(BIVN) – Hawai‘i is looking to team up with the University of Washington to improve health care access in the state.
The Hawaii PA Program Project, a Big Island community grassroots organization, is working to start a program that would train Physician Assistants. It would be the first of its kind in Hawai‘i, organizers say, and would be of benefit to the islands, especially the underserved rural areas of the Big Island.
The advisory group is working with Kona community leaders, like State Senator and physician Josh Green, and the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest PA Program. They agree that Physician Assistants are part of the solution to the primary care provider shortage and stabilization of specialty care on all Neighbor Islands. They also say there is a higher chance of retaining Physician Assistants in Hawai‘i if they are trained from a pool of island residents, rather than trying to attract candidates from elsewhere.
On Saturday, April 28, a meeting was held at the NELHA Gateway Center in order to bring all community members and interested stakeholders together for information and planning. Video of the event was recorded and distributed to media.