State Rural Health Association Conference April 5th at Maui Beach Hotel

March 6, 2011, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated March 6, 12:10 PM
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Photo courtesy of the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

By Robin G. Pilus

The Hawaii State Rural Health Association is holding its annual conference on April 5th at the Maui Beach Hotel from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

The conference, “Building Hawaii’s Rural Healthcare Teams,” will highlight some of Hawaii’s most innovative solutions to delivering quality healthcare in Hawaii’s complex environment.   

Maui, the other neighbor islands and parts of Oahu are all considered federally designated rural healthcare areas that include medically underserved populations.  Such areas face a unique combination of factors, which include shortages of healthcare workers, creating disparities in health care not often found in urban areas.

Economic factors, cultural and social differences, educational shortcomings, and the sheer isolation of living in remote rural areas all conspire to impede rural Americans in their struggle to lead a normal, healthy life.

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“The Association is focusing this conference on sharing and leveraging the best solutions that our communities have developed to solve Hawaii’s healthcare challenges,” said Dr. Kelley Withy, MD, Ph.D. and President of the State Rural Health Association. 

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Withy indicated that the goal of the conference is to maximize sharing of information between communities about existing needs and locally available resources so that our  communities can deploy strategies readily available to build health workforces in Hawaii.  “We are excited about our Rapid Resource Sharing session which is akin to ‘speed dating’ for ideas,” Withy said.

Larry Carter, local telecare advocate and member of the Board of Directors of the State Rural Health Association is helping to organize the Annual Conference on Maui.  “We are pleased to be hosting the conference on Maui this year.  We invite physicians, providers, educators and caregivers to share their needs and creative solutions as they learn from experiences of other similar communities.” 

Carter said, “It’s about doing more with less as we sustain and build our rural healthcare workforce.”

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For more information about the Hawaii State Rural Health Association or to register for the conference visit the Hawaii State Rural Health Association  or call 808-281-6080.

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