Molina wins the Hua Moon scholarship
PUHI – Olena Molina, nursing student at Kaua’i Community College, has been selected to receive a tuition award from Hua Moon Women’s Health in Kapa’a.
Homeowners and nurse practitioners Sharon Offley and Colleen Bass presented Molina with $ 1,000 at the end of last month.
The desire to create a landscape where healthcare providers reflect community inspired the Healthcare Equity Award, which gave preference to Indigenous Hawaiian applicants intending to practice in Kaua’i, they said.
“Olena was chosen because of her passion and commitment to healthcare in Kaua’i,” Bass said. “As a native of Kaua’i and part of Hawaiian culture, she has a vision to tackle lingering social inequalities in her community.
KCC’s second year nursing students submitted their applications that addressed under-represented healthcare providers and health care disparities at the national and local levels.
Submission themes ranged from equity, racial and social justice, gender inclusion, full access to reproductive health care, and diversity and representation in health care.
“Growing up here, I recognized how most of the medical professionals had moved here from out of state and were often older Caucasian men,” Molina wrote in her essay.
“I think it could have negatively influenced the perception of local children and given them an image of possibility. Create self-doubt or never imagine themselves to be a doctor themselves, ”Molina wrote.
Hua Moon Women’s Health raised funds with sales of t-shirts and tank tops. The shirts featured artwork by artist Anahola Maile Miyake, who illustrated a floral representation of a woman’s uterus, known as a ‘cuterus’.
Hua Moon Women’s Health held a similar fundraiser with a local jewelry designer in 2020 to offset the cost of an ultrasound machine.
“We are always thinking about how best to serve the community of women, youth and families in Kaua’i,” said Offley. “If we can make specialist appointments more available or shape the future of local healthcare with rewards like these, then we are fulfilling our mission,” she said.