Project will train students to be library health navigators
The Maui News
A project to train and employ high school and undergraduate students to be health and digital navigators in libraries will start by the end of the year in 15 libraries in underserved and rural areas, according to the state Department of Health.
In Maui County, the libraries are on Lanai and Molokai and in Hana and Kihei.
The students will be trained to help people learn how to use computers and the internet to access information about COVID-19 and other health concerns, find services and support, and use telehealth services, according to a department news release.
The $3.7 million project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address COVID-19 health disparities as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The libraries will also have designated private rooms and equipment to allow telehealth visits. For families that have devices but no connectivity, the library will have cellular hotspot units that can be borrowed for use at home.
Starting in 2022, mobile clinic vans will be set up in the library parking lots to allow for in-person and telehealth services, rotating among the libraries. Clinic vans also can be sent to community sites or patients’ homes to provide services.
The other libraries are in Waimea, Princeville and Hanapepe on Kauai, Pahoa, North Kohala and Hilo on Hawaii Island, and Waianae, Kahuku, Waimanalo, Wahiawa and Waipahu on Oahu.
The Department of Health has partnered with the Hawaii State Public Library System and the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for the project.