Business

New Doctor Joins Hāmākua-Kohala Health Clinic

July 24, 2019, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated July 24, 6:35 PM
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Bridget Bala-Valdez, DNP, APRN, RX. Courtesy photo

Hāmākua-Kohala Health has appointed Bridget Bala-Valdez, DNP, APRN/RX, to its Hāmākua Clinic.

A graduate of Honoka‘a High School, Dr. Bala-Valdez worked with HKH while completing her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, and helped develop the clinic’s HIV testing program.

During her nurse practitioner residency program, she also worked with HKH under mentorship with Dr. Eric Murray. Dr. Bala-Valdez received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Hawai‘i in 2017.

Her Practice Inquiry Project (similar to a doctoral dissertation) investigated the innovative idea of “respite care” for homeless persons, who are often repeat patients. She interviewed patients and healthcare professionals, exploring the needs for transitional facilities, between the hospital and the streets, allowing patients time to rest and heal—and to connect with needed resources.

Bridget began work with HKH on July 1, 2019.

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“Home is where my family is; I was born and raised on the Big Island,” said Bridget. “My great grandparents struggled to make a living here, from the Philippines… There’s nowhere else I’d rather practice than in my own home community.”

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In her role at HKH, Bridget will focus on family practice—from the newborn to kupuna—and helping patients make lifestyle choices for taking good care of themselves, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. These choices include engaging in daily exercise and selecting nutritious foods.

“Hāmākua supports local,” she said. “Let’s use our own local resources, buy fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s markets, for example.”

She also recommends spending time with family and friends, helping each other deal with stress, while taking care of oneself. She encourages patients to keep in touch, even when they are not sick.

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“I want to make sure you have a good healthcare experience,” said Bridget. “I want you to come back and not have that fear of ‘going to the doctor.’ Otherwise, how are we going to help you with your hypertension or diabetes, or any other issue?”

“What I live by is stewardship,” she said. “The act of serving others passionately. That’s the way I was raised. I’ll die happy knowing that I helped people in this world.”

About Hāmākua-Kohala Health

Hāmākua-Kohala Health provides comprehensive primary and preventative healthcare regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. They accept most insurance, and use a sliding fee scale for those with no insurance. For more information, or to schedule a wellness visit, call Hāmākua-Kohala Health at (808) 775-7204.

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