News & Views

Press Release

Kaiser Permanente Continues Long History of Supporting Polynesian Voyaging Society

Polynesian Voyaging Society's historic global voyage to benefit from monetary and medical supply donation

May 9, 2014



A physician is examing a womanBen Tamura, MD, examines Linda Furuto, who will be sailing on the Hokulea voyage

HONOLULU – Today, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii announced its donation of more than $70,000 in cash and medical supplies to the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s four-year voyage around the world. Polynesian Voyaging Society’s mission is to perpetuate the skill of traditional Polynesian voyaging and navigating, and educate the community on its values of caring for the land and sea. The second leg of their worldwide voyage will begin in May 2014 as they depart Oahu for their first international port in Tahiti.

The iconic Hōkūle‘a, a traditional double-hulled voyaging canoe, and its sister Hikianalia will sail the world’s oceans on a four-year journey entitled Mālama Honua. Over 300 crew members are expected to take the trip, visiting 85 ports in over 25 countries. The voyage began in 2013 with the Mālama Honua sail throughout the Hawaiian islands, connecting with over 20,000 community members.

Polynesian Voyaging Society logo over their website's masthead of old painting of a voyageKaiser Permanente has long supported Polynesian Voyaging Society, providing crew physicals, medical supplies and health screenings for previous voyages to French Polynesia, the Marquesas, and Japan among other destinations. In addition, Kaiser Permanente physicians Ben Tamura, MD, and Vernon Ansdell, MD, provided volunteer assistance with medical logistics for the upcoming voyage.

“It is a privilege to support the cultural and educational mission of the Polynesian Voyaging Society,” said Geoffrey Sewell, MD, president and executive medical director, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “We are honored that the crew members sailing the Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia are entrusting us with their care as they embark on this ambitious and inspiring journey.”

“We are grateful for the strong ongoing partnership with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii through the years as they share our vision of caring for our people and the natural environment,” said Nainoa Thompson, Polynesian Voyaging Society president. “Kaiser’s contribution will help secure the health and safety of our crew as we navigate our 47,000 nautical mile course.”

About Polynesian Voyaging Society
The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded in 1973 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one another, and their natural and cultural environments. Visit hokulea.org for more information.

About Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years, with physicians who are members of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the largest multi-specialty physician group practice in the state of Hawaii. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. Visit kp.org for additional information. Become a fan of good health with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii: Like our page at Facebook.com/KPHawaii and follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.