Categorized | Featured, Health

Big donation, big dream for Puna Community Medical Center

From left: Kai Sorte, Pahoa store manager of Island Naturals; Russell Ruderman, store owner; Dr. Hart Miller; Clinical Programs Director Daniel DiDomizio; board president Rene Siracusa; supporter Richard Bidleman; Sara Mae Landers; board Treasurer Steve Sparks; and director Sara Burgess. (Photo courtesy of Puna Community Medical Center)


Island Naturals Pahoa has kick-started the Puna Community Medical Center’s (PCMC) emergency room Building Fund with a $1,000 donation.

Store Manager Kai Sorte and owner Russell Ruderman presented an over-sized check to PCMC staff and board members on Thursday, July 19 in front of PCMC’s urgent care clinic in the Pahoa Marketplace.

“We’re happy to support the Puna Community Medical Center. We’re especially happy to help kick-start the building fund for the new clinic to be built, including the emergency room,” Ruderman said. “We’re hoping everybody else in the community will help create this new wonderful facility.”

He said he is proud of the clinic that started a few years ago and stayed open through community donations.

Daniel DiDomizio, PCMC’s Director of Clinical Operations, described the donation as a good start.

“Two or three or four years from now, $2 million from now, we’ll have this facility that everybody needs. It feels good to be here,” DiDomizio said.

He and Dr. Hart Miller accepted Island Naturals’ check.

“I’m excited to be part of this opportunity to promote health care in Puna and help to build our comprehensive medical center, starting with the emergency department,’ Miller said, noting it will be built “from the ground up, step by step, community support the whole way.”

Board President Rene Siracusa noted that the Island Naturals seed money provides an inspiration and impetus for other businesses to get on board and make their own donations.

Following the check presentation Siracusa and Sparks took both the over-sized check and the real one across the parking lot to CU Hawaii to officially open the Building Fund account.

Future fundraising events are planned.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, there will be a rummage sale in the Pahoa Cash and Carry parking lot starting at 7 am.

To donate items contact Jill Raznov 778-8992 or

On Friday, Aug. 31, a concert/dance with art auction and heavy pupus will take place at the Hawaiian Sanctuary at mile marker 12 on Highway 130.

Tickets for the event, “Once in a Blue Moon” are available at $25 pre-sale or $30 at the gate. Ticket outlets are the clinic itself, Jungle Love, Pookie’s Cookies, Puna Style and Pahoa Puna Buy & Sell.

For more information, contact

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