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HI-MIRT defines paradise

Tech. Sgt. Kehaulani Lobetos and Tech. Sgt. Lokelani Ishikawa, 154th Medical Group, health services management craftsmen, Hawaii Air National Guard, prepare Waianae High School students for sports physicals during Innovative Readiness Training at Waianae High School in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The HIANG 154th Medical Group gave Waianae High School student athletes sports physicals as part of its week long IRT held on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, July 12-17. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Tech. Sgt. Kehaulani Lobetos and Tech. Sgt. Lokelani Ishikawa, 154th Medical Group, health services management craftsmen, Hawaii Air National Guard, prepare Waianae High School students for sports physicals during Innovative Readiness Training at Waianae High School in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The HIANG 154th Medical Group gave Waianae High School student athletes sports physicals as part of its week long IRT held on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, July 12-17. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Tech. Sgt. Nate Steele, medical technician, 123rd Airlift Wing, Kentucky Air National Guard, checks blood pressure of a Waianae High School student athlete during sports physicals given by Air National Guard members at Waianae High School in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The physicals were part of the Innovative Readiness Training that took place from July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Tech. Sgt. Nate Steele, medical technician, 123rd Airlift Wing, Kentucky Air National Guard, checks blood pressure of a Waianae High School student athlete during sports physicals given by Air National Guard members at Waianae High School in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The physicals were part of the Innovative Readiness Training that took place from July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Lt. Col. Susan Richards, 154th Medical Group, chief nurse, confers with Waianae High School student, Kahea-Makani Hussey, about the sports physical assessment. The 154th Medical Group along with Guardsmen from Kentucky and Iowa performed over 150 sports physicals to student athletes at Waianae High School in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The sports physicals were given as part of the Innovative Readiness Training that took place July 12-17 on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Lt. Col. Susan Richards, 154th Medical Group, chief nurse, confers with Waianae High School student, Kahea-Makani Hussey, about the sports physical assessment. The 154th Medical Group along with Guardsmen from Kentucky and Iowa performed over 150 sports physicals to student athletes at Waianae High School in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The sports physicals were given as part of the Innovative Readiness Training that took place July 12-17 on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Airman First Class Anthony Sabong, medical technician, 154th Medical Group, Hawaii Air National Guard, measures the height of Waianae High School student athlete during sports physicals given by Air National Guard members at Waianae High School, in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The physicals were part of the Innovative Readiness Training that took place from July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu.(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Airman First Class Anthony Sabong, medical technician, 154th Medical Group, Hawaii Air National Guard, measures the height of Waianae High School student athlete during sports physicals given by Air National Guard members at Waianae High School, in Waianae, Hawaii, July 14. The physicals were part of the Innovative Readiness Training that took place from July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu.(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Master Sgt. Lisa Bartolome, health Services manager, 154th Medical Group and Staff Sgt. Jennifer Kim, medical materials, 154th Medical Group, check over sports physical paperwork with Waianae High School student athlete following his sports physical July 14, at Waianae High School. The sports physicals were part of the Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training that took place from July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Master Sgt. Lisa Bartolome, health Services manager, 154th Medical Group and Staff Sgt. Jennifer Kim, medical materials, 154th Medical Group, check over sports physical paperwork with Waianae High School student athlete following his sports physical July 14, at Waianae High School. The sports physicals were part of the Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training that took place from July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Maj. Stuart Thompson, 154th Medical Group, dentist, inspects child's teeth during Innovative Readiness Training-community outreach in Waianae, Hawaii, July 16. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Maj. Stuart Thompson, 154th Medical Group, dentist, inspects child's teeth during Innovative Readiness Training-community outreach in Waianae, Hawaii, July 16. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Maj. Stuart Thompson, 154th Medical Group, dentist, inspects young girl's teeth while her brother looks on during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training-community outreach in Waianae, Hawaii, July 16. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guards members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while addressing community and civic needs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Maj. Stuart Thompson, 154th Medical Group, dentist, inspects young girl's teeth while her brother looks on during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training-community outreach in Waianae, Hawaii, July 16. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guards members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while addressing community and civic needs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

A toddler gives Capt. Dana Tanno, optometrist, 154th Wing Medical Group, a taste of her own medicine as he gives her an eye exam. Capt. Tanno took part in the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

