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Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Continues Tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Physicians and staff members on Oahu, Big Island and Maui get hands dirty working on community projects in honor of Dr. King

January 22, 2014

lots of volunteers in orange t-shirts cleaning a muddy river

HONOLULU – More than 900 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii physicians and staff members spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday volunteering their time working on community projects on Oahu, Hawaii and Maui in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20. Projects included restoration of mountain and trail streams, wetlands and an ancient ocean fishpond.

Established nine years ago in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his pursuit of civil and human rights, Kaiser Permanente established an annual day of service that takes place on Martin Luther King Day. Rather than taking a holiday “day off,” Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians took the “day on” volunteering their time in honor of Dr. King, providing valuable services in their communities.

“Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is proud to continue our tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy by making a difference in our own communities,” said Geoffrey Sewell, MD, president and executive medical director of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “Our mission to care for the health and wellbeing of our community includes a responsibility to help preserve the land on which we, and generations to come, are so fortunate to live.”

On Oahu, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff members helped to restore and maintain the Heeia Ahupuaa, one of Oahu’s historic land divisions. Kaiser Permanente employees partnered with three organizations to support the education of Hawaiian culture, history and environmental sustainability.

  • Mountain trail and stream restoration in partnership with Papahana Kuaola, an educational program focused on Hawaii’s cultural and natural history, environmental restoration and economic sustainability fully integrated with Hawaiian knowledge.
  • Wetlands restoration in partnership with Kakoo Oiwi, a community-based non-profit organization implementing a long-range project to restore agricultural and ecological productivity to nearly 405-acres within the wetlands of Heeia on the windward side of Oahu.
  • Restoration of an ancient ocean fishpond in partnership with Paepae O Heeia, a private non-profit organization dedicated to caring for the Heeia Fishpond in alliance with landowner Kamehameha Schools.

In partnership with Hawaii Island School Garden Network and FoodCorps Hawaii, Kaiser Permanente volunteers on the Big Island helped support sustainability education programs at Kealakehe Intermediate and Waimea Middle School weeding, pruning and planting crops in sustainable gardens. The gardens are an integral part of both schools’ sustainability curriculums.

Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff on Maui spent most of the day on The Maui Farm gardening, cleaning and assisting with beautification. The 8.3 acre farm serves as a sustainability model, supporting and encouraging school and community gardens.

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 for additional information, become a fan of good health at or follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.