Protect your community: Meet Dr. Kawika Liu
“Just as a strong foundation is necessary for a strong fale/hale/whare, so is our health for a strong family and community. Being vaccinated strengthens ourselves, our families and communities.”
Dr. Liu is an internist/pediatrician/addiction medicine specialist and physician advisor at hospitals in the Inland Empire in Southern California. He received his MD from St George’s University School of Medicine, and his PhD and JD from University of Hawai’i, Manoa.
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities have had some of the highest rates of infection and death during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s especially true in California, where the death rate for Pacific Islanders is 35 percent higher than the statewide average, the most disproportionate of any population in the state.
Important reasons to get vaccinated
Several factors put California’s population – including Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities – at higher risk for becoming infected with COVID-19.
These may include:
- Being an essential worker
- Difficulty accessing health care, often due to discrimination
- Limited access to proper nutrition
- Comorbidities and multimorbidities
Many Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to chronic issues like diabetes and heart disease, which can make recovering from the virus difficult.
Dr. Liu says the way out of the pandemic will be putting the patient first.
"A patient-centered medical home is a rethinking of the relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient and family, in order to re-center on the patient/family and engage them in the process towards health," Dr. Liu says. "It is a team-based approach, with the patient at the center of the team. It is intended to offer care over the lifetime that meaningfully engages the patient and provides all team members a role in healing."
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Here are five updates for those in Black communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Here are five updates for those in Hispanic/Latino communities about the COVID-19 vaccine.
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