A toddler gives Capt. Dana Tanno, optometrist, 154th Wing Medical Group, a taste of her own medicine as he gives her an eye exam. Capt. Tanno took part in the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Master Sgt. Alan Yoneshige, 154th Medical Group, optometry technician, administers an eye exam to a young girl during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while addressing community and civic needs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Master Sgt. Alan Yoneshige, 154th Medical Group, optometry technician, administers an eye exam to a young girl during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while addressing community and civic needs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Capt. Elzadia Kainae, clinical nurse, 154th Medical Group administers glucose screening test during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. The HI-MIRT took place July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Capt. Elzadia Kainae, clinical nurse, 154th Medical Group administers glucose screening test during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. The HI-MIRT took place July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Capt. Elzadia Kainae, 154th Medical Group, clinical nurse, measures a bike helmet on a young child during the Innovative Readiness Training, July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii.  Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete training while performing free medical services to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Capt. Elzadia Kainae, 154th Medical Group, clinical nurse, measures a bike helmet on a young child during the Innovative Readiness Training, July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete training while performing free medical services to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Lt. Col. Susan Richards, chief nurse, 154th Medical Group administers glucose screening test during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. The HI-MIRT took place July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Lt. Col. Susan Richards, chief nurse, 154th Medical Group administers glucose screening test during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. The HI-MIRT took place July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Master Sgt. Lisa Bartolome, health Services manager, 154th Medical Group, checks over and record information with patient during the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. This year's HI-MIRT took place July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Master Sgt. Lisa Bartolome, health Services manager, 154th Medical Group, checks over and record information with patient during the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs. This year's HI-MIRT took place July 12-17, on the Leeward Coast of Oahu. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Capt. Dana Tanno, optometrist, 154th Medical Group, checks the eyes of a young adult with a Retnamax, which allows an optometrist to obtain a general idea of a person's prescription. "This really helps with children and disabled persons who can't talk," said Capt. Tanno. Capt. Tanno took the reading during the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Capt. Dana Tanno, optometrist, 154th Medical Group, checks the eyes of a young adult with a Retnamax, which allows an optometrist to obtain a general idea of a person's prescription. "This really helps with children and disabled persons who can't talk," said Capt. Tanno. Capt. Tanno took the reading during the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Master Sgt.  Kimberly Santos, aerospace medical technician, 154th Medical Group, checks the blood pressure of one of the young patients, whose parents took advantage of the free medical screenings offered by the Hawaii Air National Guard as part of the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to the medically underserved. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Master Sgt. Kimberly Santos, aerospace medical technician, 154th Medical Group, checks the blood pressure of one of the young patients, whose parents took advantage of the free medical screenings offered by the Hawaii Air National Guard as part of the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to the medically underserved. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Capt. Nathaniel Duff, doctor, 154th Medical Group, checks the throat of Gwendolyn Wan during Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services for the underprivileged. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Capt. Nathaniel Duff, doctor, 154th Medical Group, checks the throat of Gwendolyn Wan during Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services for the underprivileged. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Capt. Nathaniel Duff, doctor, 154th Medical Group, checks eyes of Gwendolyn Wan during Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Capt. Nathaniel Duff, doctor, 154th Medical Group, checks eyes of Gwendolyn Wan during Innovative Readiness Training July 16, in Waianae, Hawaii. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to the community. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

Master Sgt. Jeffrey Romualdo, 154th Medical Group, 1st Sgt and dental hygienist, inspects young teen's teeth during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training-community outreach in Waianae, Hawaii, July 16. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to medically underserved communities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)
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Master Sgt. Jeffrey Romualdo, 154th Medical Group, 1st Sgt and dental hygienist, inspects young teen's teeth during Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training-community outreach in Waianae, Hawaii, July 16. Innovative Readiness Training is an opportunity for Guard members to complete mission essential training while performing free medical services to medically underserved communities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Betty J. Squatrito-Martin)

7/24/2010 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii -- -- When people hear or speak of Hawaii, the word paradise often follows. Visions of sun, surf, palm trees swaying and pineapples are usually conjured by the mind. Most people do not equate paradise with the underprivileged. However, while sand, surf and sun reign supreme, there is a part of Hawaii that is filled with the less fortunate. It is this population that the Hawaii Air National Guard served during the Innovative Readiness Training program in Waianae, Hawaii, July 12-17.

Innovative Readiness Training is a DoD program that brings National Guard personnel into local communities throughout the United States. It is designed to give Guard members an opportunity to complete mission essential training while acting as good neighbors addressing community and civic needs.

"Training drives the program," said Capt. Jason Iyosama, Hawaii Medical IRT, project officer. "It's a great opportunity for traditional Guardsmen to get real world training," he added.

