Business

Kaiser Permanente Employees Give Back

January 18, 2016, 4:08 PM HST
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 Michelle Alani and Dr. Kanani Dilcher create beds for native Hawaiian plants at Pu'u Wa'awa'a Forest Reserve in North Kona. Kaiser Permanete courtesy photo.


Michelle Alani and Dr. Kanani Dilcher create beds for native Hawaiian plants at Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve in North Kona. Kaiser Permanete courtesy photo.

Big Island Kaiser Permanente employees ranging from physicians to staff members and their families spent Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering their time.

The day of service is Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i’s 11th Annual Day of Service, hosted by Hawai’i Permanente Medical Group.

Volunteers spent time at the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife  Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve in North Kona alongside the non-profit group Ka’ahahui o ka Nahelehele to help restore the area’s dryland forest environment.

The reserve is home to over 40 pairs of nesting nene geese and other native species.

Volunteers spent the day removing invasive species like fountain grass, collected seeds, planted native species, and cleared access trails.

Brayden, Carol and Brycen Abe prepare the soil for planting native Hawaiian flora at Pu'u Wa'awa'a Forest Reserve in North Kona. Kaiser Permanenre courtesy photo.

Brayden, Carol and Brycen Abe prepare the soil for planting native Hawaiian flora at Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve in North Kona. Kaiser Permanenre courtesy photo.

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“Only a small fraction of dryland forests remain, which makes our work and partnerships all the more important in restoring and perpetuating these environments and the endangered native species that live there,” said Mary Metcalf, president of Ka’ahahui o ka Nahelehele. “Our new partnership with Kaiser Permanente provides volunteer service, tools, and supplies that will aid tremendously in restoring the dry forest at the State Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve.”

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Statewide, over 1,300 volunteers on the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu participated in the day of service. Nationally, thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees volunteered their time in their communities.

“We’re proud to be honoring the spirit of volunteerism and our continued commitment to community service,” said Rick Fong, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s Physician in Charge for Hawai’i Island. “This year, we feel privileged to be supporting Ka’ahahui o ka Nahelehele in their efforts to preserve the land and culture that make Hawai’i unique.”

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