Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii has awarded an $80,000 grant to the American Heart Association to provide health screenings, nutrition resources and hypertension education to Pacific Islanders on Oahu through faith-based outreach. Pacific Islanders experience heart disease at twice the rate of the overall population. Additionally, Pacific Islanders have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic due to misinformation and a lack of culturally appropriate resources. Faith-based institutions have a long history of supporting health-related activities for their congregations and play a critical role in reaching underserved community members. Funding from this grant will enable the association to connect with Pacific Islanders through their trusted faith-based organizations and train community leaders to engage congregations on an ongoing basis.
The grant will allow the association to offer blood pressure screenings, referrals and educational workshops. In addition, it will screen and refer people experiencing nutrition insecurity to sustaining resources, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Women, Infants and Children Program; and Double Up Food Bucks benefits; it will also provide up to 500 food vouchers to individuals facing food insecurity. Funding from this grant will directly support services estimated to reach 1,000 individuals in this high-risk community.
“At Kaiser Permanente, we strive to achieve health equity in the communities we serve,” said John Yang, MD, President and Medical Director for the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “Culturally responsive, community-based programs are critical to ensuring we meet underserved Pacific Islander groups where they are. We’re thrilled to support the American Heart Association in its effort to provide heart health screenings, educational workshops and other interventions at faith-based venues in Hawaii.”
Kaiser Permanente is working to improve the conditions for health in the communities it serves. This grant is the latest in a series of contributions from Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii to help residents throughout the state receive vital support services that impact their overall health. In 2021, Kaiser Permanente dedicated $3.8 million through community grants and scholarships to improve health and wellness in Hawaii.