Shortages & Solutions


Current trends in health and healthcare on Hawaii Island are unacceptable and are not sustainable. Severe and growing health provider shortages negatively impact consumers, businesses, payers, government and communities here on Hawaii Island. Presently, Hawaii County life expectancy is 1.2 years shorter than the City and County of Honolulu.

Accelerating progress requires an effective multidisciplinary collaboration to identify multiple interventions to achieve a healthier Hawaii Island. Consensus on vision, values, measures of success and priorities combined with action by stakeholders within their own spheres of influence will significantly increase the probability of building a healthier future together.


Grow our own Primary Care Providers.

  • Support UH Rural Residency Program on Hawaii Island
  • Collaborate on recruitment and retention
  • Develop the educational pipeline
  • Increase effective use of a broader primary care team including Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners

Align Policy.

  • Improve HPSA designations to qualify for HHS loan repayment
  • Economic development of the healthcare sector
  • Improve financial sustainability of hospitals, FQHCs and healthcare providers
  • Address gap between relatively high costs of business and living in Hawaii and the relatively low reimbursement
  • Tort reform

Develop Consensus on Preferred Future.

  • Regional planning for services, providers, facilities and systems for collaboration and improvement
  • Support Effective Use of Technology.
  • Support Beacon Grant activities
  • Public website for provider recruitment and retention

Engage Consumers and Community!

Short-Term Measures of Success

Grow Workforce

  • UH Rural Residency physicians start training in 2013
  • Increase the number of medical students and clerkships
  • Recruit a minimum of net 30 primary care providers
  • Recruit a minimum of net 15 specialists
  • Increase recruitment and effective use of Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives. Data to be developed on specific numbers needed
  • Develop health provider education pipeline

Improve Access and Appropriate Setting for Care

  • 90% of population to have a primary care provider

Stabilize Financial Systems for Acute Care and Outpatients

Long-Term Measures of Success

Grow Workforce

  • Sufficient teams of primary care providers and core specialists so that most patients can receive care in a timely manner and are not required to travel off island

Improve Access and Appropriate Setting for Care

  • 95% of population to have a usual source care or a “medical home”

Improve Health

  • Hawaii County death rates (all causes) improve by 10%
  • Improve Hawaii County life expectancy on par with state average at minimum