By Sharon LePage, MEA, Library Director, Chaminade University
Chaminade University nursing students helped educate people about healthy lifestyles and conducted health screening in an immersive experience at the 45th annual Hoʻokuʻikahi Establishment Day Hawaiian Cultural Festival, held on the Big Island of Hawai’i during the summer. This festival celebrates Native Hawaiian history and culture with crafts, demonstrations, games and music and is held at the Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, where an ancient Hawaiian temple is located, built around 1790 during the time of King Kamehameha I. The Chaminade nursing students have been invited since 2012, the only school to be invited annually to participate. This year, the students and faculty members were joined by the new Chaminade President, Lynn Babington, who holds doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing.
Nursing students must apply to attend this outreach and about a dozen students are selected to participate each year. Chief Nursing Administrator, Dr. Edna Magpantay-Monroe (MEA), said it is a true learning experience for the students to experience the immersion and is in keeping with the Marianist values and the University mission. The students can better understand the community by incorporating both health and cultural perspectives in their sessions. It is also a way to give back to the community with sessions designed to educate people on healthier lifestyles by explaining the consequences of issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The students reflect daily with faculty and commit themselves to less of a technological and more of a cultural and environmental immersion for the duration of their stay.