April 22, 2021

Local safety net organizations receive $400K grant funding

Kaiser Permanente’s Vaccine Equity Initiative supports increased access to the COVID-19 vaccine in Hawaii.

Safety Net Vaccine Equity Initiative provides funding to organizations working to increase vaccinations for communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Contact: Laura M. Lott
808-343-2406 (mobile)

Kaiser Permanente of Hawaii recently launched a Safety Net Vaccine Equity Initiative, providing funding to health care safety net organizations working to increase COVID-19 vaccinations for communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Five federally qualified health centers in Hawaii will receive a total of $400,000 to use over 6 months to help patients access COVID-19 vaccines. 

The health centers that will receive the funding were selected by Kaiser Permanente in coordination with the Hawaii Primary Care Association. They are the Bay Clinic on the island of Hawaii; Malama I Ke Ola on Maui; and the Kalihi-Palama Health Center, the Wahiawa Center for Community Health, and Waimanalo Health Center on Oahu. 

Along with connecting patients to vaccinations, grant funds will support health centers in their efforts to: 

  • Fund safe transportation to vaccination sites
  • Ensure adequate staffing, allowing clinics to manage vaccinations while maintaining focus on primary care and testing operations
  • Bring vaccines directly to communities using mobile vaccination operations 
  • Reach out to patients to help them navigate vaccination guidelines, appointment sign-ups, and locations
  • Provide language services, including translation and interpretation support for vaccination sites and supportive activities
  • Meet infrastructure needs (e.g., personal protective equipment, storage, and supplies)

“COVID-19 represents the most immediate threat to the health of our communities, and it’s our duty to vaccinate those who have the highest risk of poor outcomes,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, Inc. “These grants are an extension of our ongoing work at Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii to reach out to underserved communities that may not have the same access to vaccination. We’re grateful to partner with organizations that share this important mission.”

In addition to running established vaccination sites across the state, Kaiser Permanente is also reaching out to underserved communities and delivering vaccines. Kaiser Permanente has held 20 vaccination events in partnership with community centers, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island nonprofits, and the Hawaii Public Housing Authority. These efforts align with Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our communities and lessen the significant barriers underserved populations face in seeking health care services such as vaccines.

Kaiser Permanente members and nonmembers who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can request a vaccination appointment online at kp.org/covidvaccine. Kaiser Permanente also has a 24/7 KP COVID Vaccine InfoLine available at 1-855-550-0951 (TTY 711) providing regular recorded updates in English and Spanish.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.