Health Matters

with Brenda Abaro, SHA and Dayna Mersberg BSN-RN

Dear Makaha 'Ohana

We hope this newsletter finds you happy and well. We really miss seeing everyone on campus and look forward to everyone's smiling faces when we return. We are hoping this newsletter will be a good resource to you, with some valuable information and resources to let you know we care and are here if you need us.

Be sure to check back often because this newsletter will be updated once or twice a week (minimum) while the pandemic is here.

We will be monitoring the Covid-19 situation carefully and follow all guidelines set by our district and State Health Department. The intent of this newsletter is to share information from credible sources, and to offer some helpful tips as we manage ourselves and our families during the stay-at-home order. As you explore the information below, note that along with infographics and videos, there are clickable buttons and links that will take you to websites containing further information.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions or need assistance. Our contact information is below, and we are available through phone, text, and email. Until then, please be safe.

Can you also do us a favor and let others know about our newsletter? Mahalo!

Big picture
Linking Health and Attendance

Makaha Elementary School Health Room Contact Information

Brenda Abaro

School Health Assitant


Dayna Mersberg, BSN-RN

Hawaii Keiki Nurse


Link for FREE Mental Health Services

The "Here" button in the photo below does not work (it's a picture) so click on this button to take you to a google doc to request mental health services for FREE.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Hawaii Keiki Health Hotline

Big picture

HIDOE students and families will have access to a new health hotline and telehealth services provided by the Hawaii Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn Program to deliver equitable access to health resources and care for HIDOE students using mobile devices and interactive technology:

Toll free: (844) 436-3888

Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays

What to Expect From a Telehealth Visit

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is a medical visit through videoconferencing or sometimes just a phone call with the healthcare provider in a different location from the patient. You may be familiar with videoconferencing with your family or friends through various apps.

Whether you can do a telehealth medical visit by telephone depends on the type of service you need and sometimes on the health insurance that you have.

May is Mental Health Month!

Big picture
Because May is Mental Health month, it is a great time to remember to take care of not only our physical but also mental health. During these unprecedented times, things are far from normal. Some of us are worrying about finances, juggling childcare and work, or coping with social isolation. For helpful resources to get you through these difficult times, check out Mental Health America of Hawaii by clicking here.
Big picture
Big picture

New dashboard from the City and County of Honolulu (see picture above)

Accurate advice and information is critical for community resilience. This page has links to trusted sites that are continually updated:

One Oahu

Below you can see some of the information available on this site:

Meal Opportunities for Students:

Grab and Go meals will continue for one week beyond the end of the school year through June 3rd at current locations. On June 4th, HIDOE will transition to its summer food service program, the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals for children over summer break through July 17th. SSO meal locations will be announced in the coming weeks. Public agencies, churches, and private non-profits will also serve as sponsors, serving healthy meals and snacks at approved sites to children 18 years old and younger.
Big picture

Stay Safe-Stay Home

Our first tip for staying safe is to stay home. Do not go out unless it is extremely necessary to leave your home. If you do go out, leave children at home with a responsible adult and do not bring kupuna along. Follow the recommended guidelines for social distancing - 6 feet between you and others, and do not congregate. Please remember to use a mask when out in public, and routinely wash (cloth) or properly dispose (one-time use) of them.

Wearing Masks: Mandate by Mayor Caldwell

Big picture

Everyone on 'Oahu who is conducting a business transaction is required to wear a non-surgical face mask.

In accordance with CDC recommendations:


  • Make sure you can breathe through it
  • Wear it whenever going out in public (exemptions to Mayor Caldwell's orders include: when inside banks or other financial institutions, using the ATM, when you are in your car, or if you have any medical or respiratory issues in which wearing a mask may cause you further harm)
  • Make sure it covers your nose and mouth
  • Wash after using


  • Use on children under age 2
  • Use surgical masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) intended for healthcare workers

Masks/coverings should:

  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow unrestricted breathing
  • Should maintain shape and quality after a machine wash and dry

**Make sure to wash your hands before putting on your mask and take care not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing. Wash your hands right after.

Proper Use of Gloves

Some people have been electing to wear gloves when out in public to try and protect themselves from the Covid-19 virus. Glove use is not required to stay healthy, and it would actually be better if you just washed your hands after touching surfaces. However, IF you decide to still wear them, please view the video below, which explains how improper use of gloves can cause cross-contamination, and not give you the protection you think you are getting by using them. Also, if you do decide to use gloves, please dispose of them properly and do not leave them in parking lots or in shopping carts.
Cross Contamination and Gloves
CDC Self-Checker - click here

The Coronavirus Self-Checker is to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. It is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or other conditions, including Covid-19. Click the button above to go to the self-checker.

Big picture

For more information contact the Aloha United Way

Big picture

Connect with an Information and Referral Specialist by phone, text, chat, or email.

Click here if you want to be taken to the website

7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week, or search their database online 24/7.

Take Care of Mind and Body

Big picture
Big picture
How to manage COVID-19 anxiety
Big picture
Big picture

Check out this E-Book

CORONAVIRUS: To Help Our Keiki Understand Why Life Changed

Presented by: Vibrant Hawaii (through Hawaii Pacific Health Institute)

Big picture

Preparing for the 2020-2021 School Year

Beginning Fall 2020, additional immunizations will be required for all students entering childcare or preschool, kindergarten, 7th grade and post-secondary school, and for students entering school in Hawai'i for the first time. See the requirements here:

New vaccination and health requirements

Hawaii Keiki nurses like myself work in the health room with the School Health Assistant (SHA) in supporting your child's health and education. When your child is sick at school I can treat your child and decide if your child needs to go home or can stay at school. I can: care for your child's allergies, asthma, and other medical conditions, give your child medication when needed, and offer advice about health topics.

The care your child receives doesn't replace the care your child gets from the doctor or clinic. Also, even though you've signed the consent form, we won't treat or give medications to your child without talking to a parent or guardian first.

There is no cost to you, and before a Hawaii Keiki RN can care for your child, we need your permission. You may review the consent form through the link below, fill it out, and return it to your child's school.

Hawaii Keiki Consent Form

Emergency Action Plan (EAP): If your child has a serious medical condition such as Asthma, Severe Allergy (requiring the use of Epinephrine injection), Diabetes, or Convulsions or Seizures, please consider having and Emergency Action Plan in place, so that school staff may understand how to assist your child, should a medical emergency occur while at school.

If your child needs and EAP or you would like to renew your current plan for the 20-21 SY, please email me at You can also text or leave a message for me at (808)439-1307. Please contact me if you have any questions or just want to learn more about EAP.