Tutu’s House is a project of Friends of the Future,
a nonprofit 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.
The story of Tutu’s House begins with the founding of Friends of the Future.
Friends of the Future
…a powerful answer for Hawai‘i’s future
In the 1980’s, as the reign of “king” sugar faded and the prominence of tourism rose, the way of life for Hawai‘i island communities changed rapidly. These drastic social and economic shifts combined with Hawai‘i island residents’ poor health statistics stirred the concern of Kenneth F. Brown (1919 – 2014).
In 1990, Brown called together a group of friends for an urgent task:
- to explore ways to make a difference in the direction and pace of development on the northwest corner of Hawai‘i.
- The “talk story” sessions and those that followed led to the founding of Friends of the Future.
A powerful answer for Hawai‘i’s future, Friends of the Future continues today, empowering people to take action for the well being of Hawai‘i Island.
The Community Leads the Way
One of Friends of the Future’s earliest initiatives, the Health and Wellness Group, formed to change the course of the community’s health by developing a new model of health with the community leading the way. After conducting a community health needs assessment, Friends of the Future began to facilitate community members’ efforts to create a wellness resource center.
Today we know that center as Tutu’s House.
…ahead of its time, still relevant today
The Friends of the Future Health and Wellness Group held their first formal meeting at the Eva Parker Woods Cottage at Kalahuipua‘a on February 9, 1991.
The Group identified these elements as necessary to facilitate improvement in the community’s health and wellness:
- People experience welcome, aloha, and non-judgment
- Honor each individual’s personal path to health and wellness
- Creative educational initiatives under the broadest possible definition of “health and wellness”
- Foster the growing recognition that ‘self-responsibility’ is the answer to good health and lower costs
- A communications center tying together other groups working in areas of body, mind, and spirit
In recent years, studies have identified these elements as best practices for improving community health. Ideas that are now in vogue, Tutu’s House has embodied for more than 25 years!
With life in Hawai‘i continuing to change, perhaps as rapidly as it did in the 1990s when Friends of the Future was formed, Friends of the Future and Tutu’s House are as relevant today as they were more than 25 years ago.
…a safe, welcoming place
When Tutu’s House was conceived, the North Hawai‘i Community Hospital (NHCH) was yet to be built. The design of NHCH was guided by the Planetree model for “healing environments.”
The Planetree model recognizes “patients” are multi-dimensional human beings, whose care should consider individuals as more than the sum body parts, and medical conditions. Care should be provided in a holistic way to support the individual and their social group beyond the treatment room. This concept of extended care was the seed from which of Tutu’s House grew.
The Friends of the Future Health & Wellness Group realized, rather than wait for the hospital to be completed, Tutu’s House could proceed. Tutu’s House opened in the Parker Ranch Center in 1994. Tutu’s House quickly took on a life all its own, and has continued as a program of Friends of the Future.
As was intended, individuals, NHCH, other community organizations, physicians, and health care professionals offer a wide variety of educational resources to support people in multiple dimensions of their health and wellness journey—body, mind, and spirit—beyond the treatment rooms.