‘A win-win-win situation’

LIHUE — Ray Ho, the Tropic Care Kauai project manager for the state’s Department of Health, said 932 people had gone through the facility at Kauai Community College through the end of Saturday.

“Saturday was the busiest the facility has been since opening on June 20,” Ho said. “A lot of the people who came are working, so Saturday must have been a good day to visit and have some of the medical services done.”

There were 932 people, but 1,102 services were done.

“Some of the people come for more than one type of service,” Ho said. “This site has been quite busy.”

The Kauai Community College site is one of three where free medical and health services can be obtained through June 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The other sites include Kapaa Middle School and Eleele Elementary School.

Additionally, mobile services were available at the Kilauea Elementary School cafeteria until Saturday, and starting today, mobile services will be available at the Easter Seals facility in Waimea from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“We also will have an audiologist arriving from Honolulu who will be working at the Pacific Missile Range Facility,” Ho said. “This is new to the program. What is amazing is to see all these people from the different branches of military working together to serve the people.”

Sunday hours at all of the sites were cut short due to site visitations by dignitaries, including Gov. David Ige, who was accompanied by his wife, Dawn Amano-Ige, the state’s Department of Health Deputy Director Keith Yamamoto, Major Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, Hawaii’s Adjutant General and head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, and other military dignitaries.

“The service they are providing to the community is terrific,” Ige said. “The Innovative Readiness Training Program allows a lot of people to receive services, and touring this facility is an opportunity to see how this is like from a military perspective. These military reservists are getting real-world training.”

Tropic Care Kauai, making its third appearance on Kauai, is under the command of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tamra Buettgenback, who provided Ige with a tour of the project’s command center established in the interior of the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center.

“The reservists get real-world training in establishing centers in areas where they are totally unfamiliar,” Ige said. “It’s remarkable to see all this equipment set up at the Kauai Community College (and other sites), and see the capabilities of being able to serve so many people.”

Ige said Tropic Care Kauai is a “win-win-win situation.”

“The people win because there are those who may not have been able to receive these types of medical services,” Ige said. “The military wins because it receives valuable training, and on the government side, we are happy to see the number of people getting helped.”

Tropic Care Kauai continues through June 29 with The Kauai Bus offering free bus transportation during that period.

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