AlohaCare, one of Hawaii’s largest health insurance plans, has awarded $15,000 to three nonprofit organizations on Hawaii Island through its annual AlohaCare Community Conscience Award.
AlohaCare provided six grants totaling $30,000 to organizations with programs focusing on the prevention and/or treatment of common health issues affecting Hawaii’s general population; projects addressing the needs of Hawaii’s elderly and disabled populations; and initiatives to improve access to preventive health care services. Hawaii Island Adult Care Inc., the Hilo Medical Center Foundation and Hospice of Hilo received $5,000 each, accounting for half of the grants awarded.
Hawaii Island Adult Care operates two adult day care center sites in East Hawaii for the elderly, mentally and physically challenged adults, and those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. AlohaCare’s grant will support HIAC’s “Caregiver Connection,” a respite program for all community caregivers.
The money will be used to restart Caregiver Connection’s Saturday program and will be offered the third Saturday of every month for the entire year at the Hilo Adult Day Care Center site.
Hospice of Hilo will use the AlohaCare grant to increase community awareness of Hospice of Hilo’s Transitions Program, an innovative program launched in 2010 for patients who do not meet the end-of-life six-month prognosis Medicare requires for hospice admission.
Hilo Medical Center Foundation will use the AlohaCare grant to support its Diabetes in Control Program’s “Affordable Healthy Eating” workshops. AHE is a diabetes education and management program, focusing on nutrition and meal preparation using affordable and locally available ingredients.
AHE will offer four educational workshops every quarter during 2013, consisting of cooking demonstrations and food preparation guidance from a registered nurse and dietician, healthy eating information and nutritional guides. AHE is designed to help combat diabetes amongst high-risk populations including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
The workshops will stress the importance of a well-balanced and healthy diet, and will provide participants with hands on guidance on shopping for healthy ingredients and meal preparation.
The AlohaCare Community Conscience Award was established in 2002 and was originally called the AlohaCare Neighbors Grant. In 2008, the award program was renamed as a tribute to the late Rev. Frank Chong, a lifelong community advocate and founding board member of AlohaCare. Up until his death on March 8, 2008, Chong served as AlohaCare’s manager of government and community relations. To date, AlohaCare has provided $270,000 in grant funding to various nonprofits throughout the state.
In addition to Hawaii Island Adult Care, Hospice of Hilo and Hilo Medical Center, other award recipients included Affordable Housing and Homeless Alliance, Laie Elementary School and Malama Family Recovery Center.
“AlohaCare’s Community Conscience Award is designed to provide much needed funding to Hawaii’s non-profits for programs that are important to Hawaii, yet may not have the funding to support it,” said John McComas, chief executive officer of AlohaCare.
AlohaCare is a nonprofit health plan founded in 1994 by Hawaii’s community health centers to serve some of Hawaii’s most vulnerable populations. With $200 million in annual revenue and nearly 200 employees located at offices on Oahu and the Big Island, AlohaCare is the 30th largest business in the state, providing health care coverage to nearly 75,000 members statewide. For more information on AlohaCare, go to www.AlohaCare.org.