Dr. Kumar shares his experience of education on Ho'Ike Community Television with the Honorable Mayor Maryanne Kusaka, County of Kauai, State of Hawaii.
Dr. Kumar strongly believes in community education. He has given presentations on Ho'ike Community Television on Stress, Anxiety, Ecstasy and Agony of Marriage, Ecstasy and Agony of Parenting, and Ecstasy and Agony of Work.
Endowment of Educational Videos
In his ongoing efforts for community education, he worked diligently to make the endowment of educational videos, Faces of Anxiety, Depression, The Storm Within and The Panic Prison available to the Hawaii State Public Library System from the American Psychiatric Association. These videos have been shown on Ho'Ike community television on Kauai and O'Lelo community television in Honolulu. These videos are available in the libraries on all islands.
Dr. Kumar has been deeply concerned about the inadequate insurance coverage for emotional disorders, behavioral disorders, and mental illness. In 1975, the private insurance carriers in the State of Hawaii did not provide any coverage for the first outpatient psychiatric visit and had placed a cap of $500 for a whole year of outpatient care. As a concerned psychiatrist, Chairman of Public Affairs and President of the Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association, he worked tirelessly with his professional colleagues to improve the insurance coverage.
Continued and ongoing efforts have led to legislation that expanded coverage for psychiatric care.
At this time, the first psychiatric visit is covered by private insurance carriers for every insured person. Every insured person has at least 24 hourly outpatient visits for psychiatric treatment, and there is now unlimited coverage for three psychiatric illnesses.
Removal of Stigma of the Myths Surrounding Mental Illness
As Public Affairs Chairman of the Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association, he led the candlelight ceremony in October, 1990, during Mental Illness Awareness Week. The ceremony was attended by government officials, legislators, business leaders, physicians, various professionals, patients, and the public.
At the end of the ceremony all the people, as extended community, joined hands and lit their candles to symbolize the removal of the darkness of the myths surrounding mental illness.
Prior to the ceremony, Dr. Kumar reached out to the Governor and Mayors of all of the Counties of Hawaii asking them to issue Proclamations to increase the awareness of mental illness in our State.
In his ongoing effort to remove the stigma in October, 1991, during Mental Awareness Week, he led the candlelight ceremony at the Hawaii State Capitol and again reached out to government officials for the issuing of Proclamations to promote awareness of mental illness.
For Mental Illness Awareness Week, in October, 1994, Dr. Kumar coordinated many activities:
* On KIFO AM and KIPO FM, "Talk of the Islands" host David Stroup and his guests discussed "Treatment Works." His guests were psychiatrist Tom Leland, MD, mental health consumer Laurie Meech, and Patrick Palombo, parent of a mental health consumer.
* KIFO AM and KIPO FM aired "Schizophrenia: Voices of an Illness," a Mainland production featuring Jason Robard Jr. and nine people telling their own stories -- including a doctor, a writer, and an artist -- many of whom have recovered from the illness.
* "The Country Doctor" show on KGU, hosted by Marc Shlachter, MD, invited Dr. Kumar to be his guest.
* KGU radio aired "Inside Politics" with Bob Rees. The program addressed "The Politics of Mental Illness," with psychiatrist Tom Leland, MD, Martin Porter, President of OAMI, and Mark O'Donnell, MPH, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association.
* KHON-TV's "Morning News" featured Leslie Kelly RN, a mental health consumer and board member of the Office of United Self Help, who explained "Treatment Works."
* Honolulu Medical Group provided free screening for depression as a service to the community on National Depression Screening Day.
* Castle Medical Center provided free screening for depression on that same day.
* The Community Access Channel, O'Lelo, repeatedly aired three programs from the American Psychiatric Association: "Panic Prison," "Faces of Anxiety," and "Depression, The Storm Within."
Services for the Mentally Ill
Dr. Kumar along with his professional colleagues, broke new ground in their legislative efforts to make the then-revolutionary antipsychotic medication - Clozaril available to 100 Medicaid patients in Hawaii. At that time, the cost of Clozaril was $9,000.00 per patient per year. This opened the door to more patients in this state, as well as others.
In his ongoing efforts to improve services for the mentally ill, Dr. Kumar took the initiative to ask the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee to introduce a Senate Concurrent Resolution to improve programs at existing Day Treatment Centers of Community Mental Health Centers, and to add new Day Treatment Centers in those areas which were not easily accessible to the mentally ill patients. The Resolution was passed.
"May is Mental Health Month" Activities
In his ongoing efforts to serve the community, Dr. Kumar organized the activity, "May is Mental Health Month," for a number of years with various themes including "Ecstasy and Agony of Aging", and "Ecstasy and Agony of Parenting".
Being concerned about the needs of children, he organized the activity with the theme, "Our Children -- Our Future," and invited the Honorable Governor of Massachusetts, and former democratic presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis to be the keynote speaker.
He initiated "Mental Health Legislator of the Year Award" of Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association in recognition and appreciation of Senator/House of Representative for his/her legislative work for promotion of mental health and providing of services for the mentally ill.
