the upcoming 2024 Legislative Session.

Mayor Mitch Roth will open the conference with US Congressional Representative Jill Tokuda slated to speak on, “Strengthening Rural Health Services Through Policy and Resources” with Governor Josh Green presenting, “The State of Healthcare.”

Innovative Sessions

Sessions and presentations include The Role of Philanthropy in Supporting Hawaiʻi Island Healthcare, Health Disparities, Innovative Partners in Care, The State of Behavior Health on Hawaiʻi Island, and Workforce Development Initiatives on Hawaiʻi Island. Hawaiʻi State legislators in a panel discussion will focus on “A Collective Vision for Hawaiʻi Island Healthcare.”

Hawaii Island native John DeFries will wrap up the conference discussing “Building a Healthier Future Together.”

It’s Free but Space is Limited

The Hawaii Island Healthcare Conference is free and lunch is included. The sessions run from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Space is limited. Register today to reserve your seat. To register for the free conference log on to (this website).

The Hawaii Island Healthcare Conference is presented by Community First Hawaii and sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Health. Partners include County of Hawaiʻi, KTA Super Stores, Hawaii Island Community Health Center, Hawaii State Rural Health Association, Hilo Medical Center, HMSA, Kaiser Permanente, Kona Community Hospital, Ohana Health Plan, State of Hawaiʻi, Queen’s Medical Center, and the STUPSKI Foundation.


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