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Project Vision Hawaii announces new executive director

Project Vision Hawaii, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving access to healthcare for people throughout Hawaii, announces the hiring of Darrah Kamakanaaloha Kauhane as its new executive director. Kauhane assumed her executive duties in early February.


“Darrah Kauhane brings rich experience in health and eye care to PVH, as well as a commitment to the non-profit sector in Hawai‘i and around the globe,” said outgoing executive director and co-founder Elizabeth “Annie” Valentin. “We could not have asked for a better candidate to shepherd Project Vision into the future.”

Kauhane will maintain her position as executive director of the Hawaiian Eye Foundation during the transition. She has lead the organization in providing eye-care services to underserved blind patients in Hawaii and in developing nations since September 2016.

Kauhane, who grew up on Oahu and attended Iolani School, holds a master’s degree in developmental and reproductive biology from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a bachelor’s degree in public health and community medicine from the University of Washington. In 2021, she will earn a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Valentin is leaving PVH after 10 years to pursue a new opportunity within the health care system.

Project Vision Hawaii, founded in 2007, has the only mobile health screening programs that provide statewide services in communities with significant access-to-care challenges related to income, lack of insurance, geographical location, or cultural conflict. To date, Project Vision Hawaii has provided free medical screening services to more than 115,000 patients across the state, including high populations of seniors, children from low-income families, immigrants, and individuals with disabilities.

China trade war walloped more than half of US states in 2019

Exporters from most U.S. states experienced dismal sales to China last year as tariffs slammed products ranging from wheat and whiskey to ginseng and gas.

Total U.S. merchandise exports to China fell 11% last year to about $107 billion, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department. Particularly hard hit were some of the nation’s largest exporters to the Asian country — Texas, Florida and Alabama — which each saw sales plunge by more than 25%.

The figures don’t yet reflect two significant developments for the world economy this year: The U.S-China trade deal signed in January that is supposed to significantly boost American exports to China and the coronavirus outbreak in the Asian nation.

Amid the casualties, though, were some bright spots, including the presidential swing state of North Carolina, where exports to China jumped 40% last year to $3.25 billion, driven in large part by pharmaceutical sales.

China’s appetite for tobacco from North Carolina waned last year to virtually nothing, said John Loyack, vice president of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. But drug companies more than filled the void by shipping $1.3 billion worth of products, Loyack said. Corporations ranging from Denmark’s Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical Industries to New Jersey-based Merck &Co. have set up major operations in North Carolina in recent years, making it one of the top pharmaceutical-industry states in the U.S.


The relaxing of Chinese restrictions on certain medical imports helped boost sales, he said. “To be honest, we thought we’d be taking it in the teeth in 2019,” he said. “But it was an amazing year.”

By local and wire sources

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