She grew up for a time in the beautiful, quiet, upcountry paniolo village of Kūka‘iau Ranch on the gentle northeast slope of Mauna Kea, on the Hāmākua coast between Pa‘auilo and ‘O‘ōkala. She is as comfortable on a bucking horse as she is healing a patient who has just suffered a psychotic explosion. She grew up in a kāne world so it’s no surprise she can make the switch from man talk to wahine talk on a dime.
Claren Ku‘ulei Kealoha-Beaudet is a wife, mom, community advocate, protector of Hawaiian rights and causes, Hawaiian Homes pastoral lessee and former secondary ed teacher. Honoka‘a High School is her alma mater. She is a licensed clinical psychologist with a doctorate from Argosy University.
Claren presently serves as the Executive Director of Kīpuka O Ke Ola (KOKO) our native Hawaiian clinic in Waimea. What ensues are her hopes for KOKO under her leadership.
- Establishing a Federally Qualified Independent Rural Health Clinic-featuring primary care, behavioral health and indigenous healing practices.
- A Mission and Vision to address and move toward parity of social determinants and healthy disparities commonly associated with Native Hawaiians.
- Working toward the development of Waimea Nui – a community development project of the Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders Association.
- Community Education regarding Culture, Health and Hawaiian Well-Being.
Claren’s personal hope for Hawaiian well-being – “I believe barriers to systemic change only serve to challenge and develop the strength of our nā‘au and mana‘o to strategically deconstruct and then rebuild communities, utilizing the blue prints of a Native Hawaian worldview. This worldview is intrinsically driven by who we are as a collective people.”
Special Note: I want to mahalo my Aide Kama Hopkins for writing the first three articles on our Hawaiian Leadership series featuring our beloved U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, Uncle Patrick Kahawaiola‘a and Diane Kaneali‘i.