HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii recently honored Marcus Iwane, MD, as the 2021 recipient of the national David Lawrence Community Service Award. The annual award honors a Kaiser Permanente employee or physician in each of Kaiser Permanente’s 8 regions for outstanding volunteer activities that improve community health and wellness.
Dr. Iwane is physician chief of the new West Oahu Medical Office at Kapolei, which will open April 5, 2021. The community has a large percentage of Native Hawaiians. Dr. Iwane developed a passion for volunteerism from his “kupuna,” or elders, and learned the meaning of “kaiaulu:” community as a reflection of family and working together. These values propelled him to dedicate his care to the health and well-being of the Native Hawaiian population, many of whom are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity.
Dr. Iwane volunteers with several organizations and community partners focused on improving Native Hawaiian health and fostering the next generation of Native Hawaiian physicians. As a board member and vice president for ‘Ahahui ‘o nā Kauka — the Association of Native Hawaiian Physicians, Dr. Iwane has led efforts to bring Native Hawaiian physicians together to develop mentorship and educational opportunities for Native Hawaiian youth. He is also part of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response, Recovery, and Resilience Team, a public-private partnership in Hawaii that works to dispel misunderstandings and address important topics related to how COVID-19 impacts the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population.
“I’m delighted to see Dr. Iwane recognized with this national award for his dedication to improving the health of the people of Hawaii,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “We’re inspired by his vision for health equity in West Oahu and his commitment to encouraging more Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders to pursue careers in health care.”
To celebrate Dr. Iwane’s accomplishments, Kaiser Permanente will donate $5,000 each to Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana and Liliʻuokalani Trust, Kīpuka Waiʻanae. The David Lawrence Community Service Award is named for David Lawrence, MD, former chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente and a lifelong advocate for improving health.
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.