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Press Releases: Hawaii

January 21, 2013

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Physicians and staff members on Oahu, Big Island and Maui volunteer in their communities today in honor of Dr. King

HONOLULU — Nearly 900 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii physicians and staff members volunteered their time today working on community projects on Oahu, Hawaii and Maui in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The volunteer effort was led by the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, the state’s largest multi-specialty medical group, providing comprehensive care to Kaiser Permanente’s nearly 225,000 members.

National Day of Service to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Established in 2005 as an annual day of community service, Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians provide valuable services to their communities each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to further advance the Kaiser Permanente legacy that parallels Dr. King’s values. 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.

“Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is proud to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his humanitarian spirit and legacy by making a difference in our own communities,” said Geoffrey Sewell, MD, president and executive medical director of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “Part of our responsibility of caring for the health and well-being of our community is caring for our aina and taking the time to preserve and restore our most precious natural resources.”

On Oahu, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff members honored the Hawaiian tradition of ahupuaa, the division of aina (land) into sections that run from the mountains to the ocean. This tradition highlights the interdependence of the various ecosystems and the importance of maintaining and protecting our environment. Activities at three separate sites included:

  • 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, Kaiser Permanente volunteers on the Big Island worked in sustainable gardens at Waimea Middle School and Konawaena High School 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 physicians and staff volunteered at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center performing clean-up work at the center’s 12-acre coastal site at Keaukaha. The center provides the infrastructure to support world-class aquaculture, marine science and conservation biology programs at UH Hilo.

Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff on Maui contributed their time at Hui Malama Learning Center, helping to expand the center’s sustainable garden, and conducting clean-up and maintenance activities. Hui Malama Learning Center offers middle- and high-school classes and educational enrichment programs to inspire, nurture and empower Maui’s youth to pursue careers that bolster the islands’ economy, increase self-reliance and provide for future generations.

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 kp.org for additional information. Become a fan of good health with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii: Like our page at facebook.com/KPHawaii and follow @KPHawaii on Twitter.