It’s hard to believe that the summer has come and gone. I would like to thank all of you who came to our annual Summer Social at the end of June at the Pacific Club. It was a fun night of networking, sharing our legislative recap, and recognizing some of our outstanding Youth Council members. If you missed the event and have not received a copy of our 2019 legislative recap, view or download it here.

Many of our Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i staff attended the 2019 National Conference on Tobacco or Health in Minnesota. Kevin Ramirez, our Youth ESD Prevention Project Coordinator, shared our work on the 808 No Vape campaign in a sub-plenary and poster session, and Scott Stensrud, Statewide Youth Coordinator, was able to present on the work of our youth council. It was a great opportunity to share our work at a national level and network with other states. With the youth vaping epidemic continuing and news of severe lung disease linked to vaping, the need to pass strong policies is clear. 

HIPHI also recently facilitated some critical work with the Hawai‘i Oral Health Coalition and will now serve officially as the fiscal home for the coalition. To learn more about the Hawai‘i Oral Health Coalition, read the latest update here.

In addition, at the end of June, HIPHI assisted the Department of Health and several partners with the 2019 Hawai‘i Community Health Worker Leadership Conference, titled Pūpūkahi I Holomua: For and About Community Health Workers, convening over 160 CHWs from across the state. To read more about the conference, click here.

Coming in October and November…

On October 5, the Maui, Molokai, Lāna‘i Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i will be holding a youth vaping symposium on the evening of October 5, featuring Dr. Bonnie Helpern-Felsher of Stanford University. Register here if you can attend.

On October 16, HIPHI will be hosting our annual Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii’s stakeholder meeting, “Menthol and Flavored Tobacco Summit,” featuring Dr. Valerie Yerger and Dr. Frank Chaloupka. Register here

National Farm to School Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the importance of farm to school programs as a means to enhance the wellbeing of students, families, and schools, and to rebuild our community food systems. HIPHI will be hosting Farm to School focused Perspectives on Community Health field trips in October on the islands of O‘ahu and Maui. These opportunities are made possible, in part, by Whole Foods Markets and are being promoted in conjunction with the 2019 Hawai’i Agriculture Conference, taking place on October 15-16 at the Hawai’i Convention Center. Join us in October during Farm to School Month for three exciting opportunities to explore four unique farm to school sites in Central O’ahu! Find more details and registration here.

HIPHI and the Hawai‘i Immunization Coalition will co-host the 14th National Conference for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships (NCICP) on November 13, 14 and 15 at the Ala Moana Hotel.  Continuing education credits are available through Hawaii Pacific Health. Click here for more information and to register.

Finally, I am both humbled and grateful to be one of the recipients of Hawai’i Community Foundation’s 2019 Ho’okele Award. This award recognizes nonprofit leaders in Hawai’i who are making a difference in our community. I was joined in this recognition by two amazing colleagues, Deborah Zysman, Executive Director of Hawai‘i Children’s Action Network, and Brandee Menino, Chief Executive Officer of HOPE Services Hawai’i, Inc. This award is possible because of the tireless work of our amazing HIPHI ohana.

We thank you all for your continued dedication to public health and look forward to more exciting things to come in the next quarter. Please visit our website,, to sign up for any news, action alerts, and event information.  

Mahalo Nui Loa,