HMSA Foundation Invests in Programs for a Healthy Community

Whether it’s a medical emergency, a house fire, or a car accident, emergency medical technicians (EMT) and paramedics are often the first on the scene. But it’s impossible for these emergency workers to be everywhere they’re needed. Now, a grant from the HMSA Foundation will help the Emergency Medical Service Bureau of the Hawaii Fire Department expand its ability to help the people they serve on Hawaii Island.

"Helping someone to learn how not to fall may sound like a simple task," said Mark Forman, executive administrator of the HMSA Foundation, "but falls are a leading cause of injury in older adults." The fire department will use grant money from the HMSA Foundation to educate the community on fall prevention, enhance the training program for EMTs and paramedics at Kapiolani Community College, and provide CPR training to raise awareness of stroke and cardiac emergencies.

The Hawaii Fire Department is one of six local health programs and community organizations that received support from the HMSA Foundation in the second quarter of 2013 through $270,000 in grants.

The HMSA Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable foundation that supports efforts across the state to improve the health of Hawaii’s people. HMSA Foundation grants awarded in the second quarter included:

  • American Cancer Society, Inc.: The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge Hawaii gives Neighbor Island cancer patients and their caregivers free temporary housing when they travel to Honolulu for treatment. Hope Lodge Hawaii provides a comfortable, nurturing environment and access to quality care and support. Grant amount - $100,000.

    "We are fortunate to have many benefactors in the community who have come forward to support a Hope Lodge in Hawaii, and are truly grateful for HMSA Foundation’s leadership donation for the project," said Jackie Young, Ph.D., capital campaign volunteer and former chief staff officer of the American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific.

  • Blood Bank of Hawaii: The Blood Bank of Hawaii collects nearly 58,000 pints of blood annually and is the sole provider of blood products in Hawaii. A third of those donations are collected on two bloodmobiles that travel across Oahu - Waianae to Mililani, Haleiwa to Laie, and Kaneohe to Hawaii Kai - to collect blood from donors who could not donate otherwise. A grant from the HMSA Foundation will be used to purchase a new bloodmobile and refurbish the organization’s oldest vehicle to make it more energy efficient. Grant amount - $50,000.

    "To meet the blood needs of Hawaii’s hospitals and patients, Blood Bank of Hawaii relies on the partnership of community businesses, organizations, and volunteer donors. HMSA is a tremendous supporter, not only helping us purchase a new bloodmobile to reach neighborhoods across Oahu, but hosting and recruiting for blood drives and informing readers of Island Scene about the daily need for blood. We can’t thank HMSA enough for their life-saving efforts," said Kim-Anh Nguyen, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Blood Bank of Hawaii.

  • Frank De Lima’s Student Enrichment Program: Children are often confronted with negative influences including drugs, alcohol, smoking, peer pressure, and bad nutrition. Without the proper support and education, wrong decisions could have damaging long-term effects. Frank De Lima’s Student Enrichment Program provides guidance to help students develop positive attitudes as they mature. Grant amount - $10,000.

  • Hawaii Fire Department: The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Bureau of the Hawaii Fire Department has expanded its role in public outreach, injury prevention, and education. In addition to responding to emergencies, EMS is supporting the Hawaii Fire Department’s EMT and paramedic students during their training in Hilo and on Oahu, educating the community on fall prevention, providing CPR training, and raising awareness of stroke and cardiac emergencies. Funds will be used for community outreach, education, and emergency response, and to subsidize the cost of a vehicle. Grant amount - $35,000.

  • Help, Understanding & Group Support (HUGS): Hospitalization of a child for any reason is incredibly stressful for families. The HUGS Hospital Visitation Program will bring staff and volunteers in contact with families of seriously ill children who are being tested or treated for their illness and provide valuable resources to combat challenges. Grant amount - $25,000.

  • Waikiki Health: To provide patients and the community with increased access to oral health services, Waikiki Health is establishing the Makahiki Clinic. This clinic will house their first dental services program to provide oral health services for uninsured, disadvantaged, and homeless adults and children. Grant amount - $50,000.

    "HMSA Foundation’s generous support will assist us in providing increased access to dental care for underserved, homeless, and other disadvantaged children and youth," said Sheila Beckham, R.D., M.P.H., chief executive officer of Waikiki Health. "We are establishing our first dental clinic, scheduled to open in 2014 in McCully-Moiliili, to improve the oral health status of those in greatest need, including uninsured keiki, the elderly, low-income and homeless families and individuals, and others who lack regular dental care - a critically important component of overall health."

The HMSA Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt private charitable organization. It was founded in Hawaii in 1986 as a public foundation with the goal of stimulating research aimed at some of the pressing issues that confronted Hawaii’s health care industry. In 1997, the Foundation was converted to a private foundation to allow for larger contributions from donors, such as HMSA.

The mission of the HMSA Foundation is to extend HMSA’s commitment to provide community access to cost-effective health care services, promote health, provide health education and relevant research, and improve social welfare in Hawaii.

Health plan dues from HMSA members and employer groups are not used to fund Foundation grants. Foundation grants are funded with annual investment income earned on its original endowment. For more information on the HMSA Foundation, visit