In an effort to meet the objective of the IRT, the Hawaii Air National Guard teamed with the Hawaii Department of Health and built the Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Program, "E Malama Kakou," which translates to "To care for all." The program is designed to provide communities within the Hawaiian Islands access to preventative heath assessments, dental assessments, preventative care, referrals to outpatient clinics, and health, wellness and safety education.

This is the third year that the HIANG has hosted "E Malama Kakou;" however, it is the first year the HIANG has had the opportunity to serve as primary medical providers to its local community.

"This year is really special because it's our own Guard taking care of our own people," said Eva Galariada-Rosa, the civilian community and training coordinator for the week's activities.

The thing that actually makes me feel good about being in the military is the opportunity to help anyone who can make it to these events, said Master Sgt. Jeffery Romualdo, 154th Medical Group, 1st Sgt. and dental hygienist. "It's an ohana (family) kind of thing, taking care of our people who live on this island."

It's a win-win situation; Guardsmen are provided training and the community members are provided with much needed medical services, said Captain Iyomasa. We are building relationships one community at a time, he added.

In addition to the 154th Medical Group, Guardsmen from Kentucky and Iowa participated in the week long training along the Leeward Coast of Oahu.

"It's been really great to work here and give back to the community," said Tech. Sgt. Steele. "It [community outreach] shows that we're not only concerned about the mission, but about creating a positive feeling in the community about what we do as well," he added.

By the end of the week, the HIANG medical personnel, augmented by Kentucky and Iowa Guardsmen, had seen nearly 500 people from the Waianae, community, over 150 of those were high school athletes who needed sports physicals.

Anyone who has lived in Hawaii knows that high school sports are an integral part of the local culture of Oahu, particularly on the Leeward coast.

"State law requires that any athlete who wants to participate in any athletics needs to be cleared by a licensed doctor," said Toby Wolff, Waianae High School athletic trainer. "So, this helps out a lot," he added. For a lot of these kids a sports physical is often a financial burden, but with this [HI-MIRT] we bypass all of that, he added.

"I had one kid tell me that he wouldn't have had the opportunity to play at all because they couldn't afford for him to have a sports physical, so he would have just been out; so, it [HI-MIRT] gives them an opportunity to participate in some of the things they may be wouldn't have otherwise had the ability to do," said Lt. Col. Doug Hoisington, flight surgeon, 185th Air Refueling Squadron, Iowa Air National Guard.

Thus, the efforts of the HI-MIRT team were much appreciated. It ensured jerseys would have occupying persons.

In addition to making health and dental assessments available, the "E Malama Kakou," thanks to Tech. Sgt. Steele from Kentucky, was able to provide CPR classes for the public.

"Without Tech. Sgt. Steele's participation in the 'E Malama KaKou,'" we would not have been able to provide the CPR classes to the community," said Capt. Iyosama. "He is an outstanding instructor who brings an abundance of real world experience including 14-years as an emergency medical technician," added Capt. Iyomasa.

By week's end, Tech. Sgt. Steele had certified nearly 80 participants in CPR.
Tech. Sgt. Steele, was so energetic that there's been nothing but praise for the class, said Galariada-Rosa.

"The community loves the military coming in and providing all the services," said Galariada-Rosa

"It's very rewarding to serve our community," said Master Sgt. Lisa Bartolome, health services manager, 154 MDG. "It's a reminder of what our state needs and the services we can provide," she added.

On one occasion Capt. Nathaniel Duff, doctor, 154th Medical Group, went directly to a person's residence in order to render services.

"It's a great surprise," said Gwendolyn Wan, the home bound patient. "It's wonderful, it's a privilege. The military, wow, it's awesome."

From a healthcare provider's point of view, it's been an eye opening experience to actually see how much need there is in our own backyard, said Capt. Duff. "It's been really nice to do what we do best in the National Guard and work with our ohana here in Hawaii."

For the past three years, the HIANG the Hawaii DoH have provided communities within the Hawaiian Islands access to preventative health assessments, dental assessments, preventative care, referrals to outpatient clinics, and health, wellness, and safety education per the DoD directive regarding Innovative Readiness Training.

The HI-MIRT is a great opportunity to let the people know we are here, said Captain Iyosama. It reminds them that in a time of disaster, such as the Tsunami that hit American Samoa, the Guard will be there to help.

"Our community is very grateful" for the services provided, said Galariada-Rosa. "We want them to do this forever."

The sentiment shared by Galariada-Rose was one of many. The overwhelming number of smiles, cheers, and heartfelt thanks heard during the week's training and community outreach made one thing clear. Sometimes paradise isn't measured by surf, sun and sand; sometimes it's measured by a helping hand.