Governor Linda Lingle and U.S. Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye, along with approximately 300 community members, attended a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 24 for the new Molokai Community Health Center.
The old Pau Hana Inn in Kaunakakai is being renovated to create this fully integrated community health center. The six-acre site will offer primary health services along with Western, Eastern and traditional health services, said Executive Director Desiree Puhi.
“The whole idea is to create a community park environment where different healthy activities are happening simultaneously,” said Puhi.
The renovation of the 10 buildings is on schedule for the core services to be in place by the end of this year. These will include primary health care, family doctors, dental, behavioral health and family support services.
By the end of 2011, the related partner health services will be in place. These will include acupuncture, massage therapy, native Hawaiian health systems and a healthy eatery including a juice bar. Puhi plans for an opening celebration in December of 2011.
The center purchased the site of the former Pau Hana Inn from New Hope Christian Fellowship in July 2009 for $2.75 million. The Pau Hana Inn was once one of two hotels in Kaunakakai. It was sold by Molokai Ranch to New Hope in 2002.
Maui-based Central Construction began work on the project in mid-July and will progress in phases. Although it is a Maui company, a Molokai renovation team is doing the work. The entire project will be completed at a total cost of $6.5 million.