Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Skip to content
Section Navigation
Group Photo With Perspectives Attendees And OKK Volunteers

Perspectives Trip Recap: Exploring Rural Health with ʻO Kaʻū Kākou

  • News

After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawai‘i Public Health Institute had its first Perspectives on Community Health trip with ʻO Kaʻū Kākou (OKK) on November 21! HIPHI’s Perspectives trips allow people interested in public health to step out of their regular routines and join peers in visiting local organizations to learn more about their work and approaches to community health. 

OKK is a volunteer-run organization in Ka‘ū dedicated to fostering a healthy community through education, culture, and economic opportunities. Through this trip, we hoped to explore some of the community-driven solutions OKK has spearheaded in their small, rural community.

Weeding at OKK Community Farm.This trip to the OKK Community Farm brought awareness to food access and distribution in rural communities. On their three-acre community farm, they grow produce to provide free meals for local families through its food hub in partnership with Hawai‘i Food Bank. Leftover produce is sold at their market at a low price, making healthy, fresh, and local produce more accessible to the community. 

Beyond food access, a lack of accessible transportation or medical buses brought discussion to transportation equity. The drive to Na‘alehu from Hilo or Kona is over an hour and 20 minutes, making it difficult for kūpuna, people with disabilities, and others unable to drive to access the medical assistance they need. There are over 30 kūpuna on dialysis in the Ka‘ū district who struggle to find ways into town for multiple weekly appointments. 

HIPHI’s perspective trips allow staff and community members to connect and discuss solutions to the community’s needs. HIPHI staff members joined their work and partners to the conditions in Ka‘ū. If you want to learn more about perspective trips, click here.

Back To Top