“Tropic Care Maui” to benefit residents, serve as rapid response training for military personnel
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i – Mayor Alan Arakawa today announced that free health, dental and vision care will be offered to residents of Maui, Molokai and Lanai in early June. The program will include nine clinic days between on different days at several locations in Central Maui, West Maui, South Maui, Hana, Lanai and Molokai. Clinics will be open from or as posted at individual sites.
Performing the health care services will be approximately 400 uniformed personnel including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, dentists and others from active and reserved ranks of the armed forces around the United States. The military personnel will be participating in a rapid deployment exercise named Tropic Care 2013. Maui County was selected as the designated location for this free program after Mayor Arakawa signed an official request to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2011.
The free clinics will be open to all residents. Identification will not be required, and no fees will be charged. People can expect health services that include physical examinations, vision checks (and single-lens glasses), basic dental care and nutrition counseling, among others. The clinics will not accept advance appointments and participants will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
“This program will provide vital health care services for residents, especially those who don’t have or cannot afford any medical insurance,” Mayor Alan Arakawa said. “We are fortunate to have received a green light with the application we submitted many months ago, and I am confident that hundreds, if not thousands, of Maui County residents will benefit from these services.”
Tropic Care is being made possible through collaboration between Mayor Alan Arakawa, the State of Hawaii Department of Health and the Innovative Readiness Training Program of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Last year Tropic Care helped an estimated 12,000 Kauai residents receive roughly $1 million in free health services, according to military officials.
“This opportunity will allow the Department of Health to save thousands of dollars and collect substantial and important data to map the landscape of Maui County’s health status,” added Dr. Lorrin Pang, Health Officer of the Maui County District. “Tropic Care is a huge undertaking but our Federal, State and County levels of government are doing this so the community can reap the benefits.”
Joe Pontanilla, Mayor’s Office staff member tasked with helping coordinate the program, noted that if someone needs glasses, they can have a pair made for free. “Military personnel will also be equipped to administer basic lab tests, dispense medication, fill cavities and many other important health care services,” Pontanilla said. “This is truly a blessing for our community.”
Details on exact locations and days/times for each clinic will be released as soon as logistics are finalized.
For more information, call Communications Director Rod Antone at 270-8222 or via email at email@example.com.