Health care is one of the most important needs in the community, and the Kihei Wailea Medical Center is contributing its time and talent toward helping the island’s uninsured. The staff and its physicians, Dr. Marcus Griffin and Dr. Gayland Yee, have held free health screening clinics for more than 100 patients during the last two years. The most recent event in June drew 60 patients and has inspired other health care providers to follow the medical facility and Office Manager Joel Krause’s lead. “People want to help, they want to give back and that positive energy is wonderful,” Krause said.
Griffin and Krause get so many volunteers from the staff of 28 at Kihei Wailea Medical Center that they had to turn away some for this most recent venture. Krause said they also get a lot of help from other labs and therapists — Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii, Maui Diagnostic Imaging, and Bodies in Motion — as well as Safeway, which supported the initiative. Dr. Griffin started the free clinics as a means to give back to the medical field in which he himself has received so many rewards. “Even if we help only one person, this clinic will still be a success,” Griffin said. Krause said the free clinics are important to the Kihei Wailea Medical Center as it strives to live out an updated mission statement: “Working together to care for our community.”
Krause figures the value of the free clinic day runs to thousands of dollars. It’s meaningful to the uninsured, who often delay getting medical help because it’s unaffordable for them. There are plans to hold a comprehensive free medical screening day that would feature a variety of medical specialists offering services from obstetrics to opthamology plus a blood drive. “Our goal is to be able to help as many patients as possible with all types of concerns,” Krause said. “We hope to have several offices open all over South Maui providing free service.”