New Hana rehab facility blessed

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The Hana Health Rehabilitation and Support Center has a physical therapy room, and will begin taking appointments on May 1. Brittany Arisumi-Rodrigues photos

With the newly built Hana Health Rehabilitation and Support Center, East Maui medical personnel hope to fill much-needed service gaps in the rural community and reduce treatment wait times.

Just behind the existing Hana Health Center sits the new 3,800 square foot, multipurpose facility, which will include space for physical therapy, chiropractic care, cardiac rehabilitation and other specialty services.

A blessing for the opening of the new facility took place on April 14, which drew about 100 people, including Hawaii Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, and Leo Caires, the chief of staff for Mayor Richard Bissen.

“It is really very exciting for me personally, our staff and the community,” said Cheryl Vasconcellos, executive director of Hana Health. “We are now relocating out of our trailers and into the new facility and setting up the physical therapy program for a May 1 start date.”

For now, the $5.8-million building will begin with physical therapy appointments on May 1 before expanding to the other services. Behavioral health care will also move from outdoor trailers to the new facility, including virtual behavioral health services.

Leo Caires, the chief of staff for Mayor Richard Bissen, and Hawaii Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke attend the blessing for the new Hana Health Rehabilitation and Support Center in East Maui on April 14. Brittany Arisumi-Rodrigues photos

Administrative offices will also be relocated to the new building.

“It’s truly a blessing to have these important health services that include physical therapy and behavioral and mental health services here in Hana so East Maui residents will be spared the long drive to Central Maui for critical care they need,” Caires said Tuesday. “Mahalo and best wishes to the center and our aloha to the people of East Maui who will ultimately benefit from the expanded services.”

Staffing will be determined as services are rolled out, Vasconcellos said Monday. Currently, a full-time physical therapist will be in the new building, as well as administrative staff and the Healthy Lifestyle Program Coordinator.

“We currently serve 1,900 people who will also benefit from the new services as they are added,” she said.

Accessing healthcare in an already isolated community is oftentimes challenging for East Maui residents and visitors — the nearest medical facilities are in Kahului. The Hana Health Rehabilitation and Support Center and the expansion of services will support their needs.

“We look forward to providing an expanded level of care right here in Hana and reduce the travel burden for district residents who have had to travel to the ‘other side’ to secure specialty care, and for those who have forgone treatment altogether due to the distance from services,” she said.

* Staff Writer Dakota Grossman can be reached at