Hilo Residents Welcome HMSA to the Neighborhood

Hilo residents took a break from their holiday shopping today to help celebrate the grand opening of the new HMSA Center @ Hilo. The center is in Waiakea next to Walgreens in the space previously occupied by Down to Earth. Visitors can sign up for a health plan, pay their HMSA bill, learn about health care reform, and check their blood pressure, weight, and more.

“We wanted to be in a location where people can easily find us when they need us,” said Senior Vice President Elisa Yadao, who was born and raised in Hilo. “They call this the Big Island, but we’re a small community. Of course people can go online or pick up the phone to talk to us, but there’s comfort in being able to talk face-to-face with someone when you have a problem or a question.”

There was lots of face-to-face interaction today in the new center. After a blessing by Kumu Kimo Awai, visitors were treated to free massages, healthy snacks, keiki tattoos, and a balloon artist. They also got to check out the center’s new state-of-the-art health screening station, a touchscreen terminal service counter, self-service kiosks, and a central area where HMSA will hold healthy living workshops, classes, and community gatherings.

The new HMSA Center @ Hilo is the third of three neighborhood centers opened this year. The HMSA Center @ Pearl City opened in November, and the HMSA Center @ Honolulu opened in October. All three centers were chosen for their locations to make HMSA more accessible. And they’re all open at convenient times.

“We know a lot of people work during the day, so we’re extending our hours,” said Yadao. “The Hilo center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and our health plan specialists are ready to help.”

About HMSA

Caring for the people of Hawaii is our promise and our privilege. Working together with employers, partners, and physicians and other health care providers, we promote wellness; develop reliable, affordable health plans; and support members with clear, thoughtful guidance.

HMSA is the most experienced health plan in the state, covering more than half of Hawaii’s population. As a recognized leader, we embrace our responsibility to strengthen the health and well-being of our community.

Headquartered on Oahu with centers statewide to serve our members, HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.