DOH continues response to Maui wildfires
The state Department of Health’s Maui District Health Office continues its response to the Maui wildfires. Through its Maui District Health Office and local partners, the Department provided updates on behavioral health services, emergency prescription assistance, unsafe water advisories, and the prevention of respiratory and vector-borne diseases.
The department reports it is grateful for the outpouring of volunteers and community partnerships to support the Lahaina wildfire survivors.
The health department also launched a call center to connect impacted residents with non-emergency medical services, mental health support, and other services. Call 833-833-3431 or 808-586-4468 M-F from 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
DOH and Community Partners Collaborate to Address Behavioral Health Impact of Maui Wildfires
DOH is working with community partners to support initial behavioral health triage efforts and outline a strategy to provide mid to long-term behavioral health services on Maui. These efforts include launching additional programs to support the evolving behavioral health needs of the community.
DOH is ensuring that behavioral health needs are met by hiring local behavioral health clinicians to provide support to Maui residents. These new staff members will be on-island to provide services for several months. In addition, DOH has established telepsychiatry capability should survivors prefer this option. The US Department of Health and Human Services has resourced four federal behavioral health providers on Maui to assist and has encouraged DOH to request more, which DOH is pursuing.
“We understand the behavioral health impacts from the Maui wildfires are severe and are likely to be long lasting,” said Marian Tsuji, Deputy Director of Behavioral Health. “We also know that the impacts may not be revealed for weeks or even months after the disaster. Working together with community partners, we want to ensure that Maui residents have access to comprehensive, responsive, and culturally sensitive behavioral health support.”
Teams from DOH are working alongside community health partners to launch a Wellness Navigator program for impacted residents currently residing at local hotels. The wellness navigators will go door-to-door with carts filled with snacks, drinks, toiletries, toys for children and other donated items for the displaced residents. While they are making their rounds, they will also offer information about available health services and connect individuals who may need a higher level of mental health support with community providers. The carts used for this program were donated by Hawaiian Airlines. These in-person wellness navigator visits began on Aug. 24 at hotels across Maui.
DOH is also working with community partners to offer crisis mental health services for Maui residents who may not be sheltering at local hotels. No appointment is necessary for clinic services and insurance is not required.
Locations for in-person behavioral health visits include:
- Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center
- Location: Ākoakoa Place, Below the Lahaina Civic Center. Mobile visits are also available, covering neighborhoods from Leialiʻi to Honokohau Valley.
- Hours: August 2023 – daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. September 2023 – daunt, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Contact: Call 833-833-3431 or 808-586-4468 M-F from 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Maui Community Mental Health Clinic
- Location: 121 Mahalani St., Wailuku
- Hours: Monday-Friday from 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m..
- Contact: For information, call 808-984-2150, via email at [email protected].
The Hawaiʻi CARES Crisis Line is also available 24/7 by calling or texting 988 or visiting hicares.hawaii.gov.
DOH is also committed to providing long-term support throughout the recovery and rebuilding process. Future initiatives may include creating Peer Support Groups, increasing access to telehealth services as communications are restored, adding additional hotlines for crisis support, and more opportunities for group therapy.
Community partners include Hui No Ke Ola Pono, Mālama I Ke Ola, Aloha House, FEMA, Hawai‘I Pacific Health, Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i, The Queen’s Health System, Hawaiian Airlines, the State Office of Wellness and Resilience, the American Red Cross, Federal Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and volunteers. All organizations are working to address the emergent mental health needs of the community in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires.
Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center Continues to Provide Medical, Pharmacy Services
DOH’s Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center continues to provide services including general medical care, pharmacy services, behavioral health services, and eye care. All individuals are welcome to receive these free services, and no health insurance is required.
- Lahaina Comprehensive Health Center Click here to download a Lahaina clinic flyer.
- Location: Ākoakoa Place, Below the Lahaina Civic Center. Mobile visits are also available, covering neighborhoods from Leialiʻi to Honokōhau Valley.
- August 2023 – Every Day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- September 2023 – Every Day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Contact: Call 833-833-3431 or 808-586-4468 M-F from 7:45 a.m.to 4:30 p.m.
Participating community partners include Mauliola Pharmacy, Mālama I Ke Ola Health Center the Hawaiʻi Independent Physicians Association, Maui Optix and Hui No Ke Ola Pono.
- Location: Kāʻanapali Beach Resort (Outrigger) Satellite Clinic: Satellite clinic provided by DOH in partnership with The Queen’s Medical Center, American Medical Response, and other partners.
- Hours: Daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with after-hours on-call services available.
- Contact: Call 833-833-3431 or 808-586-4468 M-F from 7:45 a.m.to 4:30 p.m.
Emergency Prescription Assistance Program Available to Uninsured Maui Residents
The US Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Prescription Assistance Program continues to be available to Maui residents impacted by the wildfires who do not have health insurance. EPAP helps these residents get the prescription drugs and medical equipment that they need to stay healthy.
Maui residents impacted by the wildfires who do not have any form of prescription insurance should call the EPAP toll-free hotline at 1-855-793-7470 to verify eligibility and register.
Following registration, individuals will need to obtain a valid prescription from a healthcare provider and fill their prescription at a pharmacy that is enrolled in EPAP. Prescriptions for medications and medical supplies may be renewed every 30 days for as long as EPAP is active.
DOH, EPA Continue to Support Maui Department of Water Supply on Unsafe Water Advisories
DOH and the US Environmental Protection Agency continue to provide technical support to the Maui Department of Water Supply, which issued Unsafe Water Advisories for Lahaina and Upper Kula.
The Department of Water Supply is advising Lahaina and Upper Kula residents not to drink and not to boil the tap water as it may pose a health risk, even if it’s boiled. Residents will not be able to treat the water in any way to make it safe for consumption.
Bottled water should be used for all drinking, brushing teeth, ice making and food preparation.
The County of Maui is posting updates on its Unsafe Water Advisories online at https://www.mauicounty.gov/water.
Preventing Respiratory and Vector-Borne Diseases
COVID-19 cases have been steadily increasing statewide for the last few months, with early indications of a further increase in cases on Maui based on DOH’s COVID-19 reporting data.
DOH recommends that all Hawaiʻi residents, including those on Maui, continue to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations and take other precautions, such as wearing a mask and practicing good hand hygiene when possible. Find COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.vaccines.gov/search/. DOH and its partners are also making COVID-19 vaccines available at its Lahaina Comprehensive Health Clinic.
DOH is also working to monitor for vector-borne diseases, which can increase in an area impacted by a disaster because of an accumulation of debris. While no confirmedcases of vector-borne diseases have been reported yet, DOH is working with other federal, state and county agencies to clear debris and other hazards that could lead to an increase in vector-borne diseases.
Murine typhus, a disease carried by rodents and spread to humans by fleas, is endemic in Hawaiʻi. A handful of cases are reported in Hawaiʻi each year. Murine typhus can be prevented by clearing brush and trash near your home and using insect repellant before exposure to fleas. Click here to learn more.
Debris and standing water also have the potential to increase the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever. Response efforts, including debris removal and vector control activities in the impacted areas, are underway to prevent emergence of these conditions.
For DOH updates, visit https://health.hawaii.gov/mauiwildfires/