HONOLULU, HI – May 29, 2013 – Kaiser Permanente Hawaii announced today that Peggy Latare, MD, has received her Achievement of Diplomate from the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), becoming the first physician in Hawaii, and among the first in the nation, to become certified in treating people for obesity.
“Many Americans, including Hawaii residents, are struggling to find the adequate support and successful interventions they need to lose weight and improve their health,” said Dr. Latare. “A medical specialty in obesity allows me to enhance my efforts in helping people identify the right combination of diet, exercise, behavior change, and medical treatments to reach their healthy weight.”
Dr. Latare specializes in family medicine and has been with Kaiser Permanente since 1989. She is the physician co-lead for the organization’s Bariatric Surgery Program and assistant associate medical director for Patient-Clinician Communication. She is double-board certified in family medicine and obesity medicine, and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her doctorate from the university’s School of Medicine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, among Hawaii residents 18 years and older, 56.4 percent were overweight (Body Mass Index of 25 or greater) and 22.7 percent were obese (Body Mass Index of 30 or grater). And, among Hawaii’s adolescents in grades 9 through 12, 14 percent were overweight and 14.5 percent were obese.
“With improvements in research, treatment and prevention, it is the goal of Kaiser Permanente and many in the obesity community to improve the quality of life for those struggling with the disease,” added Dr. Latare.
With nearly two-thirds of Americans considered overweight (33.3 percent) or obese (35.9 percent), the health care community is placing more emphasis on medical interventions to support those affected with this disease. Obesity is associated with multiple health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer, and can have a profound impact on the quality of life and work productivity of those affected. According to The Medical Care Costs of Obesity, a report by Cornell University researchers, today, it is estimated that the annual cost of managing obesity in the U.S. alone amounts to approximately $190.2 billion per year, or 20.6 percent of national health expenditures.
“It is with great pride that we announce the addition of Dr. Latare to the prestigious group of ABOM diplomats,” said The Obesity Society President, Harvey Grill, PhD. “This groundbreaking achievement reflects a much-needed commitment to helping the millions of Americans affected by obesity. To become one of the first ABOM-certified physicians in the nation is truly an accomplishment.”
The ABOM created the first Obesity Medicine Certification exam in the U.S. in 2012. As part of the process to becoming an ABOM diplomate, an applicant must complete the requisite training and experience qualifications, meet the continuing medical education requisites, and pass a stringent certification examination.
Due to a break on the 6-inch main line on Kaahumanu Avenue, portions of Maui Mall (Kaahumanu Avenue side) are without water while Department of Water Supply personnel repair the line. Water service should be restored by approximately 1:00 pm this afternoon.
In addition, motorists should drive with caution as one lane westbound is closed.
One unofficial report says the break has been repaired – but that traffic remains slow. Customers are asked to call the 24-hour service line (270-7633) only if a water problem occurs.
HONOLULU – Gov. Neil Abercrombie today responded to the state Council on Revenues revised forecast reaffirming its previous General Fund tax revenue projection for the current fiscal year and increasing its projections for the next three fiscal years. For the upcoming biennium, tax revenue is projected to grow 8 percent in 2014 and then 7 percent in 2015. Those compounded increases would mean $86 million more revenue over the next two years.
Gov. Abercrombie stated:
“Our economy is strong and appears to be getting stronger. Hawaii continues to lead the U.S. amongst states with significant revenue growth possibilities. We must remember that the Council predictions relate to tax revenue growth. We expect to see continued improvement in the construction industry, real estate market, agriculture and small business activity as well the hospitality industry. All of our local industries will benefit from our improving economy.
“I am very optimistic about the prospects for our local economy. My Administration has fostered increased activity in our economy and that translates into increased tax revenue due to that activity. I think the Council forecast supports the proposition that economic activity is strong and improving. These are good signs to support optimism for our residents and businesses.”
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii – The Maui County Council passed the Fiscal Year 2014 budget on first reading today on an 8-0 vote, Council Vice-Chair Robert Carroll announced.
The $559,077,388 budget is roughly $14 million lower than what Mayor Alan Arakawa had proposed, Vice-Chair Carroll said.
The budget passed today was based on the recommendation of the council’s Budget and Finance Committee. The council approved technical amendments proposed by Committee Chair Mike White.
A proposal by Councilmember Michael P. Victorino to provide lower water system development fees was turned down today. The proposal was referred to committee for further review.
