Ronaele, Mr. Carlos Santana, Katherine, and Divina at Senator Mazie Hirono’s office at the Prince Kuhio Federal Building.

July 11, 2018, Honolulu.  The ALSFH Board met this afternoon with US Senator Mazie Hirono’s Hawaii-based staffer, Carlos Santana, to share the Eden Alternative (EA) philosophy on which the ALS Residence model is based. Senator Hirono is a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs committee.

Eden Alternative promotes growth and development throughout all stages of life. According to EA, the “three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom account for the bulk of suffering in a human community.” The ALSFH strongly advocates the adoption of the principles of EA for the nation’s vision of the long-term care of ALL veterans, beginning with vALS.

This afternoon’s meeting follows on the heels of a previous discussion in late June, 2018 with Col. Ronald Han, Director of the State of Hawaii Office of Veterans Services, on the same subject.

Divina, Katherine, and Ronaele with Col. Ronald Han in his office at Tripler Medical Center.

Col. Han expressed understanding of the value of “quality of life, not merely the quality of care,” as the ideal standard for care of veterans.  Likewise, Mr. Santana said he will inquire about possible resources to support ALSFH in its mission.

Currently, the Board is awaiting confirmation of a meeting with Representative Tulsi Gabbard’s local staff member, Jimmy Hamada.  It also plans to meet with Senator Brian Schatz’s local staffers.  Gabbard, herself a veteran, has been very involved in veteran issues. Schatz, the senior US Senator from Hawaii, belongs to the powerful Senate Appropriations committee.

Hawaii has a huge military presence and many veterans have made Hawaii their home. As of this date, there are three vALS who are in-patients in the Care Center of Honolulu, a traditional nursing home which has allocated a number of beds for patients who require artificial ventilation. Other vALS are cared for at home.

Contributor: DTR