Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii announced grants to Hawaii Public Health Institute and Filipino Community Center. The money, totaling approximately $250K, will support COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and non-English speaking communities.
“Oftentimes, members from underserved communities don’t have access to mass vaccination events or other public vaccination locations,” said Greg Christian, Hawaii Market president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “Meeting the community members where they are makes it easier for everyone to stay protected against COVID-19.”
The HIPHI and FilCom grants will specifically fund ongoing vaccination clinics being held within the Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and non-English speaking communities. It also supports ongoing collaboration with the Department of Health to coordinate and track vaccinations for people who are homebound.
“This funding provides crucial resources needed to keep up the fight against COVID-19,” said Lindsey Ilagan, program manager of HIPHI. “We know that the populations we serve are not receiving the support needed to keep them and everyone safe. Kaiser Permanente understands increasing vaccination rates among ‘Kānaka ʻŌiwi’ [Native Hawaiians], Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos requires eliminating barriers and ensuring they have access to reliable care and credible information to make important decisions about their health.”
According to the Department of Health, Hawaii’s Filipino community has been the second hardest hit community, only behind non-Hawaiian Pacific Islanders. Additionally, it is estimated that only 49% of Native Hawaiians are fully vaccinated.
“Our health care providers, local businesses, and communities are working together to combat the spread of COVID-19. To ensure that we can get through this difficult time, expanding access to vaccinations is a critical component to containment efforts and protecting our families, friends, and colleagues,” said Kylie Arrell, executive director of FilCom. “We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente for helping us reach more of our people in underserved communities.”
The grants are part of a comprehensive national Kaiser Permanente COVID-19 education campaign to fill information gaps and foster trust among communities most impacted by the pandemic. So far, Kaiser Permanente has provided $5 million in grants to support 24 nonprofit and community-based organizations that are providing direct assistance in communities across the United States to people most affected by COVID-19. The campaign is designed to encourage vaccination, motivate people to keep wearing masks, physically distance, and avoid gatherings until the pandemic ends.
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 approximately 12.5 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.