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Summer 2023 Update from Our CEO

It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the year! All of us at HIPHI are excited and humbled to be celebrating our 10-year anniversary on Thursday at our annual Summer Social. Reflecting on the past ten years, I am grateful for the support and partnerships that have propelled HIPHI’s mission forward, allowing us to respond to community needs and work towards reducing health inequities. 

This last year has had some key policy successes and some disappointments. This past Saturday marked one year since SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade. While this decision has led several states to restrict access to reproductive care, we’re proud that Hawai‘i has taken the opposite approach and increased access to reproductive care by protecting healthcare professionals who perform abortions and provide aftercare. Act 2 reinforces Hawaiʻi’s policy to protect an individual’s reproductive autonomy and the healthcare provider who performs abortion services. The legislation also codified Hawai‘i’s commitment to protecting an individual’s right to choose appropriate reproductive healthcare. Another policy success this session was the enactment of Act 62, which taxes e-cigarettes at the same rate as other tobacco products, requires wholesalers and retailers to obtain a tobacco license/permit, and restricts online shipping of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Read more about HIPHI’s priorities bills this session here.  In addition, our annual Legislative Recap will be available at our Summer Social and will be available online in early July.

As the COVID-19 public health emergency ended on May 11, many of the temporary changes to increase access to safety net services also ended. As a result, everyone currently on Medicaid must undergo a redetermination process to ensure they still qualify for Medicaid. HIPHI is working with our local healthcare plans and community-based organizations to educate Medicaid enrollees on the process. We look forward to the work ahead as we try to minimize any disruption in healthcare coverage.

Thank you again for your unwavering support and partnership, which has played a pivotal role in shaping HIPHI into the organization we are today. As we step into the next decade, embracing a future filled with fresh opportunities and challenges, I am confident that our collective efforts will continue to foster a healthier Hawai‘i.

With Aloha,

Jessica Yamauchi
Jessica Yamauchi
Chief Executive Officer

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