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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 1:32 p.m., Thursday, April 3, 2008

$75K grant will allow Palama clinic to expand hours

Advertiser Staff

Gov. Linda Lingle has released a $75,000 grant-in-aid to Aloha Medical Mission, which runs a free medical and dental clinic at Palama Settlement on O'ahu for uninsured and underserved people in the community.

The grant-in-aid will be used to expand the clinic's hours of operation so that it can treat more patients.

The mission's Honolulu clinic provides a range of free medical and dental services to the uninsured and those unable to pay for care. The clinic serves as the state's only "interim" medical care facility, which signifies its commitment to helping transition patients to community health centers for continued care. Many of the patients are newly arrived immigrants who are unemployed or working part-time jobs, or migrants from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau.

"For those who face language or cultural barriers, lack financial resources or are simply intimidated by the larger medical system, the Aloha Medical Mission clinic in Honolulu is a reassuring point of contact," said Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the state Department of Health. "We appreciate the doctors and nurses who give generously of their time, and the fact that the clinic works to build a continuum of care by counseling patients and referring them to community health centers."

The total annual cost of operating the Honolulu clinic is about $224,000. The mission has also received private grants from the Hawai'i Medical Service Association, Hawai'i Dental Service and the Strong Foundation.

Aloha Medical Mission also provides free medical, surgical and other health-related services, plus supplies and equipment to poor areas in the Philippines, Southeast Asia and throughout the Pacific.