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CONTACT  Kim Ku'ulei Birnie

MOBILE      808-383-1651





(Kaka‘ako, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i) – [PDF] Papa Ola Lōkahi announced today that $20 million American Rescue Plan funding for the federal Native Hawaiian Health Program will strengthen vaccination efforts, mitigate and respond to the spread of COVID-19, and enhance health care services throughout communities on all islands.

“This funding will relieve the additional burdens placed on systems of care since the pandemic, and be further invested in our communities to strengthen the infrastructure and extend the reach to areas of greatest need,” explained Sheri-Ann Daniels, executive director of Papa Ola Lōkahi. “Like the makawai, which funnels water from the waterway to the lo‘i, resources will be directed into community organizations that enrich the capacity of our workforce and service delivery. What is developed among our partner organizations can sustain the communities they serve long after the initial two-year investment.”

This federal relief funding is intended to serve the health and well-being needs of Native Hawaiians in Hawai‘i over the next 2 years to address the inequities revealed so clearly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems across the state along with community based organizations will increase vaccine capacity, improve COVID-19 response and treatment capacity, increase capacity to sustain accessible and available health care services, and deliver education and services during the ongoing recovery and stabilization of phases.

Papa Ola Lōkahi works toward raising the health status of Native Hawaiians through public health policy, enhancing service delivery capacity, data & information collection and dissemination, and strengthening infrastructure. It has served as the backbone organization for the Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawai‘i COVID-19 Response, Recovery & Resilience Team (NHPI 3R) since May 2020.

These five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems will be able to reinforce their primary, dental and mental health services, health education and healthy lifestyle workshops, community outreach and enabling services:

Additionally, Papa Ola Lōkahi is finalizing partnerships with fourteen (14) community-based organizations across five Hawaiian islands to enhance each’s capacity to deliver their unique responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include providers of behavioral and mental health services, kupuna care, pregnancy and maternal care, workforce development, broadband access and telehealth, vaccination outreach and delivery, primary care, health education and outreach.

“Papa Ola Lōkahi is uniquely poised to administer American Rescue Plan funds to provide relief and support related to COVID-19,” assured Daniels. “Mahalo nui to Senator Brian Schatz and all who have worked to assure Native Hawaiian communities are equitably included and represented at all levels of decision-making and resource allocation. We are grateful.”



Papa Ola Lōkahi, the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and the Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

comprise the Federal Native Hawaiian Health Program

Improving Hawaiian Health and Well-Being for More Than 30 Years

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