Categorized | Volunteering

Kaiser commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

MEDIA RELEASE

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii physicians and staff members on the Big Island volunteered their time working in sustainable gardens at Waimea Middle School and Konawaena High School, and at UH Hilo’s Pacific Aquaculture & Coastal Resources Center in commemoration of today’s 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.

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 Volunteerism 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.

“This annual volunteer effort by our physicians and staff reflects Kaiser Permanente’s longstanding commitment to service and healthy communities,” said Daryl Kurozawa, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s Associate Medical Director, Neighbor Islands. “For more than 50 years, Kaiser Permanente has had a rich history of service that is at the heart of our mission to improve the lives of our members and the communities we serve.”

In partnership with Hawaii Island School Garden Network (HISGN), 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.

“The Hawaii Island School Garden Network partners with local schools to create hands-on learning laboratories for students to deepen their understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects, agriculture and nutrition in an outdoor classroom,” said HISGN Program Director Nancy Redfeather.

“We welcome public contributions to our school garden program in the form of funding, shared resources, and volunteer time,” Redfeather said. “Our program, schools, and keiki are grateful to Kaiser Permanente, its physicians, and staff members for continuing to partner with us through this annual day of service, and help us address the health of our community.”

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.

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service provides everyone with a chance to start the year off right by making an impact in their community while honoring Dr. King and his legacy of service,” said Margaret Hu, MD, Kaiser Permanente’s Hilo Clinic Chief.

“Research shows that volunteering and giving back to your community can also improve physical and mental health,” She said. “So, volunteering has the added benefit of helping yourself while you’re helping others.”

The volunteer effort is part of several community service activities by nearly 900 Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff members taking place on the Big Island, Maui and Oahu.

— Find out more:
www.kp.org

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