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Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi Donates $143,000 To Expand Telehealth Services

Kaiser Permanente has donated $143,000 to expand telehealth services for four safety net organizations in Hawaiʻi, including Community Clinic of Maui. Photo Credit: Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi

Kaiser Permanente has donated a total of $143,000 to four safety net organizations in Hawaiʻi that are focused on expanding virtual care to low-income and homeless communities across the state.

Community Clinic of Maui and Hawaiʻi Health and Harm Reduction Center will each receive a $57,000 grant. Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services will receive a $12,000 grant and West Hawaiʻi Community Health Center will receive a $17,000 grant.

Virtual health care options have become critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizations that serve low-income and uninsured patients have dramatically increased their use of virtual care, or telehealth, to reduce potential exposures.

Through its support of the Virtual Care Innovation Network, Kaiser Permanente is bringing together safety net organizations – community-based organizations such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and others – to redesign care so that virtual care models can continue beyond the pandemic.

Overall, Kaiser Permanente has awarded $2.37 million to 59 safety net organizations across its footprint to ensure that the low-income and uninsured people who benefit from their care have continued access to virtual care.

“The Virtual Care Innovation Network funding has helped our health centers in Hawaiʻi expand access to virtual care through homeless outreach programs and also street medicine programs,” said Robert Hirokawa, DrPH, chief executive officer of the Hawaiʻi Primary Care Association. “The grant has helped health centers bring care to their patient’s doorstep, thus reducing barriers to access and addressing digital equity for vulnerable patients.”

John Yang, MD, president and medical director for the Hawaiʻi Permanente Medical Group, said: “Virtual care has the potential to dramatically enhance access to high-quality care for underserved populations across our state. We deeply appreciate the work of these safety net organizations to bridge this need in our communities and help achieve health equity for the people of Hawaii.”

Shifting to virtual care during COVID-19 required safety net organizations to adopt new technologies, overhaul workflows, and redefine staff roles in an expedited timeframe. The Virtual Care Innovation Network will enable these organizations to learn from peers and experts; test new approaches; accelerate the work they have already started; and develop approaches to sustain virtual care delivery into the future.

Virtual health care options have become critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizations that serve low-income and uninsured patients have dramatically increased their use of virtual care, or telehealth, to reduce potential exposures. Through its support of the Virtual Care Innovation Network, Kaiser Permanente is bringing together safety net organizations – community-based organizations such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and others – to redesign care so that virtual care models can continue beyond the pandemic.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2021/08/23/kaiser-permanente-hawai%ca%bbi-donates-143000-to-expand-telehealth-services/

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