“I congratulate the council for coming to a consensus on the budget,” said Vice Chair Carroll, who presided over the meeting. “As council members, our primary role once the budget passes will be one of oversight.
“We look forward to renewing our efforts to ensure the budget is administered in a way that is consistent with the policies it encompasses.”
Councilmember Riki Hokama expressed concerns about possible inflation in the national economy and its impact on the county budget. But he acknowledged the hard work put in by Councilmember White as a first-time budget chair.
“We acknowledge that he (White) had to deal with eight other egos,” Hokama said.
During the recently concluded budget session, the budget committee met on 25 different dates and conducted meetings in 8 districts, including Lanai, Molokai and Hana.
Councilmember Victorino’s proposed amendment was intended to “grandfather in” certain applicants earlier added to the Upcountry water meter list. His motion failed after an extended discussion at the meeting.
“My intention was to help our Upcountry residents, but I respect the council’s decision,” said Councilmember Victorino.
Several testifiers questioned whether the amendment should have first been discussed in Councilmember Victorino’s Water Resources Committee – which is where the council referred a related bill.
Councilmember Don Couch expressed support for the budget, describing it as “fair and clean.” He also stressed the importance of maintaining and upgrading infrastructure.
Road and infrastructure improvements funded in the budget include $21 million for Papa Avenue pavement rehabilitation, South Kihei Road culvert replacement at Waiakoa Stream, Kalialinui Bridge improvements, Haleakala Highway intersection improvements at Makawao Avenue and more than $5.5 million for countywide road resurfacing and pavement preservation.
Following various testimonies relating to the county’s public transit services, the council has initiated a monthly transit pass for persons with physician-certified disabilities. As proposed, this bus pass will be available at $30 for all routes, compared to a regular bus pass, which costs $45. All applicants for the reduced fare will be required to register with Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. to qualify for the new pass.
Also passing first reading today were intergovernmental agreements that would address an expansion of the West Maui recycled water system, a Kihei wastewater pump station force main replacement, improvements at the Olinda water treatment facility, Waikamoi flume repairs and replacement, a Wailuku well project and a Kula 200 tank replacement.
Once enacted, the budget will take effect on July 1. Second and final reading is currently anticipated on June 6.
Twelve hikers were plucked from the Bamboo Forest and airlifted to safety by the Air-1 helicopter today. The alarm first sounded at 3:19 p.m. Maui Fire Department Units Engine 2, Air-1 and Rescue 10 were dispatched to the Bamboo Forest just off Hana Highway 360 near Mile Post 7.5 for three females stuck off the trail and calling for help.
Engine 2 arrived on scene and met the caller. The caller, who was with the group, was able to make it to the highway after what he described as a flash flood. Air-1 with Rescue personnel on board were advised of other hikers who were also stranded due to the rising water. Air-1 located parties at three separate locations in the Bamboo Forest area and airlifted the first three teenage girls from the first location, who were the three from the original call.
Air-1 continued to locate and remove parties, who were flown in to a secured landing zone. In all, Air-1 with Rescue personnel extricated a total eight females ( 18-57 years old) and four males (21- 33 years old) to the landing zone from the three different locations. All were all OK and required no medical attention. Out of the 12 victims two were from California, two were from Washington State, and eight were local residents.
A flash flood advisory had been posted for the area this afternoon. However, the hikers were unaware of the warning since it was issued after they began their hikes.
HONOLULU, HI – May 28, 2013 – Kaiser Permanente Hawaii employees represented by the ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) recently ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. The contract provides for modest wage adjustments and benefit changes, including a move to a defined contribution retirement plan for employees hired after January 1, 2015.
“The ratification of this new contract reflects give and take by both sides. It demonstrates what is possible when we work collaboratively to seek solutions and to adapt to new operational needs,” said Laura M. Lott, Kaiser Permanente spokesperson. “Kaiser Permanente is following a national and local trend moving toward a benefit cost structure that provides a secure retirement for our employee while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the organization.”
According to the 2012 Employee Benefit Plans in Hawaii survey conducted by the Hawaii Employers Council, Hawaii has seen a steady decline in the number of companies offering defined benefit plans. In 2009, 30.4 percent of companies reported offering a defined benefit plan. In 2012, that number declined to 24.8 percent.
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years, with physicians who are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, the prevention of illness and the support of community health. Visit kp.org for additional information, become a fan of good health at Facebook.com/KPHawaii or follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.
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