As community members, health care providers have the potential to influence thousands, even millions of lives. Hawaii Pacific Health's Cancer Centers team members regularly lend their expertise in the community, making a difference beyond their practice at local, national and global levels.
Nurses Celebrating Oncology Nursing Month by Completing Annual Competency Training
Oncology Nursing Month is a moment to thank the men and women who are there for patients throughout their cancer journey – from the moment of diagnosis, to the final days of treatment, oncology nurses are with patients to celebrate their victories but also to comfort them through the unimaginable.
At Hawaii Pacific Health, nurses from all four medical centers – Kapiolani, Pali Momi, Straub and Wilcox – use this time to celebrate their profession in the best way possible – by completing their annual chemotherapy and biotherapy competency and training.
“As our patients know, having a nurse who is knowledgeable and an expert in their abilities in providing cancer care makes all the difference,” says Liz Blasiak, a registered nurse and director of oncology services at Hawaii Pacific Health.
Great Aloha Run Sports, Health & Fitness Expo
Race participants of the Hawaii Pacific Health Great Aloha Run had the opportunity to meet physicians and other health care professionals of the Hawaii Pacific Health Cancer Centers during the GAR Sports, Health & Fitness Expo, held throughout President’s Day weekend 2018. Along with tips for a healthier lifestyle, the Cancer Centers booth also offered giveaways, gifts and free skin cancer screenings.
Getting regular screenings for skin cancer is especially important in Hawaii, where many people enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle and where there is sunshine year-round. By helping spot signs of skin cancer early, we are doing our part to create a healthier Hawaii.
Getting Recognized by the American Cancer Society
Each year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recognizes its community partners for supporting its mission to “save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer.” In appreciation for its investment in ACS’s 2017 programs and services, Hawaii Pacific Health and each of its four medical centers received a very unique award – a miniature surfboard, crafted like a real surfboard, with an inscription of thanks for Hawaii Pacific Health’s longtime partnership that has enabled ACS to provide transportation and lodging to patients and caregivers throughout their cancer journey, as well resources for cancer prevention and screening to the community through health fairs and other sponsored events.
Pictured clockwise from upper-left corner: Representatives from Kapiolani Medical Center, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Medical Center, Hawaii Pacific Health and Wilcox Medical Center accept the award from the American Cancer Society for their support of ACS programs and services in 2017.
Pali Momi Opens Doors to First Comprehensive Cancer Center in Central & West Oahu
The new Hawaii Pacific Health Cancer Center at Pali Momi Medical Center opened on October 30, 2017 with a blessing ceremony and grand opening event attended by physicians and staff, community and construction partners, and government leaders. The 24,000-square-foot center will provide comprehensive and coordinated cancer care, including diagnosis, treatment and support services, in one convenient and centralized location for Central and West Oahu residents.
2017 Komen Hawaii Race for the Cure
Staff members of the Hawaii Pacific Health Cancer Centers and their families gathered together on a Sunday morning in October to support breast cancer patients and survivors during the 2017 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at Kapiolani Park. Attendees who stopped by the Cancer Centers booth competed in a fun and educational trivia game that tested their knowledge on cancer symptoms and resources. Everyone walked away a winner and went home with a “Healthier Hawaii” T-shirt and recipe calendar. Other Hawaii Pacific Health team members showed their support by participating in the race while sporting the color of the day – pink! It was a great morning for a great cause!
Paint the Town Pink!
Wilcox Medical Center was proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Paint the Town Pink! event, a walk from the Moikeha Building in Lihue to Wilcox Medical Center to raise awareness for breast cancer. More than 100 people, including men, participated in this year’s walk on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Wilcox Medical Center staff, also dressed in pink, greeted the walkers upon their arrival at Wilcox with much fanfare and refreshments. Wilcox partnered with the Kauai Committee on the Status of Women, YWCA of Kauai and the American Cancer Society, Kauai office on this event.
Healthier Survivors Celebration Honors Strength of the Human Spirit
As the sun slowly lowered in the early evening sky, the soft strums of Bruce Naluai’s ukulele welcomed guests to the Straub Medical Center rotunda, which had been transformed into an outdoor oasis perfect for finding a seat to kick back, relax and talk story.
This dreamy summer scene was the setting for the Hawaii Pacific Health Cancer Centers’ first-ever Healthier Survivors Celebration, held June 26, 2017.
It was a bittersweet reunion as patients reconnected with doctors, nurses and other members of their health care team, many of whom they hadn’t seen since their last days of treatment.
Straub Helps to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates
Straub Medical Center recently made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the “80% by 2018” initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC). “80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which more than 500 organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem, and are working toward the shared goal of 80 percent of adults ages 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.
Pictured: Dr. Ian Okazaki, Straub oncologist (second from left), and Dr. Donald Saelinger, Straub gastroenterologist (fourth from left) signed the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable's "80% by 2018" commitment pledge on behalf of Straub Medical Center. Joining them for the pledge signing were (from left) Tracey Hewitt, manager, Straub Oncology and Outpatient Treatment Center; Courtney Schwartz, health systems manager-hospitals, American Cancer Society; Liz Blasiak, director of Oncology Services, Hawai‘i Pacific Health; and Julio Zamarripa, manager, Straub Gastroenterology Clinic.
Prostate Health Awareness
On Saturday, January 28, Dr. Charles Kim, a Urologist at Pali Momi Medical Center, led a special presentation entitled "Men’s Health Awareness: What you should know about Prostate health". Some of the topics covered in the lecture included:
- How to maintain a healthy prostate
- Warning signs and risk factors for prostate health concerns
- Early detection for prostate cancer
- Treatment options available
According to the American Cancer Society, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The American Cancer Society’s recent estimates for prostate cancer in the United States are:
- About 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer
- About 26,120 deaths from prostate cancer
Hawaii Healthcare Hero
The Healthcare Association of Hawaii has named Dr. Ian Okazaki, Oncologist at Straub Medical Center, a Healthcare Hero for his compassionate care of his patients.
The award recognizes extraordinary health care workers who went above and beyond to care for a patient in a memorable way. The award recipients are nominated by patients and selected based on care they provided that made a significant difference to their patients.
Pictured (left to right): Art Gladstone, CEO of Straub Medical Center and Pali Momi Medical Center; Dr. Ian Okazaki, Straub oncologist and recipient of the HAH Healthcare Hero Award; Dr. Robert Schulz, Straub plastic surgeon and recipient of the HAH Physician of the Year Award; and Dr. Ken Robbins, HPH Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Beacon of Hope Award
Dr. Reginald Ho, was the recipient of the Beacon of Hope Award at the ACS (American Cancer Society) Hope Gala on Saturday, May 6. Over the course of his life, Ho has worked tirelessly to treat, educate, and, ultimately, to bring hope to countless numbers of cancer patients. Ho has also served as National President of the American Cancer Society, where he was able to share his knowledge with physicians across the country.