The NACHC Community Health Institute & Expo (CHI) is already off to a spectacular start in sunny San Diego, CA (far from the ravaging winds of Hurricane Irene). One not-to-miss event was the celebration of incoming NACHC Board Chair Kauila Clark, from Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center in Kapolei, Hawaii. The elaborate ceremony featured traditional dancers from Hawaii and a host of speakers that included Neil Abercrombie, the Governor of Hawaii, who praised Clark’s leadership in a live video cast from Waianae. Abercrombie, a longtime champion of health centers, also noted the many diverse voices that make up the health center movement, noting “Our diversity defines us, and does not divide us.”
Kauila Clark echoed the same sentiments in his own closing remarks regarding his leadership, which comes as health centers confront a new fiscal environment and tighter budgets, meaning fewer resources for expanding care. Advocacy and speaking together with one voice was at the heart of Clark’s message for health centers. “Let us keep our minds and visions together. Let’s all work together because each of us is important,” he said. Aloha to that!