August 19, 2019

Over 20,000 students to benefit from healthy beverage grant

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii awards $92,000 grant to fund water stations at 26 schools.

Students at Waihee Elementary School enjoy new water bottle filling stations.

HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has awarded a $92,000 community benefit grant to Hawaii 5210 Let’s Go!, led by the Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education, to expand the initiative’s flagship Wai @ School program. “Wai” is the Hawaiian word for fresh water. Wai @ School promotes healthy beverage and water consumption among school-aged children by allowing schools to “earn” water bottle filling stations on their campus through the adoption of healthy policies.

The grant will allow Wai @ School to expand its program to Hawaii Island for the first time with 9 participating schools in the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa complex area. It will also provide water stations to 17 schools in Waipahu and Pearl City. As part of the program, Hawaii 5210 will provide resources to help schools establish health policies, create wellness committees, and implement an educational campaign supporting healthy beverage consumption. More than 20,000 students are expected to benefit during the 2019–2020 school year.

“Research has shown that providing access to free, fresh drinking water at school supports healthier beverage consumption, and that when kids choose water, they are more likely to maintain a healthy weight,” said Dave Underriner, regional president for Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii. “By partnering with Hawaii 5210, we’re helping keiki understand the importance of hydration and develop habits that help them stay healthy throughout their lives.”

Over the past 5 years, Wai @ School has installed 74 water stations, with 57 units awaiting installation, serving more than 77,000 students on Oahu and Maui. Kaiser Permanente has provided $523,000 in grant funding to date to support this Hawaii 5210 initiative.

Students at Waihee Elementary School enjoy new water bottle filling stations.

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 12.3 million members in eight 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.