Public health fair set for Thursday

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    State Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman, second from left, and Deputy District Health Officer Lauren Guest, second from right, celebrate National Public Health Week with a proclamation received from Kaua‘i County Council Member, and former Mayor Bernard Carvalho, left, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, center, and Kaua‘i County Council Member Felicia Cowden, right, on Wednesday at the Kaua‘i District Health Office on ‘Umi Street in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — After working closely with the state Department of Health Kaua‘i District Health Office, more specifically Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman, and Deputy District Health Officer Lauren Guest, through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the Mayor and the Kaua‘i County Council jointly issued a proclamation announcing National Public Health Week.

The week will be observed from April 3 through 9.

“NPHW 2023 provides an opportunity for Kaua‘i residents to learn more about the wide variety of careers available in public health,” the proclamation states.

“Kaua‘i District Health Office (KDHO) programs employ approximately 120 individuals, in jobs from office workers, disabilities case managers, nurses, mental health professionals, food safety inspectors, epidemiologists, community health workers, microbiologists and more,” states the proclamation.

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami and his office, and former mayor and current Kaua‘i County Council Member Bernard Carvalho Jr. and Kaua‘i County Council Member Felicia Cowden, representing the council as a whole, were treated to an exclusive tour of the KDHO on ‘Umi Street in Lihu‘e.

“Did you see that leptospirosis virus?” Carvalho said. “I never realized the lab at the KDHO tests all the lepto cases in the state.”

In celebration of National Public Health Week, the KDHO is hosting a public health jobs awareness day, when people, especially those in health academy high school classes, can learn about the daily lives of public health workers.

That includes administrative assistants, public health nurses, vector control officers, district health officer, mental health professionals, microbiologists, community health workers and others. This keeps with the national theme of Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.

The fair will be open to people from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, in the front parking lot of the Kaua‘i District Health Office on ‘Umi Street between Elsie Wilcox Elementary School and the Central Pacific Bank building.

There is no admission to learn more about the different jobs people in the Kaua‘i District Health Office are involved in through the exhibit that will feature fun, games and education in a setup that involves several tents in the parking lot.

All KDHO programs and services work to promote the well-being of the families in Kaua‘i county in collaborations with partners outside of the health sector, including county, state and community stakeholders, to protect the health of everyone in the ‘ohana, from keiki to kupuna, the proclamation states.

National Public Health Week 2023 is an opportunity for the island’s leaders and public policymakers to better understand the value of integrated public health work in improving the overall health of individuals and addressing issues that are important to improving people’s health of people.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or


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