By Jesse Seibel
Since opening its doors in 1963, Adventist Health Castle has maintained close ties with its community. Many still remember going from home to home with collection jars, asking for signatures, and holding various fundraisers. And, with the support of the community, Castle made healthcare accessible to Windward O‘ahu whenever emergency procedures and acute care services were needed.
Adventist Health Castle has grown along with its community, both in size and capabilities, achieving recognition for quality as it met the growing healthcare needs of the community. In this current pandemic, our community has rallied together to provide for those most in need. And, as a community partner, Castle has had the opportunity to both give and receive support.
In the early months of the pandemic, donations from the community poured into Castle. Adventist schools cleared their janitorial closets and brought cleaning supplies, construction companies offered their N95 masks, salons dropped off gloves and masks. Students began to craft face shields, a teenager made plexiglass boxes for intubation, teachers 3D-printed masks. Food came from local churches, restaurants, food trucks, and farmers—often the donation was enough to distribute to the whole hospital. The show of support filled us with hope and inspired us to do even more.
Grateful for their support, we redoubled our efforts to serve our community in the areas of food supply and the vulnerable homeless and senior population.
• Working together with the Hawaii Food Bank, Castle associates have volunteered to distribute food to up to 300 families twice a month.
• Adventist Health Castle donated to Hui Mahi‘ai Aina, a tiny home village in Waimanalo that was launched in March. These funds provided a new shared eating area for its 50 residents.
• Castle partnered with Habilitat, a group home for 120 residents in addiction recovery. Funds given allowed them to repurpose their commercial kitchen to produce hot meals intended for children and seniors.
• Castle provided a virtual course on resilience and thriving in place to senior care home residents.
• The medical center provided funding to local schools to allow them to restock their cleaning supplies.
• Local eateries that donated food received large food orders for hospital events.
As the state coronavirus infection rates continue to rise, Castle continues to serve all who come for care. Our drive-through service offers a safe way to receive a COVID-19 test. New emergency room procedures safeguard staff and patients from exposure. Many Castle Health Group physicians offer virtual visits and are taking new patients regardless of insurance. Screening at each hospital entrance ensures a contained environment for all. Chaplains continue to work with nursing staff and leaders to provide a supportive presence and space for loved ones.
While Adventist Health Castle continues to focus its efforts on clinical care, it is clearer than ever that community wellbeing can only be accomplished when we work together and realize that what happens outside the hospital is just as important as what happens within.