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Kaiser Permanente donates $400,000 to five Hawaii health centers to improve vaccine access

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Kaiser Permanente is providing $400,000 to five health centers in Hawaii to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines through its Safety Net Vaccine Equity Initiative.

The five health centers — which were selected in coordination with the Hawaii Primary Care Association — include Bay Clinic on Hawaii Island; Malama I Ke Ola on Maui; Kalihi-Palama Health Center; Wahiawa Center for Community Health; and Waimanalo Health Center on Oahu.

The funds can be used over six months to help communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic get access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Some ways of doing that include support for mobile vaccination operations, bringing vaccines directly to communities, and outreach, including helping patients navigate guidelines, and sign up for appointments, with translation and interpretation services.

“COVID-19 represents the most immediate threat to the health of our communities, and it’s our duty to vaccinate those who have the highest risk of poor outcomes,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director of Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, in a news release. “These grants are an extension of our ongoing work at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii to outreach to underserved communities that may not have the same access to vaccination. We’re grateful to partner with organizations that share this important mission.”

Kaiser Permanente, which has established sites across the state, is also reaching out to underserved communities. They have held 20 vaccination events in partnership with community centers, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island non-profits and the Hawaii Public Housing Authority.

Kaiser has also awarded $90,000 to The Food Basket and Hawaii Good Food Alliance on Hawaii island to provide food assistance to low-income households through an expansion of DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks program.

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