Local group joins anti-AIDS effort
The Life Foundation has joined a coalition of 30 national HIV/AIDS organizations and leaders are calling for development and implementation of a comprehensive national AIDS strategy.
The groups represent African-American, Latino, Native American/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Asian & Pacific Islander communities.
The Life Foundation, a Hawaii and Pacific leader in the fight against AIDS, has seen an alarming increase of HIV infection in native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Asian communities in the state, said spokeswoman Melanie Moore.
She said a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on estimates of new HIV infections in the nation "amplifies the crises faced in communities of color."
HIV/AIDS leaders are concerned about unmet needs for targeted HIV research, treatment access, medical care and prevention in those communities, she said.
Xuan-Lan Doan, Life Foundation's deputy director, represented the organization at a recent meeting of national HIV organizations and leaders at the Ford Foundation in New York City. They pledged to work together to strengthen the HIV/AIDS response locally and nationally and agreed on a seven-point action plan.
Grants for health groups offered
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is beginning a 50th anniversary celebration by giving away money to improve public health.
Two grant programs were announced for nonprofit organizations, including one $50,000 grant aimed at reducing health disparities in Hawaii and 50 $1,000 grants based on nominations by Kaiser employees and physicians.
Recipients of the 51 grants will be announced at an anniversary celebration later this fall to correlate with the anniversary date of Nov. 12, 1958.
"At Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, one of our core values is to improve the health of the community, as well as the health of our members," said Hawaii Region President Janet Liang. "We have pledged to champion the health of all of Hawaii. In the current economic climate, now is the time for organizations like ours to show the people of Hawaii that we are here."
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii recently assessed Hawaii's current health issues and needs, including the overall status of residents, personal and community health indicators, health care access, insurance coverage and available health care manpower.
Dr. Geoffrey Sewell, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii executive medical director, said the assessment "brought to light critical disparities in health, especially among ethnic groups and in rural areas."
He said the $50,000 health disparity grant will help to close the gap in care for some of the state's most vulnerable populations.
Any local 501(c)3 nonprofit community-based organization providing health care services that wants to focus on health disparities is encouraged to submit an application for the large grant by Sept. 30.
For more information on grant criteria or to request an application, call 432-5777, ext. 1496. Applications and instructions also are available online at info.kp.org/communitybenefit/our_communities_6_a.html.
Class on hepatitis therapy offered
The Hepatitis Support Network of Hawaii is offering a special hepatitis C therapy education class for patients on or starting Pegasys and Ribavirin treatment.
The network encourages physicians to require the course for patients before starting the treatment. It will include basics of hepatitis C, an overview of therapy, side-effect information, guidelines for pregnancy and contraception, storage of medicine and self-injection instructions.
The classes will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 22, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17 in the Valden Building, 1286 Queen Emma St.
Pre-registration is required. Call Jennifer at 393-2478 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police, Fire, Courts
Missing woman, 83, found safe
An 83-year-old woman who had been reported missing was found on the trail toward Kaena Point yesterday and rescued by helicopter before being transported to the Queen's Medical Center in stable condition, officials said.
"She was conscious, but not fully oriented," said Capt. Terry Seelig, public information officer for the Honolulu Fire Department. "They recorded some minor injuries, but she was transported in stable condition."
Lifeguards and police in an Ocean Safety pickup truck found the woman about a mile from Yokohama Bay, Seelig said. The woman's car had been spotted near that beach, also known as Keawaula Beach, according to police. It wasn't clear how long she had been there.
The Fire Department was alerted at 11:53 a.m. to help with the rescue, but due to a miscommunication, headed to the Waialua side of Kaena Point first. A Fire Department helicopter later airlifted her to Yokohama Bay, where emergency medical services took over at about 12:50 p.m.
Police seek help in hunt for 3 men
Michael David Negrini
Mauro Martin Oritz
Willie Dennis Eriksson
Big Island police want help tracking down "Hawaii Island's Most Wanted," including a man accused of nearly assaulting a police officer and another accused of sexually assaulting a minor.
The latest CrimeStoppers television program features both men, along with a Hilo man who has been missing for a year:
» Michael David Negrini, 51, of Kona is wanted on six warrants including two for nearly assaulting a police officer.
» Mauro Martin Ortiz, 28, of Puna is wanted for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a girl in Hawaiian Paradise Park on June 22. His bail is set at $1 million.
Ortiz is described as 5 foot 6, about 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. Police advise the public not to approach him but to alert police to his whereabouts.
In a third case, Willie Dennis Eriksson of Hilo was last seen on Nov. 7, 2007, at a general store in Mountain View, Puna, and police haven't ruled out foul play in his disappearance. He is described as 5 foot 9, about 165 pounds with blue eyes, short graying hair and a goatee.
"Hawaii Island's Most Wanted" airs on Na Leo O Hawaii Community Television Channel 54 on Sundays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at 5:30 p.m.
Police stun, arrest knife-wielding man
Police used a Taser early yesterday against a man who they said threatened them with a knife in Wahiawa.
Just past midnight, police responded to a report of a large group of men fighting in the middle of a street and arrived to find a man punching the louvers of his apartment.
When confronted, he became loud and disorderly and approached the officers with a knife, threatening to kill them, police said.
Police shot him with a Taser, a powerful electrical stun gun, and placed him under arrest on suspicion of terroristic threatening and disorderly conduct. He was later released pending investigation.
Suspect arrested in hotel sex assault
Police arrested a 25-year-old Schofield Barracks man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Waikiki.
Police said the suspect and a male friend met the victim, 20, and a female friend on Saturday and toured the island with them. Later, they went to a Waikiki hotel, where the victim fell asleep, police said.
She awoke early yesterday to find one of the men sexually assaulting her, police said. She later reported the incident and the alleged assailant was arrested on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault.
Woman arrested in knife attack
Police arrested an 18-year-old woman who allegedly admitted to cutting her boyfriend with a knife.
Police said the woman walked into the Pearl City Police Station just after midnight today and told officers that she had cut her boyfriend. Officers found the victim, a 19-year-old man, who confirmed the suspect's story.
Police arrested the woman for investigation of second-degree assault. There was no word on the victim's condition.