Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi is a private, non-profit organization originally formed in 1985 as the Puna Community Caring Health System in collaboration with Alu Like, Inc. Hawaiian community leaders (mostly farmers), health professionals, technicians, and educators responded to the Puna Hui ʻOhana's concern about the Native Hawaiians reluctance to seek medical care until it was too late.
With funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a grassroots campaign was organized to address concerns about access to preventive and primary health care services and the many health issues facing Native Hawaiians who lived in remote areas of Hawaiʻi Island.
These community efforts led to research conducted by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute that established the need for improved access to care and later resulted in the formation of the Native Hawaiian Health Task Force of Hawaii Island in 1988. It was designated through the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, Public Law 100-579 later that same year.
Finally in 1991, under the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi became incorporated and was recognized as the Hawaiian health entity serving the Big Island. Hui Mālama opened its doors in a small office in Hilo with four staff total (including the
Interim Director); two of those original staff still remain with us. At that time, staff walked through Hawaiian Homelands in Hilo (Keaukaha and Pana'ewa) and "knocked on every door, spreading the word about services". Since that time we have grown to 35 staff and five sites across our island: Hilo, Pahoa, Na'ālehu, Captain Cook, and Waimea.
Board of Directors
Mabel De Silva, Poʻo
Areas of Expertise and Experience: Hawaiian Culture, Community Outreach, Veteran’s Affairs
Philosophy on Life: Live each day with aloha for our Ohana and the ʻāina.
David J. Lovell
Areas of Expertise and Experience: Grant Administration, Business and Technology, Community Outreach, Medical and Health Issues, Financial Procedures
Philosophy on Life: In the end, all that remains is your word and deed, so make it count!
Areas of Expertise and Experience: Business and Financial Management Consultant, Community Volunteer and Advisor, Accounting (CPA), Real Estate, Education
Philosophy on Life: Peace and love, not war.
Areas of Expertise and Experience: Hawaiian Culture, Elected Office (OHA), Government Services, Community Outreach
Philosophy on Life: Kanaka Makua ... Be A Man of Worth
Robert Yamada II
Areas of Expertise and Experience: Program Administration, Construction Manager, Engineer/Inspector, Contract Management
Philosophy on Life: Go slow to go fast
Noelani Puniwai, PhD
Areas of Expertise and Experience: Grant Administration, Community Outreach, Natural & Resource Management Educator
Philosophy on Life: ʻIke i ke au nui ke au iki, he alo a he alo; Learn of the big currents and little currents, face to face
Lehua Andrade – Interim Executive Director
Val Hadley – Interim Executive Assistant
Del De Los Santos – Chief Financial Officer
Mercy Nakayama – Finance Assistant
Lisa Canale – Project Analyst
Noe Scott – Administrative and Facilities Specialist
ʻOihana Community Relations
Cori Wehrsig – Director of Community Relations
Lei Andrade – Health Promotion Specialist
Sweetie Osorio – Special Events Coordinator
ʻOihana Health Education
Wanda Louis – Interim Director of Health Education & Case Management
Kristy Victorino – Cancer Program Coordinator
Kalani Lawson – Exercise Science Program Coordinator
Edna Baldado – Community Health Specialist
Brandon Kobashigawa – Project Manager-OHA
Tiare Ortega – Traditional Healing Program Assistant
ʻOihana Case Manager
Bernie Freitas – Interim Coordinator of Case Management
Leenal Castro – Case Manager
Jasmine LeFever – Temporary Receptionist
Mari Martin – Interim Coordinator of Case Management
Yvonne Replogle – Intake Specialist
Casey McCandless – Case Manager
Pua Puniwai-Viritua – Transportation Specialist
Captain Cook Office:
Maxine Kalani – Case Manager/Site Manager
Maile Mercado – Case Manager
Ulu Alip – Case Manager/Site Manager
Natalie Morales – Case Manager
Keamalu Waltjen – Case Manager/Site Manager