Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Awards $119,000 in Grants to Support Health Care Workforce and Economic Development

Press Release
Maria Borje-Bonkowski, Regional Compliance Officer, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii (center) presenting grant to Mana Up’s Meli James (left) and Terri Funakoshi.
Maria Borje-Bonkowski, Regional Compliance Officer, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii (center) presenting grant to Mana Up’s Meli James (left) and Terri Funakoshi.

HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has awarded $119,000 in community benefit grant funding to three nonprofits seeking to promote economic opportunity and support workforce development throughout the state.

“Kaiser Permanente is committed to addressing the shortage of health care workers and promoting economic opportunities in Hawaii,” said Dave Underriner, president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Hawaii Region. “Supporting Hawaii’s health care sector, and helping small businesses grow and create jobs are among many ways we are committed to a thriving Hawaii.”

Hawaii Community College (via UH Foundation) was awarded $69,333 for the school’s nursing program to help address health care labor shortages on Hawaii Island. Ninety percent of the school’s nursing graduates — approximately 40 students per year — go on to work in health care positions on Hawaii Island, addressing a critical need for care providers in rural areas. The grant will be used to purchase a simulation mannequin that provides essential clinical education and hands-on skills learning to maintain accreditation for the nursing program.

Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership, in partnership with Mana Up (via YWCA Oahu), received $35,000 to promote economic opportunity, counseling and training for locally owned small businesses, with a specific focus on women’s leadership development. The nonprofits will offer a 10-month professional development course for 11 emerging women leaders, as well as a 12-week accelerator program for 20 local small businesses.

Hawaii Hospital Education and Research Foundation received $15,000 to expand scholarships for health care students in Hawaii. A shortage of providers in primary care, specialty care, mental health and oral health care, especially on neighbor islands, affects the health of the entire state. HHERF plans to offer scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 to 15 or more Hawaii health care students pursuing degrees in nursing, medicine, physical and occupational therapy, certified nursing assistant, medical assistant, pharmacy and health care IT.

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 more than 12.2 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. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

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