Education through Radio
For many years Dr. Kumar had been a guest speaker on the radio stations on Oahu during "May Is Mental Health Month" and "Mental Illness Awareness Week" in October. He was a frequent guest on "The Country Doctor" radio program, hosted by Dr. Marc Schlachter.
Education through Print Media
In his ongoing endeavors for community education, he has given information on mental health and mental illness to newspapers, news letters of the hospitals, news releases of Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association and Honolulu County Medical Society, and the magazine of HMSA--Island Scene.
Kauai Times wrote the articles, "Prescription for mental health: 'Living and loving it'," "Mental Illness: Shedding Light on the Subject", and "Anxiety: When Worrying Gets Out of Control."
For his medical colleagues, he wrote the article in Honolulu County Medical Society's Bulletin, "Physician, Strive for Thy Mental Health". Castle Hospital Community Education Department published the article written by Dr. Kumar, "Know Thy Sleep -- One Third of Your Life". Wilcox hospital Community Education Department wrote the article in its newsletter "Balance is Important for a Happy Life" about Dr. Kumar.
The Garden Island newspaper published the article, "There is Help for Anxiety and Stress".
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin published the article, "Iniki Psychiatrist, His Family Had a Close Shave" and "Mentally ill must get help, not be ashamed".
Island Scene printed the article written by Dr. Kumar, "Stop it! Or I'm Telling!" about sibling rivalry.
Education at Great Aloha Health and Fitness Expo
For two years Dr. Kumar organized the mental health booth in collaboration with the Hawaii Medical Association at the Blaisedell Center in Honolulu and developed various pamphlets and video for community education.
Dr. Kumar has given seminars on "Ecstasy and Agony of Marriage" at Wilcox Hospital, KVMH Hospital, and the Poipu & Kapaa Rotary Clubs.
Educational Presentations in Community Forums
Dr. Kumar has given seminars for the community at Hanalei, Lihue Senior Citizen Center, Wilcox Hospital, and KVMH Hospital on "Ecstasy and Agony of Aging".
Protecting Hee'ia Meadowlands and the Hee'ia Wetlands in Kaneohe
Dr. Kumar actively participated in the organization Kupa'a Hee'ia to protect Hee'ia Wetlands and Meadowlands from development. With zeal they reached out to the Fish and Wildlife personnel, various legislators, government officials, and the Governor. The legislature directed the State Department of Land and Natural Resources to implement efforts for land exchange for Hee'ia Wetland and Hee'ia Meadowlands.
Services after Hurricane Iniki
Being aware of the devastating effects of Hurricane Iniki on September 11, 1992, he went to the emergency room of the hospital the next morning and helped the people with panic, anxiety and depression. He continued to help the people to cope with various losses. A few years later, he wrote an article for the Honolulu Advertiser entitled "Hurricane Fury, Emotional scars still remain for many on Kauai".
Dr. Kumar is grateful to Us Senate, Us House of Representatives, Honorable Governor Lingle and Ige; The Senate, and The House of Representatives, State of Hawaii; Honorable Mayor Baptiste and Carvalho; and County Council of Kauai for bestowing upon him Certificates and Proclamations for his professional achievements and community service.
Dr. Kumar feels humbled receiving following Honors:
2016 Commendation from Honorable Governor David Ige, State of Hawaii
For contributions to the field of Medicine and Advocacy in the field of mental health; reflecting long standing dedication as a physician, and commitment to improve lives of others and through medical expertise helping over
2 million people on Healthtap portal on internet.
2016 Honorable Mayor Bernard Carvalho, County of Kauai
Certificate of Recognition Older American Award
In recognition of valuable service and contributions to our community
2016 Proclamation from Honorable Mayor Bernard Carvalho, County of Kauai
“Dr. Kumar devoted himself in improving insurance coverage for emotional disorders, behavioral disorders and mental illness; and to preserve and protect our environment”
In Appreciating his outstanding contributions, illustrious career and Recognize as our
Distinguished Physician and Psychiatrist& Eminent Resident of Hawaii
2016 Certificate from Council of County of Kauai, State of Hawaii
He is truly a patient advocate and “Champion of Patients”. His commitment towards excellence is often emulated but seldom equaled.
2017 Proclamation of Honorable Mayor Bernard Carvalho, County of Kauai, State of Hawaii for helping Over 3.3 Million (3,391,871) people on by his 2,508 Answers on Healthtap Portal as:
Distinguished Eminent Physician
Hawaii Ambassador of Health
2017 Healthtap Honors
Top Psychiatrist-2nd in Nation
Top Doctor 1st in Hawaii
2017 Healthtap Medals and Trophies
"For Helping Over 3.5 Million people around the World"
“Gold Medals of Professor, Charismatic and Mario Andretti”; Silver Medal of “Devoted Teacher"
Alpha omega Trophy and William Osler Trophy
Dr. Kumar's Professional Journey & Community Service Continues----