$15M to Improve Hawaii Community Health Equity 2023


The Stupski Foundation has granted $15 million to seven community-based health centers in Hawaii in an effort to advance health equity.

This substantial $15 million grant is part of a collaborative effort with Hawaii’s Community Health Centers to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) that contribute to health disparities.

As the largest investment in the history of the Stupski Foundation, this initiative represents a strong commitment from both organizations to advance a value-based care strategy.

Mary Oneha, the chief executive officer of Waimnalo Health Center, stated, “We are humbled by the extraordinary award from the Stupski Foundation, which will support the continuation of Native Hawaiian healing at our health center.”

Community Health Equity in Hawaii Will Be Improved with $15M

This partnership will support the extension of access to oral health care through the establishment of a new dental clinic in Kne’ohe and the expansion of an existing dental clinic in Waimnalo.

Richard Taaffe, chief executive officer of Hawaii Island Community Health Center, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, emphasizing innovative efforts that will facilitate substantial changes in their respective communities.

The grants are unrestricted, allowing the designated health centers to employ a comprehensive systems approach to health equity without restrictions on particular health interventions or programs.

According to the organizations, this strategic approach enables centers to plan and implement long-term, sustainable solutions to address SDOH and health equity.

Sultana Gandhi, Hawaii Health Program Officer for the Stupski Foundation, remarked, “What’s significant about this level of partnership is that it can promote greater health equity and improved social outcomes well beyond the Foundation’s lifespan.” It is inspiring to be able to do this for four years with organizations that are committed to achieving sustainable health equity.

“This collaborative, community-driven grant helps us all get to the core question that philanthropic organizations should answer,” Gandhi said. “How can we be impactful and of service by relinquishing control and power and trusting our partners to address equity in ways they know best, as opposed to what we as funders believe should be done?”

David Derauf, chief executive officer of Kkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, emphasized the significance of such partnerships by stating, “Partnerships founded on listening, mutual respect, and trust are how we genuinely heal communities. This will be a thrilling event.”

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