Kaiser Permanente (No. 1 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) has announced its latest community benefit grant recipients, which will receive more than $341,000 in funding to serve communities, combat chronic disease and promote healthy habits throughout the state. In 2016 alone, Kaiser Permanente's community benefit department has provided more than $680,900 to local nonprofits and programs striving to improve health in Hawaii.
"Our grant recipients are our partners in health — committed to providing access, education and services with a particular focus on underserved and vulnerable communities," said Mary Ann Barnes, RN, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Hawaii Region. "We support their efforts to create healthier communities that place a strong emphasis on eating well, staying physically active and thriving in all aspects of life."
- Kapiolani Community College Culinary Institute of the Pacific received $70,000 to fund a health and wellness food truck project called "Cooking up a Rainbow." The food truck will enable the organization to provide outreach to more than 700 residents in low-income urban and rural communities, with the goal of reducing obesity through preventive health screenings and healthy cooking demonstrations. The project will also deliver 600 healthy school lunch meals to students from low- and moderate-income households, and sell an additional 8,000 healthy snacks and plate lunches on school campuses.
- YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program received $60,000 over two years to help adults at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes incorporate physical activity and weight loss into their lives. The program will enroll 58 participants in the first year, and 104 participants in the second year, aiming for an average weight loss of 4.5 percent per participant in order to reduce the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes.
- Shriners Hospital for Children received $50,000 toward the purchase of an EOS imaging machine, which provides 3D orthopedic imaging while reducing the patient's exposure to radiation. At least 2,100 children will benefit from exams that deliver 85 percent less radiation than standard X-ray machines.
- Boys & Girls Club of Maui received $35,010 to implement Improving Health & Fitness of Maui's Children, an after-school program for 2,000 youth from 20 Maui schools. The program incorporates Walking Classrooms, a physical activity component that uses podcasts to teach educational topics while students walk; and Nutrition Intuition, an interactive Q&A game that help youth learn to prepare healthy meals at home.
- American Cancer Society received $35,000 to provide transportation services to cancer patients in low-income, underserved and vulnerable communities, who have limited or no access to nearby treatment facilities. Approximately 650 cancer patients will receive transportation services, including interisland airfare, partial reimbursement for mainland cancer treatment flights, taxi service reimbursements, HandiVan vouchers and bus passes.
- Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii received $25,000 for Healthy Lifestyles Initiative, an after-school program for 1,500 Hawaii youth. The program includes Smart Moves, which seeks to prevent risky behaviors and encourage emotional health; and Triple Play Healthy Habits & Positive Action, which promotes physical fitness, nutrition education and healthy habits. The program will also engage families through activities and Ohana Nights.
- Honolulu Theater for Youth (HTY) received $25,000 to develop and perform two original theatrical productions, "Blue" and "Home." Both productions cultivate creativity and imagination while promoting positive behavioral health in preschool children. HTY will perform for more than 16,000 preschool children throughout the state, and hold interactive workshops at 10 public schools for students, teachers, staff and parents.
- Department of Native Hawaiian Health received $11,974 to convene a Native Hawaiian Health Improvement Task Force, in partnership with the Hawaii Department of Health and Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The task force will seek to address health disparities and reduce the social determinants (health education, housing, labor and other socioeconomic factors) that contribute to chronic disease in Native Hawaiians.