The people of Kaiser Permanente and Maui Health are delivering care, service, and comfort to those who need it.
The aftermath of the wildfires that have claimed more than 110 lives and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, schools, and businesses on Maui continues to threaten the health of the entire community.
For more than 65 years, Kaiser Permanente has provided health care and coverage to the people of Hawaii. Over the years, we have grown to operate 5 clinics on Maui, providing care for more than 68,000 members and supporting the health of the entire Maui community. Unfortunately, our first Maui clinic at Lahaina was destroyed on August 8 by the fires.
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals also operates Maui Health on behalf of the state, which includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, and Lanai Community Hospital, and combined has more than 1,600 employees. Maui Health partners with Pacific Permanente Group — a subsidiary of Hawaii Permanente Medical Group — as well as hospital- and community-based physicians and clinicians.
Physicians, nurses, other clinicians, and staff at Kaiser Permanente and Maui Health have been working throughout this terrible disaster delivering care, service, and comfort to all who need it; treating people with burns, smoke inhalation, and other fire-related injuries; assessing vulnerable patient populations; and meeting the community’s health care needs. Our people at Lahaina Clinic have been deployed to community-based sites or relocated to other facilities. Our Maui-based teams, with support from colleagues around the state, are providing behavioral health and medical care in local shelters, checking on home health patients, and delivering needed medications and supplies to our members and nonmembers. We have deployed our mobile health vehicle from Oahu to provide aid to members and the community. A second mobile health vehicle is currently on its way to Maui from the mainland for additional support.
We are thankful that we have been able to locate all our Kaiser Permanente and Maui Health colleagues. Although dozens have lost their homes, all have said they are safe. We have extended counseling to help our people who have lost loved ones, and financial support for housing and emergency needs to help those who have lost their homes in the fires.
Teams across Kaiser Permanente are also mobilizing to provide urgently needed resources, technology, and support. We are working to meet the needs that have been created by the destruction of our Lahaina Clinic, until it can be rebuilt. We expect to have an interim clinic operational within the next several weeks.
One of our most significant challenges is refilling prescriptions, especially for people with ongoing health conditions. Many people lost all their medications and medical supplies to the fire and need help getting restocked or have barriers to access due to road closures and dislocation to shelters. We have a team of pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and couriers going back and forth to Lahaina to deliver medications as prescriptions come in. Our teams are working to address the potential for longer wait times at our clinic pharmacies on Maui as we work to fulfill these needs.
On August 10, we provided $300,000 in donations to the American Red Cross of Hawaii and the Salvation Army of Hawaii — first responder organizations designated by the state — and to the Maui Food Bank, to help mobilize support and resources quickly. We offered to match another $100,000 in donations from our staff and physicians, and their gifts exceeded that within the first 2 hours. As the needs on Maui continue to unfold, we have identified 3 additional organizations whose work can quickly have an impact: the Maui Health Foundation, the Hawaii Community Foundation, and the Maui United Way. As of August 18, the people of Kaiser Permanente and Maui Health have contributed more than $680,000 to support these 6 Maui organizations, for a total of more than $1.08 million in donations so far.
We will continue to focus on delivering care, service, and comfort to the people of Maui in the wake of this tragedy and in the future as recovery efforts are able to move forward. Together, we will continue to help ensure high-quality and compassionate care is available to all who need it.