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Press Release

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Gives $50,000 to Address State Poverty Issues

February 20, 2018

TOPICS: Community Health | REGIONS: Hawaii | KEYWORDS: grants, healthy communities, low income

from left: Joy Barua, Gavin Thornton, Garret Sugai, Victor Geminiani. From left: Joy Barua,, Sr Director of Government and Community Relations and Community Benefit, Kaiser Permanente, Gavin Thornton,, Appleseed Center, Garret Sugai, Health Plan Administrator, Kaiser Permanente and Victor Geminiani, Appleseed Center.

HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii today announced that it has approved a $50,000 grant to the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice for the formation and development of the Hawaii Budget and Policy Center. The center will work with lawmakers and community partners to develop and advocate for policies that help alleviate poverty in the community.

Approximately 200,000 people in Hawaii — 15 percent of the population — live in poverty, while 48 percent of the state’s population lives paycheck to paycheck. The HBPC will conduct research, provide analysis of policy issues, issue state poverty reports, and support the advocacy efforts of community partners to address and lower poverty rates in the state.

“Poverty has a tremendous impact on the health of an individual and our community as a whole,” said Garret Sugai, vice president, Health Plan Service and Administration, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “Working together to understand the underlying causes of poverty and using that knowledge to create systemic policy-driven solutions will help everyone in our community thrive.”

“The Hawaii Budget and Policy Center will serve as an invaluable resource for policymakers by providing them with data and analysis on policies related to poverty,” said Victor Geminiani, co-director, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. “We are grateful for Kaiser Permanente’s support and partnership as we work to build a Hawaii where everyone has the opportunity to achieve economic security.”

About Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice
Hawaii Appleseed is working to build a more socially just Hawaii, where everyone has genuine opportunities to achieve economic security and fulfill their potential. We change systems that perpetuate inequality and injustice through policy development, coalition building, and advocacy.

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 11.8 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: