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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 11, 2003

Health briefs

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Health Writer

HIV care posts to be filled

The state Department of Health last week began recruiting for three HIV care positions that have been declared critical by advocates in Hawai'i's HIV/AIDS community.

The three positions are in the Hawaii Seropositivity and Medical Management Program, which provides essential clinical and laboratory services and medications for people living with HIV and AIDS.

The program serves more than 930 people and provides HIV medication to more than 300 clients who would otherwise not have access to treatment. The program receives more than $2 million in federal financing annually.

Gov. Linda Lingle, on the recommendation of state health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, supported the move to recruit for the positions despite the tight budget.

"We understand the critical importance of our HIV care services and we're not about to allow any interruption in services," Fukino said.

The Governor's Committee on HIV/AIDS, provider organizations and clients stressed the importance of filling the positions before they expire on June 30.

Tom Sheeran, a co-chair of Hawaii CARES, the Hawaii HIV care services consortium, said "community members are tremendously relieved to know that these vital services will not be interrupted."

Cancer society seminar slated

The American Cancer Society will present a free financial seminar for cancer patients and their caregivers from 6 to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Central/Leeward Unit in 'Aiea.

The topic is: "Taking Charge of Money Matters" and the location is 98-029 Hekaha St. To register, call the cancer society at 486-8420.

QUEST plans open for change

People who are enrolled in health plans through Med-QUEST and QUEST-Net can make changes to their plans during an open enrollment period that ends Thursday, the state Department of Human Services said.

The state offers free health insurance for low- to moderate-income people through its Med-QUEST program, which provides medical, dental and mental-health services.

On O'ahu and Maui, AlohaCare, HMSA and Kaiser are available; on the Big Island and Kaua'i, AlohaCare and HMSA are available; and only HMSA is available on Moloka'i and Lana'i.

Those who need a plan change form should call 524-3370 on O'ahu and toll-free from the Neighbor Islands at (800) 316-8005 or visit a Med-QUEST office.