WAHIAWA, Hawaii -- Wahiawa Elementary School hosted a dedication ceremony of its new school-based behavioral health building, Aug. 22, here.

Tripler Army Medical Center's School Behavioral Health Team partnered with the Hawaii State Department of Education and The Queen's Medical Center to expand behavioral health services available for children in Hawaii.

The program offers a comprehensive array of interdisciplinary school based programs and services to support the social and emotional well-being of students, families and community. Sent. Daniel Inouye attended as guest of honor and guest speaker for the dedication.

Wahiawa Elementary School chose the name "Ike Pilialoha," or "bonds of knowledge, friendship and love," for the program. It focuses on improving and promotion the quality of life and wellness for both military and civilian families. The mission of the Ike Pilialoha program is to provide intervention services in hope of preventing need for higher level of care.

This is the first time in Army Medicine a behavioral health partnership has gone outside the gate. The collaboration among the agencies, which has been in practice since November 2011, is paving the way for future partnerships within the local community.

Col. J. Anson Smith, acting commander, Pacific Regional Medical Command, and chief of staff, TAMC, represented the Army medical center on behalf of its participation in the collaboration.

"In keeping with (Sen. Inouye's) vision, we are celebrating the accomplishment of bringing together a community of people consisting of both military and local residents … leveraging the talents and resources of the community and of the Department of Defense," Smith said. "This program will be something that will benefit all those who need its services."

The pilot program offers multiple services to Wahiawa Elementary to include behavioral health evaluations, testing and treatments, as well as workshops to train students, parents and teachers, and prevention programs, such as anti-bullying.

"This partnership is absolutely essential; essential for our children," Inouye said. "We have to teach them to get together. We have to have our civilian children realize the pain that some of these military children have.

"I commend Tripler … Queen's and … the Department of Education for holding hands and making a partnership that will work," Inouye added. "It is in our nation's best interest and our community's best interest."

Page last updated Fri August 24th, 2012 at 20:37