Health Center CEO Awarded $50,000 At The White House

A May 6 White House ceremony honored Waimanalo Health Center CEO Mary Frances Oneha (right) as one of 15 women named Champions of Change during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Congratulating her is U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Photo from Gabbard's website.

Waimanalo Health Center has been in the spotlight lately for a substantial boost it received for its patient services and for the national recognition of its chief executive officer, Mary Frances Oneha.

Oneha was honored last month at the White House as one of 15 Asian American and Pacific Islander women who are Champions of Change – in other words, “doing extraordinary things to create a more equal, safe and prosperous future for their communities and the country.” A longtime public health nurse who serves on several professional councils and boards, Oneha has led the Waimanalo center since April of 2012.

Also attending the May 6 ceremony, hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls, were U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard commented on a recent visit she made to Waimanalo Health Center, where she observed the progress Oneha has made. “Her leadership has been crucial in its efforts to focus on the unique health issues facing our rural and Native Hawaiian communities,” Gabbard noted.

CVS Caremark Charitable Trust awarded $50,000 to the health center, as part of its nationwide campaign to increase access to quality health care and improve health outcomes while reducing costs. For Waimanalo, the funds will support the coordination of diabetes and hypertension care. Waimanalo Health Center serves more than 4,000 patients each year, nearly half of whom are Native Hawaiians.