S.R. NO.













urging the hawaii health systems corporation to expand the ka   u rural health clinic to improve access to urgent care and outpatient behavioral health services.



        WHEREAS, individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions may be particularly vulnerable in an emergency; and


        WHEREAS, social isolation and loneliness are closely linked to poor health, with recent data from 2020 showing that a significantly higher proportion of people who sheltered-in-place during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) stay-at-home order reported negative mental health effects resulting from worry or stress compared to those who did not shelter-in-place; and


        WHEREAS physical isolation and loneliness during the COVID   19 pandemic may present specific health risks for households with adolescents and older adults; and


        WHEREAS, rural health clinics help to address the inadequate number of physicians available to serve Medicare beneficiaries in rural areas and increase the availability of medically necessary, face-to-face primary health services and qualified preventative health services furnished by rural health clinic practitioners, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physical assistants, certified nurse-midwives, clinical psychologists, and social workers; and


        WHEREAS, in rural, tight-knit communities where there is little privacy, residents are dissuaded from seeking mental health service for fear of community condemnation, prejudices, or negative perceptions; and


        WHEREAS, rural health clinics serve an essential role in underserviced communities such as Ka   u on Hawai   i island, enabling greater accessibility to behavioral health services for Medicaid patients; now, therefore,


        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation is urged to expand the Ka   u Rural Health Clinic to improve access to urgent care and outpatient behavioral health services; and


        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation.









Report Title:  

Hawaii Health Systems Corporation; Ka   u Rural Health Clinic; Mental Health