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    Tropic Care Maui County 2018: Rosie

    Tropic Care Maui County 2018: Opening Day

    Photo By 2nd Lt. Chelsea Clark | Rosie Vierra, community volunteer and director of the dental hygiene program, UH Maui,...... read more read more



    Story by 2nd Lt. Chelsea Clark 

    158th Fighter Wing

    KAHULUI, Hi – On August 11, the day Tropic Care Maui County 2018 opened at the University of Hawaii Maui College, things were busy on campus, even though students hadn’t started the semester. People were lining up to take advantage of the no cost medical, vision, and dental care provided by military service members through the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training program.

    Through the clinic, service members were familiarizing themselves with their workstations, equipment, and patient flow. It was day one, and it was busy. One name kept coming up. “Rosie knows.” Or, “Ask Rosie.” Meanwhile, a woman zipped around the clinic. She was the clinic manager and go-to person, Rosie Vierra.

    Tropic Care Maui County 2018 is a joint-service Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission led by the Air National Guard and supported by members of the Air Force, Army, Navy Reserve, and Marine Corps Reserve and community members. Health clinics at Central Maui, Kihei, Lahaina, Hana, Molokai, and Lanai ran from August 11-19, providing medical, dental, and vision services at no cost. Tropic Care Maui County 2018 provides medical troops and support personnel "hands-on" readiness training to prepare for future deployments while providing direct and lasting benefits to the people of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.

    Rosie considers herself a local girl, having been born and raised in Maui. She spent time in other parts of the states, teaching dental hygiene since 1983, and she returned to Maui in 2007. Rosie wrote the accreditation for the dental hygiene program at the University of Hawaii Maui College. Rosie grew up being taught that service and giving back to the community is an important part of community membership. Rosie shares her passion for serving by teaching others the importance of community service.

    “Teaching makes all professions possible. One of our big goals is to mentor our students with the hopes they become interested in community service. There are not many of us who can do it with such a big heart,” Rosie said. “It’s our island style, it’s how we treat people who come as visitors, especially for IRT, who come to provide such valuable services. You should not be treated any less than with aloha style, that’s our mission, that’s our goal.”

    This is the second time Rosie has teamed up with Tropic Care to offer her much needed expertise.

    “I remember when Tropic Care came to Maui in 2013 and I got involved in some meetings though an invite from the university chancellor,” Rosie said. “When I heard what the mission and purpose of Tropic Care was, I knew there’s no way I couldn’t participate.”

    Rosie takes pride in organizing the dental services for Tropic Care, in order to allow the different branches of the military to come into the clinic and feel welcome.

    “I manage the clinic. I know where things are. That’s how I got involved. I think it’s a privilege. It’s a privilege to work with the military to better the lives the people who live in the community,” Rosie said.

    Service members appreciate Rosie as much as Rosie appreciates the opportunity to serve. Master Sgt. Latoya White from the 192nd Medical Group, Virginia was impressed by Rosie from day one. “Her spirit is just amazing. Her wealth of knowledge, of course, and just positive energy flowing out of every pore in her body—she’s just a joy to be around,” White said.

    Capt. Trong Nguyen, a dental provider from U.S. Navy Expeditionary Medical Force Dallas was equally as impressed working with Rosie. “She is dynamite, she’s a powerpack, she’s the energizer bunny times a thousand. First off, she’s been super helpful. From the very moment that we stepped into the clinic on that first day,” Nguyen said. “Rosie has been invaluable. When I say she’s invaluable, that’s an understatement.”

    “I’m happy to be the go to person,” Rosie said. “I sleep good at night. I have very few regrets because I believe when you serve you learn and when you learn you serve.”

    The clinic at the University of Hawaii Maui campus has provided an average of almost 240 dental procedures each day due in part to Rosie’s commitment to service.



    Date Taken: 08.19.2018
    Date Posted: 08.20.2018 01:26
    Story ID: 289413
    Location: KAHULUI, HI, US 

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