Local Health Care Safety Net Organizations to Receive $400,000 in Grant Funding
Kaiser Permanente launched its Safety Net Vaccine Equity Initiative which provides funding to health care safety net organizations working to increase COVID-19 vaccinations for communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Five Federally Qualified Health Centers in Hawaiʻi will receive a total of $400,000 to use over six months to help patients access COVID-19 vaccines.
The FQHCs were selected in coordination with Hawaiʻi Primary Care Association and include Mālama I Ke Ola on Maui; Bay Clinic on Hawaiʻi Island; and Kalihi-Palama Health Center, Wahiawā Center for Community Health and Waimānalo Health Center on Oʻahu.
Along with connecting patients served by FQHCs to vaccinations, grant funds will support health centers and their staff with efforts that include:
- Funding safe transportation to vaccination sites.
- Ensuring adequate staffing to allow clinics managing vaccinations to maintain focus on primary care and testing operations.
- Supporting mobile vaccination operations to bring vaccines directly to communities.
- Outreach efforts from community health workers to help patients navigate vaccination guidelines, appointment sign-ups and locations.
- Language services including translation and interpretation support for vaccination sites and supportive activities.
- Infrastructure support including personal protective equipment, storage and supplies.
“COVID-19 represents the most immediate threat to the health of our communities, and it’s our duty to vaccinate those who have the highest risk of poor outcomes,” said John Yang, MD, president and medical director of Hawaiʻi Permanente Medical Group. “These grants are an extension of our ongoing work at Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi to outreach to underserved communities that may not have the same access to vaccination. We’re grateful to partner with organizations that share this important mission.”
In addition to established vaccination sites across the state, Kaiser Permanente is also outreaching to underserved communities and delivering vaccines. They have held 20 vaccination events in partnership with community centers, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island non-profits and the Hawaiʻi Housing Authority. These efforts align with Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of the community and aim to lessen the significant barriers underserved populations face in seeking health care services like vaccines.
Eligible Kaiser Permanente members can schedule their vaccination appointment online. Non-members may also sign up for a vaccination appointment online by going to kp.org/covidvaccine. Kaiser Permanente members who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call the public vaccine hotline at 1-855-550-0951 (TTY 711).