Pupukahi I Holomua
“United to Move Forward”
Homegrown Harm Reduction
Friday November 6, 2009
At Honolulu Community College
The 2009 Harm Reduction Conference created a fabulous environment for professionals, students, and community members, to share, learn, and network. Over 170 people participated in more than a dozen breakout sessions that focused attention on the A to Z of Hawaii social problems.
New and innovative ideas for dealing with domestic violence, drug addiction, and homelessness shared the time with such things as issues surrounding elder care and end of life options, and even ways of using harm reduction ideas to improve your everyday life.
The tone for the day was set by keynote speaker Kalei Kanuha, PHD, of the University of Hawaii’s Department of Sociology. In Harm Reduction Hawai’i Style she opened the audience’s minds to looking at various ways of addressing harm that is self-inflicted versus that done to others, and included an interesting discussion on restorative justice.
Nancy Kern, the outgoing State HIV Prevention Coordinator, was given the Ka’onohiokala Award. This is an award given to one whose work is an example of intense light and illumination, dedication, in terms of warmth and compassion; one whose work has shown light upon unclear paths of life.
More than twenty five professional health, outreach, and educational, organizations contributed to the effort to make this day a success. They included the AIDS Education Project, AIDS Community Care Team, CHAMP Clinic, CHOW Project, Community Alliance on Prisons, Domestic Violence Action Center, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, Gregory House Programs, Harm Reduction Hawaii, State of Hawaii Department of Health STD/AIDS Prevention Branch, Hawaii Youth Services Network, Healthy Mothers:Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii, Hepatitis Support Network of Hawaii, Honolulu Community College, Kulia Na Mamo, Life Foundation, Malama Pono, Maui AIDS Foundation, National Association of Social Workers, Hawaii Chapter, PATH Clinic, Waikiki Health Centers Care-A-Van and Youth Outreach Programs, West Oahu Hope for a Cure Foundation, University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Office of Public Health Studies and School of Social Work.
The morning breakout sessions started at 10:30 and included 1. Successful Reintegration: Reducing the Harms of Incarceration. This session discussed strategies for successful reintegration such as family reunification, restorative circles, and Phase II of treatment - the application phase. Panelists included Kat Brady, Community Alliance on Prisons; Stacia Ohira, Maui Economic Opportunity Inc., and Andy Botts, Hepatitis Support Network of Hawaii. 2. Meeting People Where They Are: An Overview of Harm Reduction with Heather Lusk, Hawaii Department of Health and Peter Tuiolosega Silva, Hawaii Department of Health. 3. Growing Up Gay in a “That’s So GAY!” World presented by Caroline Leyva, Q Element. 4. You Live, You Die; Let’s Start Thinking About the End of Life was presented by Emese Somogyi, MD, Kokua Mau and Christina Bell, UH JABSOM.
After lunch five breakout sessions ran from 1PM to 2:20. They included 1. Scapegoats of the War on Drugs: Treating Pregnant Drug Users presented by Pamela Lichty, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii; Renee Schuetter, R.N., The PATH Clinic; Tricia Wright, M.D., the PATH Clinic. 2. Supporting Clients through Tough Times addressed the current reduction in mental health services for individuals who are severely mentally ill. The panelists were Rodney Powell, Evercare and, Jermaine, KPHC- Healthcare for the Homeless. 3. Street Youth and Harm Reduction presented by Brandi Tamasoa, Kiana Rivera, Alika Campbell,Bleach and Daniel McGrew, YO! (Youth Outreach). 4. Adult and Teen Intimate Partner Violence: Thinking Outside of the Boxwas presented by Cindy Iannce-Spencer, Stephanie Ragolia, Antonia Alvarez and Domestic Violence Action Center. 5. Keeping an Eye on Harm Reduction: Everyday Harm Reduction was a session presented by Rev. Pam Vessels, Harm Reduction Hawai`i and Loretta Ng, OD, FAAO, that discussed how to incorporate harm reduction into day to day living.
After a short break a third series of breakout sessions included 1. Taking Substance Abuse Help to the Streets of Honolulu. Gary Lloyd, Waikiki Health Center Care-A-Van Program addressed how to provide reality-based harm reduction services to actively using substance abusers on the streets and in a drop-in setting. 2. Ke Ola Pono presented by Keola Kawai`ulaiiliahi Chan and Kaina Lota and Keli`i Abordo, Life Foundation discussed Life Foundation’s Hawaiian approach towards care by collaborating with case managers, administrators and community partners. 3. Sex Workers or Victims: The Controversy over Prostitution was presented by Tracy Ryan and Rev. Pam Vessels, Arresting Prostitutes is Legal Exploitation (APLE) 4. Housing First: Making it Work was a roundtable discussion on the “Housing First” model and how it is being done currently in Honolulu. It was led by Darlene Hein the program director for the Waikiki Health Center’s Care-A-Van and Ho’ola Like programs. 5. Morality Trumping Science: Why is Harm Reduction Suspect was presented by Pamela Lichty and Jeanne Y. Ohta, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii.
A brief closing plenary began at 4PM. Kunane Dreier and Heather Lusk presented Moving Hawaii’s Harm Reduction Community Forward.