Not all Hawaii residents are getting the care they need for a host of health problems. 

Topping the list is mental health, heart failure and pneumonia, according to the first Community Health Needs Assessment report, released on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, the top health problems in Hawaii are heart disease and stroke and respiratory disease.

Under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, nonprofit hospitals are now required to study the biggest health needs of their communities and areas where residents aren’t getting access to care. 

Hawaii conducted a statewide assessment, while the individual hospitals are responsible for coming up with action plans to address the findings. The studies are required every three years. 

Mental health was by far the biggest cause of preventable emergency room visits and hospitalizations. 

At a press conference on Wednesday, state health director, Loretta Fuddy, said that access to mental health services had declined in recent years because of state cutbacks to services in 2009. As a result, more patients are showing up at emergency rooms and hospitals. Fuddy said the health department was working to restore services through federal grants. 

You can read the full reports here, which are broken down by state and county, as well as hospital.


(Photo: Ginny Pressler, executive vice president of Hawai’i Pacific Health and George Greene, president of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii)

 Sophie Cocke