Categorized | Volunteering

Kaiser joins in ‘Day of Service’

MEDIA RELEASE

More than 350 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii physicians and staff members volunteered their time today working on community projects on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

“The physicians and staff of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii are honored to join President Obama and the rest of the nation in declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day a time to give back to our local communities through volunteerism,” said Geoffrey Sewell, president and executive medical director of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, which cares for Kaiser Permanente members in Hawaii.

“In these challenging times, we all need to join together and strengthen our resolve to creating healthier and more vibrant communities. We’re grateful for the opportunity to serve our local communities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in such a meaningful way,” he said.

Seven years ago, in honor and recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his advancement of civil and human rights, Kaiser Permanente established an annual day of service that takes place on Martin Luther King Day.

This approach to celebrating Dr. King’s life has enabled thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians to provide valuable services to our communities and to further advance the Kaiser Permanente legacy that parallels Dr. King’s values.

Rather than taking a holiday on that day, Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians take part in a “day on” of volunteering dedicated to the memory of Dr. King.

On Oahu, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff members partnered with Waimalu Elementary to build sustainable gardens that will be maintained by the school’s second grade students.

In addition, volunteers helped spruce up the campus and conducted fun activities throughout the day, teaching students and their families about nutrition based on the 5-2-1-0 healthy nutrition program, a statewide effort to combat childhood obesity through public awareness and education.

The 5-2-1-0 program encourages 5 fruits and vegetables or more per day, 2 hours of screen time or less, 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity, and 0 sodas and sugar-sweetened sports and fruit drinks.

Dr. Cris Ancog, a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente, serves as a volunteer medical advisor for the program.

“We are honored to have this opportunity to partner with Kaiser Permanente on Martin Luther King Jr. 2011 to provide learning opportunities that connect academic work to real life experience,” said Waimalu Elementary School Principal Keith Hui. “We believe in building a school community comprised not only of students, faculty, and staff, but also families and community partners.”

Students and families from Waimalu’s 2nd grade worked side-by-side with Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff to create a vegetable garden while learning about healthy living and eating as part of their science curriculum on life cycle. The students will experience the garden life cycle from seed to vegetable to consumption, with the activity culminating with harvesting the garden to make pizzas.

On the Big Island, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff members partnered with Hawaii Island School Garden Network (HISGN) volunteering at Waimea Middle, Kahakai Elementary and Hilo High working in the schools’ sustainable gardens weeding, pruning and planting crops.

HISGN helps Big Island schools increase consumption of locally grown foods through sustainable food production.

On Maui, Kaiser Permanente physicians and staff volunteered contributing their time visiting Hale Makua Health Services elderly care home.

Volunteers spent the day playing interactive games with residents, teaching them crafts and other one-on-one activities, serving meals and working to beautify the campus.

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