April 12, 2024

National Public Health Week: individual well-being, community well-being

Monday marked the start of National Public Health Week, April 1 to 7, observed by the American Public Health Association. Hawaii counties also observe the annual event with public events that offer and highlight resources available to the public or opportunities for those seeking to serve in the healthcare industry.

This year’s theme is “Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health,” highlighting issues important to improving rural health and championing the health of all people and communities across the board.

Here are a few events happening around the state:

The nonprofit National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest mental health organization dedicated to supporting, advocating and raising awareness about mental illness. NAMI Hawaii is a state organization with an office on Oahu and affiliates on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. They offer classes, workshops, support groups and services. Visit the NAMI Hawaii website for more information.

NAMI Hearts and Minds is a wellness program designed to educate and empower individuals to better manage their health. Starting in mid-April, they will offer a free five-week class on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM via Zoom, in which participants will learn about medical self-defense, managing pain and prescriptions, breaking habits, improving sleep, creating of a diet that works for the self, symptom management, social support and peer wellbeing. Interested parties can register by sending an email to info@namihawaii.org.

On April 20 and 27 at 10 a.m., NAMI Family & Friends is offering a free seminar via Zoom to educate people on how to support loved ones with mental illness. Participants learn communication skills, prepare for crisis situations and provide tips for self-care. Email info@namihawaii.org with your name, island and contact information.

Hawaii Public Libraries across the state will also host a variety of health and wellness-focused activities on specific days in April, including meditation, mindfulness, all-around wellness, helping families find senior care through CareSift, finding reliable health information and more. Visit the events page.


The Kauai District Health Office will host an open house on April 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. where the public can speak with Hawaii State Department of Health staff about programs and what individuals in the community can do to address public health challenges to deal with. The event will be held at 3040 Umi St. in Lihue.

There will be representatives from administrative services, community health workers, vector control nurses, epidemiologists, mental health professionals, food safety inspectors, disability case managers and microbiologists.

“The KDHO staff looks forward to welcoming everyone to this event and saying ‘mahalo’ to our community and partners for their continued support to build a thriving and healthier Kauai,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Kauai County District Health Officer, said in a news release. “Working together to create opportunities to understand and support public health benefits the community as a whole.”

There will also be a Health Clinic Pop-Up on April 15 at Lihue Christian Church in downtown Lihue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is required and everyone is welcome for a health check at the Ho’ola Lahui Mobile Clinic; receive food from Hawaii Foodbank Kauai, 10 a.m. to noon; participate in a box lunch talk story in the afternoon; enjoy mobile showers with Project Vision Hawaii; and seeking health resources.

Island of Hawaii

In partnership with the Hawaii District Health Office of the Hawaii State Department of Health, Hawaii County will hold two health fairs on April 9 and 10.

Health information, resources and health screenings will be available to the public on April 9 from 11am to 1pm at the Kona Coast Shopping Center at 74-5586 Palani Rd. in Kailua Kona.

On April 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., health information and resources, health screenings, entertainment, food trucks and activities will be available at the Hilo State Office building at 75 Aupuni St. in Hilo.

“The impact of our health care providers is vital to the well-being of our residents,” Mayor Mitch Roth said in a news release. “It’s not just about treating diseases; it’s about promoting wellness, preventing disease and nurturing community. where everyone can thrive. Our commitment to public health is a commitment to caring for each other and ensuring a healthier future for all.”

Hawaii District Health Officer John Kolman, Ph.D. added: “We encourage everyone to join us in celebrating public health and taking steps to protect their own well-being and the health of our community.”

Hawaii County and the Department of Health are also working with Community First of Hawaii, Inc. on a campaign to educate residents on how public health initiatives can be easily integrated into daily life and contribute to community well-being.


On the Valley Isle, Maui Health aims to educate people about the healthcare industry through the second Maui Healthcare Career Fair, taking place from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on April 5 and from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on April 6 at Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku.

Those looking to start or expand a career in healthcare are invited to participate and receive personalized guidance from an experienced recruitment specialist, application assistance and on-site interviews for qualified applicants. It is also an opportunity to learn about the wide range of healthcare jobs available on Maui and Lanai.

“At Maui Health, we strive to provide more than just a job for our employees, but a fulfilling career,” Human Resources Director Tara Cole said in a news release. “Our Healthcare Career Fair offers you the opportunity to connect with our team and discover how you can use your passion, skills and talents to make a difference in the health and well-being of our community. Our team can help find you a job you will really enjoy, answer your questions and guide you through the application process.”

Visit the Maui Health website to learn more about the health fair and to view available career opportunities.

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