Press Releases: Hawaii
January 16, 2012
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii on Oahu Commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Physicians and staff members on Oahu, Big Island and Maui volunteered in their communities today in honor of Dr. King
HONOLULU —Nearly 500 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii physicians and staff members volunteered their time today working on community projects on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Today’s volunteer effort was led by the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, which was formed in 1960 to provide care to all Kaiser Permanente members in Hawaii.
“Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is honored to join President Obama and the rest of the nation in declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day a time to give back to our local communities through volunteerism and service,” said Geoffrey Sewell, MD, president and executive medical director of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “It’s up to all of us to create healthier and more vibrant communities together. As Dr. King once said, ‘the time is always right to do the right thing,’ ” he added.
Eight years ago, in honor and recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his advancement of civil and human rights, Kaiser Permanente established an annual day of service that takes place on Martin Luther King Day. This approach to celebrating Dr. King’s life has enabled thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians to provide valuable services to their communities and to further advance the Kaiser Permanent legacy that parallels Dr. King’s value. Rather than taking a holiday on that day, Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians take part in a “day on” of volunteering dedicated to the memory of Dr. King.
On Oahu, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff members volunteered at Wilson Elementary School’s sustainable gardens preparing the soil for plantings, and engaging in campus maintenance and beautification activities, which included gardening, repainting walkways and replacing screens in the cafeteria.
In partnership with Hawaii Island School Garden Network, Kaiser Permanente volunteers on the Big Island worked in sustainable gardens at Waimea Middle and Kahakai Elementary Schools in Kailua-Kona weeding, pruning and planting crops. HISGN helps Big Island schools increase consumption of locally grown foods through sustainable food production. On the Hilo side, Kaiser Permanente volunteers performed similar work at Waiakea High School weeding, clearing brush and cleaning the campus.
Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff on Maui contributed their time sprucing up areas of the Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Wailuku.
Physicians and staff also provided free medical care as part of their day of service. About 40 Polynesian Voyaging Society crewmembers received their pre-voyage physicals at Kaiser Permanente’s Mapunapuna Clinic.
About Hawaii Island School Garden Network
The goal of the Hawaii Island School Garden Network (HISGN) is to help island schools build gardening and agricultural programs will significantly contribute to the increased consumption of locally produced food by involving students, their school communities, and their family networks in food production. HISGN is one of The Kohala Center’s self-reliance initiatives. Visit www.kohalacenter.org/HISGN/about.html for more information.
About Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has provided total health to the people of Hawaii for more than 50 years. Care for members is focused on their total health being guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Expert care and medical teams are 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. Its physicians 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.