Work is underway on an academic health center at Waipahu High School through a partnership with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education, Hawai‘i Pacific Health Medical Group and Hawai‘i 3Rs.
The academic health center will provide authentic learning opportunities for students to be industry-ready to fill high skill, living wage jobs in Hawai‘i, according to Superintendent Keith Hayashi, who noted it’ll be the first such site on a high school campus in the country.
“Imagine the day one of our students from the Academy of Health & Sciences is a practicing physician on their high school campus, while serving the community where they grew up," Waipahu High Principal Zachary Sheets said.
Once opened, Hawai‘i Pacific Health (HPH) will run the clinic and offer medical services for the Waipahu community. Students in Waipahu High's Health & Sciences Academy will have the opportunity to get hands-on training ranging from administrative to clinical work.
“This academic health center will provide access to care for a community with few resources available and provides an excellent training facility for our various health care programs currently at the school,” Carl Hinson, HPH's director of workforce development, said. “Our hope is that this brings the Waipahu community an even greater sense of pride in their community and campus as well as serve as an innovative model for other high schools across the state and country.”
Stakeholders and partners gathered at the site for a project blessing on Monday.
Hawai‘i 3Rs is leading the construction management of the center. It partnered with G70 to design the floor plan and awarded the construction bid to S&M Sakamoto. The building formerly served as an Adult Education Center at the school. Construction will begin in the summer and is expected to be complete by November.
“This is a great project that we hope will set an example for other public schools on what can happen when partners come together to assist in workforce development and career pathways,” Hawai‘i 3Rs Acting Executive Director Kalowena Komeiji said.