Kaiser Awards $188,500 in Statewide Grants

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Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i reported the recipients of $188,500 in community benefit grant funding on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Get Fit Kaua‘i, University of Hawai‘i Foundation, Project Vision Hawai‘i and American Diabetes Association will implement community health initiatives that benefit nearly 50,000 residents living on Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i.

(L-R) Annie Valentin, Executive Director, Project Vision Hawai‘i; Cindy Tokita, client of Project Vision Hawai‘i’s HiEHiE program; Bechara Choucair, MD, Senior Vice President & Chief Community Health Officer, Kaiser Permanente Hawa‘ii; Maria Borje-Bonkowski, Regional Compliance Officer, Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i; Dave Underriner, President, Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i; and Frank Richardson, Vice President & Regional Counsel, Legal, Government & Community Relations and Community Benefit, Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i. PC: Kaiser Permanente.

“It’s a privilege to provide ongoing support to local organizations that improve the health of our state every day,” said Dave Underriner, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Hawai‘i Region. “We’re proud to partner with these nonprofits to help address public health issues that affect our community, such as homelessness, obesity and chronic diabetes.”

Na Lei Wili Area Health Education Center received $79,500 to continue Get Fit Kaua‘i, a community health initiative with programs and events that support health and wellness for Garden Isle residents. The grant will support six key components to Get Fit Kaua‘i: worksite wellness, safe routes to schools, research and development, heart-healthy nutrition for kupuna, Fitness Week, and the second annual Rice Street Block Party. The program aims to continue efforts to increase biking and walking in the community, increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables, improve the health of Kaua‘i’s workforce and develop a greater awareness of programs available to the community.

University of Hawai‘i Foundation – Hawa‘ii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (HICORE) received $64,000 to continue promoting healthy beverage policies at 20 schools in Central O‘ahu through the Hawaii 5210 campaign. Schools have the ability to “earn” water bottle filling stations by adopting policies to reduce or eliminate access to sugary beverages on campus. The ongoing initiative to encourage healthy hydration at school has resulted in 70 water bottle filling stations installed on O‘ahu and Maui to date. With this latest round of funding, HICORE expects to install 20 more stations in the Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua complex, benefiting roughly 16,000 students from K–12 grades.

HieHie Trailer. PC: Kaiser Permanente.


Project Vision Hawai‘i received $25,000 to support the development and deployment of mobile hygiene trailers on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island as part of its HiEHiE Hospitality Project. HiEHiE trailers bring hot showers and other valuable resources such as on-site vision and health screenings, referrals, dental care supplies, hair care products and hygiene products to people experiencing homelessness. Project Vision also collects data and feedback in order to inform policy discussions about homelessness and increase access to services. With this grant, Project Vision plans to provide 2,000 hot showers to homeless individuals at 120 pop-up care village events.

American Diabetes Association received $20,000 to continue implementing Act 214, which helps students with diabetes get support for their condition at school. The law authorizes Department of Education employees to assist in diabetes testing, insulin administration and glucagon administration in emergencies, and authorizes students with diabetes to self-administer their medication at school. Earlier grants trained 69 DOE employees on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Kaua‘i and Maui. With this round of grant funding, the American Diabetes Association will increase educational outreach to 30 more schools, providing 10 workshops to train employees in helping more than 1,000 students with diabetes statewide.


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