Jan 05, 2018

Culture of Health in Hawai`i, Leading Through a Hawaiian Sense of Place

Problem Statement:  Native Hawaiians as our host culture continue to make Hawai`i unique and different with its history, natural environment and sense of place.  A sense of place has been directly linked to spiritual wellbeing for all indigenous peoples and is related to health.  Issues of Hawaiian health are inseparable from issues of land, water, and atmosphere.  In Hawaii, there is a clear connection between health of people and their environment.  Nurses can have a greater impact in supporting health in communities with an understanding of a Hawaiian sense of place.

Approach:  A collective leadership training using a Hawaiian sense of place was developed for a cohort of public health nurses.  The training drew on both western and indigenous concepts and practices specific to Hawai`i. The process was guided by four key components that are interconnected and work together as a collective leadership ecosystem.  The key components include place, culture, community and leadership.

Products/Outcome:  Themes were identified by the cohort across relationships to the self, to others, to place and past and future.

Implications:  Nurses as leaders can support a more universal view of health and wellness developed by community rather than for the community.  Nurses and community leaders can share a relationship and responsibility together to support community based solutions.