On Wednesday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $500,000 in capital improvement grant funds for the Molokai Community Health Center.
A press release from the governor’s office said that the grant will complete phase II of the Center’s capital improvement project that includes renovation of structures, an addition of a central deck, repaving the parking lot, installing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant walkways, as well as irrigation and landscaping at its Oceanside Center in Kaunakakai.
The $8.5 million MCHC project is divided into three phases. The Center purchased the site of the former Pau Hana Inn on Seaside Place from New Hope Christian Fellowship in July 2009 for $2.75 million. The first two phases cost $7 million and included the purchase of the property.
The old Pau Hana Inn was once one of two hotels in Kaunakakai. It was sold by Molokai Ranch to New Hope in 2002. Phase I of the renovation project began in 2010 and was completed in early 2012.
The last phase, to cost $1.5 million, will develop two acres of land into a recreational area with the mission of fostering healthy living and eating.
“The whole idea is to create this campus to assist other nonprofits with like minds to coexist in a one-stop place where the community can come not just when they’re sick, but to play and socialize,” said MCHC Director Desiree Puhi.
“The Molokai Community Health Center serves approximately 3,000 of the island’s 7,200 total residents, which is more than 40 percent of its population.” Gov. Abercrombie said, “This project will expand and improve access to quality health care on the Friendly Isle.”
The nonprofit Molokai Community Health Center is the only federally qualified health center on the island of Molokai. Its mission is to provide and promote accessible comprehensive individual and community health care to the people of Molokai with respect and aloha. The center’s primary clientele are the indigent, uninsured and underinsured residents of Molokai, of which two-thirds are native Hawaiian.