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Molina wins Hua Moon scholarship

PUHI — Kaua‘i Community College nursing student Olena Molina was selected to receive a tuition award from Hua Moon Women’s Health in Kapa‘a.

Owners and nurse practitioners Sharon Offley and Colleen Bass presented $1,000 to Molina late last month.

A desire to create a landscape where health-care providers are reflective of the community inspired the Healthcare Equity Award, which gave preference to Native Hawaiian applicants intending to practice on Kaua‘i, they said.

“Olena was chosen because of her passion and commitment to health-care on Kaua‘i,” said Bass. “As a Kaua’i native and a part of the Hawaiian culture, she holds the vision to address the ongoing social inequities in her community.”

Second-year KCC nursing students submitted their applications that addressed under-represented health-care providers and health-care disparities nationally and locally.

Submission themes ranged from equity, racial and social justice, gender inclusivity, full access to reproductive health-care, and diversity and representation in health-care.

“Growing up here, I recognized how most health-care professionals had moved here from out of state and were often older, Caucasian men,” Molina wrote in her essay.

”I think it might have negatively influenced local children’s perception and set an image in their minds of possibility. Creating self-doubt or not ever fathom being a doctor themselves,” Molina wrote.

Hua Moon Women’s Health raised the funds with T-shirt and tank-top sales. The shirts featured work by Anahola artist Maile Miyake, who illustrated a floral representation of a woman’s uterus, dubbed a “cuterus.”

Hua Moon Women’s Health held a similar fundraiser with a local jewelry designer in 2020 to offset the cost of an ultrasound machine.

“We think endlessly about how we can best serve the community of women, teens and families on Kaua‘i,” said Offley. “If we can make specialty appointments more available or shape the future of local health care with awards like these, then we’re fulfilling our mission,” she said.
Source: The Garden Island

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