Tutu’s House is the result of many dreams come true.
One of those dreams was to have a hospital in North Hawaiʻi. Another dream was to approach health care differently.
The community wanted the hospital to have a place where people could share experiences of health and wellness, with individuals and in groups. While being healthy was traditionally defined as simply not being sick, the community’s definition of health and wellness included much more than the state of their bodies or their medical conditions. Health and wellness included whatever knowledge and experience contributed to their sense of well being. And each person would determine what knowledge and experience was relevant or preferred for themselves.
That place that was supposed to become part of the hospital was named Tutu’s House.
In Hawaiʻi, tutu means grandma, grandpa, a beloved and trusted elder.
Who do you go to for wisdom and healing? Where do you find welcome and aloha? The home of your beloved elder! Secure in the comfort of your tutu’s house, you relax and open to learning more about yourself, your health, and your wellness
Tutu’s House is a place people can learn about modern medicine along with other ways of healing and being healthy.
[an] individual with chronic disease is in the medical office an average of 6 hours a year. The patient spends the remaining 8,754 hours a year outside the medical office. Self-management support is about helping patients improve or maintain their health during those 8,754 hours.”
— Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
As people engage in Tutu’s House activities, the social networks in our community grow and strengthen, adding resilience, reducing isolation.
It is increasingly recognized that individual health depends on societal health and healthy communities.”
— Center for Disease Control
Begin by building a relationship first, a relationship based on trust and infused with caring.
Provide a variety of ways to initiate relationships, by offering activities about a wide range of interests. Activities at Tutu’s House build One person’s question is another one’s question. Patients quickly find comfort in knowing they are not alone. Participation in reduces the feelings of isolation and stress while building friendships, community and support systems. Engaging activities include creative and artistic and facilitated discussions and lectures are some of the help patients to be more informed, confident and empowered to make healthier choices for themselves, their children and their families.