KOKO Clinic in Waimea step closer to relocating, expanding services for Native Hawaiians
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders’ Association have published a draft Environmental Assessment for the relocation of the Kīpuka o ke Ola Clinic, a Native Hawaiian rural health clinic in North Hawaiʻi.
This is a step closer to implementing the proposal to relocate the existing clinic to a two-acre site within the 161 acres already leased by the Waimea Nui Community Development Corporation.
The relocation would allow the clinic to expand its treatment rooms to provide primary care, psychiatry, psychology, women’s health, la‘au lapa‘au, lomilomi and acupuncture services.
The clinic also would expand its Ulu Laukahi Program, which addresses chronic care disease management.
Kīpuka o ke Ola, also known as KOKO, was established in response to community needs for a health clinic that could specifically address the health disparities endured by Native Hawaiians in North Hawai‘i.
The draft Environmental Assessment report was published in The Environmental Notice periodical on Nov. 8.
The association and its subsidiary organization, the Waimea Nui Community Development Corporation, have been actively conceptualizing a community development project for more than 40 years to address the cultural, economic and social needs of the Waimea area and Waimea Homestead families.
Following a 2015 Final Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact, the Hawaiian Homes Commission approved a 65-year general lease to the corporation for 161 acres. Their plan included the development of a community agriculture complex and park, a green waste biodigester, a post-harvest facility, a commercial kitchen and other facilities.
The Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders’ Association developed the Waimea Nui Regional Community Development Initiative based on ideas and concepts articulated by the greater homestead community. The initiative incorporates the long-term visions of the association as outlined in the the Department of Hawaiian Home Landsʻ 2012 Waimea Regional Plan.
A public comment period on the draft Environmental Assessment will conclude on Dec. 8.
To learn more about the Kīpuka o ke Ola Clinic relocation project and view the draft Environmental Assessment, go to: dhhl.hawaii.gov/po/hawaii.