HIANG, Texas ANG, provide medical services
By Master Sgt. Kristen Stanle
/ Published September 25, 2008
KAHUKU, Hawaii -- The 154th Medical Group served as host and coordinator for several Guard and Reserve Units during the community health fair in Kahuku Aug. 13.
The health fair was part of the E Malama Kakou, to care for all, program, which is a Hawaii Medical Innovative Readiness Training.
This is a pilot program that provides communities within the Hawaiian Islands access to free preventative health assessments, wellness referrals to outpatient clinics and community disaster preparedness awareness training.
"We go out to the community leaders and establish a link to the deploying units." said 2nd Lt. Curtis Palmer of the 154 MDG. "The community that we're servicing, they tell us what they need." As a result, the project has the flexibility to change and adapt to the various communities needs.
The health fair in Kahuku provided free dental checkups, vision screening, general health education classes, head lice (uku) checks, asthma screening and sports physicals.
The 149th Medical Group from San Antonio provided free sports physicals to school age children on the North Shore of Oahu. "The exams we give are exactly what the Department of Education need for these children to participate in school sports programs." said Palmer.
The purpose is to provide mission essential training for units involved, while building upon the long-standing tradition of the National Guard acting as good neighbors at the local level.
"This gives us the ability for direct patient care with a clientele that we don't normally get to work with." says Palmer. "The Soldiers and Airmen get the experience in dealing with the type of patients they might encounter during a humanitarian response."
The program is win-win. The community, with a health professional shortage, receives free medical services, while the service members get hands-on clinical and didactic training.