Caring for the Community

Board Member with Ka`u Roots

In 2016, Pahala’s very own, Rae Yamanaka joined the East Hawaii Regional Board, the governing body of Ka`u Hospital and Rural Health Clinic.

“My sisters, myself and my brother were all born at the  Pahala hospital,” Rae recalls.  

“We only had the dispensary and clinic in Pahala when I was growing up.”

“I believe in Ka`u Hospital because quality health care is essential to communities like my family, friends and the larger community in Ka’u who are far from major hospitals,” said Rae.

“Having long term care services at the Ka’u Hospital brings a sense of well-being to our elderly and those in need of immediate medical assistance since they can receive the necessary services close to home.”

“I got involved in the Regional Board and I am learning so much. I feel that it is the responsibility of all of us to support our local hospitals and medical staff.”

Regional Board Meeting in Kau


On February 25, members of the East Hawaii Regional Board, the governing body of Hilo Medical Center, Hale Ho`ola Hamakua in Honokaa, Ka`u Hospital and nine specialty clinics, held a public forum in Ka`u.

In Ka`u Hospital's multipurpose day room, members of the community gathered to learn about developments in clinical services, finances and strategic priorities for healthcare in the East Hawaii Region. Merilyn Harris, Administrator for Ka`u Hospital and Rural Health Clinic, also shared updates on services and personnel at the hospital.

"One of the most notable developments at our hospital has been a transition with new nursing staff mainly due to retirements," said Harris.

"Within the last year, we also welcomed an innovative Director of Nursing, Sherrie Bazin, who really wanted to set down roots   in Ka`u and care for the community."   

After experiencing some transition in primary care providers, the Ka`u Rural Health Clinic staff has stabilized with Dr. Sarah Howard joining nurse practitioners Susan Field and Megan Lewis.