Native Hawaiians face cultural, financial, social, and geographic barriers that prevent them from utilizing existing health services. In addition, health services are often unavailable in the community.
The Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems (NHHCS) Program, funded within the federal community health center appropriation, improves the health status of Native Hawaiians by making health education, health promotion, and disease prevention services available through the support of NHHCS.
The NHHCS use a combination of outreach, referral, and linkage mechanisms to provide or arrange services. Services provided include nutrition programs, screening and control of hypertension and diabetes, immunizations, and basic primary care services.
The NHHCS also supports a health professions scholarship program for Native Hawaiians, the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP), and administrative costs for Papa Ola Lokahi, an organization that coordinates and assists health care programs provided to Native Hawaiians.
In 2007, NHHCS provided medical and enabling encounters to more than 7,022 people. In FY 2007, 10 Native Hawaiian scholarships were awarded. More than 186 Native Hawaiian scholarships have been awarded since the beginning of the program.