Maui News

Free Health Clinic Series Offered by Military in Maui

May 15, 2013, 11:06 AM HST
* Updated May 16, 2:47 PM
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Hospital lab file photo by Wendy Osher.

Medical lab, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

***An update with exact times and locations of the free clinics is now posted at the following direct LINK.

The County of Maui has announced a free nine-day clinic in June that will provide health, dental and vision care to residents on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.

County officials say the “Tropic Care Maui” clinic is being offered in collaboration with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health, and the Innovative Readiness Training Program of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

Its benefits are reportedly two-fold: providing services to residents, while and also serving as rapid response training for military personnel.

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According to a county issued press release, authorities from the military say the program helped an estimated 12,000 residents on Kauaʻi last year, delivering an estimated $1 million in free health services.

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County officials say an estimated 400 uniformed active and reserved rank military personnel are expected to participate in the exercise which is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 4-12, on different days and locations in Central Maui, West Maui, South Maui, Hāna, Lānaʻi, and Molokaʻi. County Communications Director Rod Antone said exact times and locations will be provided as the event nears.

“This program will provide vital health care services for residents, especially those who don’t have or cannot afford any medical insurance,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa in a press release announcing the upcoming clinics.

Arakawa, who singed the officials request with the US Department of Defense in 2011 seeking to serve as a designated location, continued saying, “We are fortunate to have received a green light with the application we submitted many months ago, and I am confident that hundreds, if not thousands, of Maui County residents will benefit from these services.”

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County officials say the clinics are open to all residents free of charge, and that no identification will be required. Advance appointments will not be accepted, and participants will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis, the announcement stated.

Joe Pontanilla, who helped to coordinate the program through the mayor’s office, noted that if someone needs glasses, they can have a pair made for free. “Military personnel will also be equipped to administer basic lab tests, dispense medication, fill cavities and many other important health care services,” said Pontanilla in the announcement.

“This is truly a blessing for our community,” he said.

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