Inspiration Journal - Body - Mind - Spirit
Issue 46 Inspiration Journal, January - February - March 2011

An Island-Wide Health Vision by Char Ravelo

Malama kou kino, e na `ohana, e na `aina.
Take care of yourself, your family and the land.

Imagine an island community embracing completely a vision of an integrative healthcare system. A vision that raises the way people take care of themselves and their environment. A vision that encourages businesses to give their employees' health and wellness first priority. A vision that inspires county and state government officials to make choices based on the long term health and wellness of workers and citizens. A vision that enables educators to teach children the value of prioritizing what is important today, so generations to come consider integrative health as the norm.

Malama kou kino, e na `ohana, e na `aina.
Take care of yourself, your family and the land.

In 2009, the Kauai Health and Wellness Association (KHWA) formed a volunteer focus group to consider and develop this Island-Wide Health Vision. KHWA, as part of its commitment to community service, offered the concept of co-creating an island-wide health vision. It was the catalyst that started the conversation and then took responsibility for launching, developing and engaging our Kaua`i community in this collaborative venture that would benefit us, our children and generations to come.

To clarify and identify their purpose, the focus group created its own vision statement - "A blending of committed health care practitioners and community members dedicated to nurturing an environment that is uplifting the quality of life and health for the people of Kaua`i using our collective resources of knowledge, intention, and wisdom."

Members of the focus group included Dr. Lisa Chun, Fran Becker, Barbara Curl, Dr. Randy Blake, Dr. Zack Young, Virginia Dunas, Dr. Steve Dubey. Dr. Dileep Bal, Kumu Puna Dawson, Francesco Garripoli, Bill Arakaki, Nancy Graf, Michelle Martinez, Renee Hamilton and myself.

We met monthly over the year to create a statement that would impact the whole island in many ways:

  • Personally: Make health a priority
  • Community: Become part of a greater coalition for a thriving and vital community by changing the perceptions and practices of health and wellness
  • Strengthen bonds: Build a coalition of health care practitioners and wellness professionals who support each other's events and work through increased awareness and networking
  • Span the spectrum of health to encourage an integrated community health care system
  • Government legislation and advocacy
  • Enhanced business productivity and success
  • Brand Kaua`i as a wellness destination

Along with the benefits listed above, our Island-Wide Health Vision creates a balance between Kaua`i community systems and movements to support their sustainability efforts in perpetuity. In nurturing a unified front for health, the Kaua`i health vision encourages the acknowledgement of one another and an understanding of the value of health practitioners and wellness professionals working together.

Imagine if we, with pure intention and in the Spirit of Aloha, change the conversation on our island from 'Disease' to 'Health, Wellness and Well-Being,' becoming a global model and living demonstration of a community commitment to achieve its vision:

Malama kou kino, e na `ohana, e na `aina.
Take care of yourself, your family and the land.

Submitted by Char Ravelo, President of the Kaua'i Health and Wellness Association. For information on how you can participate in the Island Wide Health Vision movement visit

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