Since 2012, the annual Ka Paʻalana Health Fair has helped families to take charge of their health and provided a number of resources to benefit both the keiki and their kupuna.
“The Health Fair came about from one of our initiatives to improve the health of our program families and children,” said Jin Chang, Ka Paʻalana’s Co-Manager.
The primary purpose of the Fair to provide a venue where program families and children can interface with and receive services from community health service providers free of charge. This year there were almost two dozen organizations in attendance, like the National Kidney Foundation, Catholic Charities, Hawaiʻi Medical College, and the Public Health Nurses.
Ka Paʻalana also aims to encourage program families and children to learn about and take intentional steps towards wellness. There were interactive stations where health care providers taught families how to check blood pressure, how to deal with head lice, and even what kinds of herbs or spices (such as ʻolena, or turmeric) have been used in ancient Hawaiian medicine.
“A lot of times people will take care of their car more than they take care of their body,” said Sheree Sakai, one of Ka Paʻalana’s Parent Educators.”I’m so glad the families are having a good time, and trying [the activities].”
Lastly, Ka Paʻalana hopes the Health Fair will help families to network with community partners. Through networking, they can address issues related to wellness that are unique to Ka Paʻalana’s program population, such as homeless families and children.
Mahalo nui loa to all the health care providers that partnered with us to help ensure the health and well-being of our ʻohanas here in Hawaiʻi. See you next year!