100 years

Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Health and Wellness Grants

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The Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s Health and Wellness Grant Program awards funds to organizations supporting positive changes to the ecosystem of health led by communities across Hawai‘i. Grant awards are made from a compilation of field-of-interest funds at HCF, including funds that relate to Health and Wellness sector programs and projects.

CHANGE Framework

Essential elements of our island home are not working well for everyone. We believe that change can happen when we understand the challenges in front of us and work together to find and implement equitable solutions to those challenges.

The CHANGE Framework identifies six essential sectors, or areas, that affect the overall well-being of
these islands and people, including H for Health and Wellness.


The vision of the CHANGE Framework is that by engaging stakeholders around common data and shared goals, we can achieve collective action on systemic issues to improve the overall well-being of Hawai‘i’s islands and people.

In that spirit, HCF staff held community convenings in 2022 to solicit perspectives on the CHANGE Framework—from its current data to its application. Nonprofits and community leaders across the state were invited to participate in the virtual convenings, with hundreds participating.

For the Health and Wellness sector, community listening included three virtual community engagement sessions, health sector conferences, a Native Hawaiian health equity meeting, convenings on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and Oahu, and two vision input sessions.

Based on the community feedback gathered at these convenings, stakeholders have created a shared vision for the Health and Wellness sector, as follows:

Health and Wellness Sector Vision

In 10 years, health and wellness has shifted from “fixing the individual” to supporting changes identified and led by communities across Hawaiʻi. These shifts will impact the overall ecosystem of health in places where people live, connect, work, and play. Shifting agency, resources, and decision-making to community members closest to the solutions creates a more resilient, equitable, and secure Hawaiʻi.

Please refer to the Health and Wellness Sector Summary of Findings deck for more information about the vision statement, the strategies for fulfilling this vision, and how the vision statement was developed.

The Health and Wellness Grant Program

To help achieve the goals of this CHANGE sector vision, HCF has created an ongoing grant program to support nonprofits throughout the state supporting positive changes to the ecosystem of health led by communities across Hawai‘i. This grant program is designed to resource organizations that play an active role in the Health and Wellness sector and regularly take shared action with other organizations to achieve program goals and impact.

In October 2023, HCF awarded $557,000 in collaboration grant and seed grant funding to 20 Hawaiʻi nonprofits. The current Health and Wellness Grants Program grantees are:

ʻAʻALIʻI Mentoring, Oʻahu
Founded in April 2021, ʻAʻALIʻI Mentoring (AM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based on Oʻahu that fosters and cultivates mentoring relationships to support Hawaiʻi’s young people from underrepresented and under-resourced communities who are navigating higher education and their young adulthood journey. AM’s programming is based on the fundamental principle that student support and wellness are critical to post-secondary success which leads to the broadening of more socio-economic opportunities in their future. AM mentors have three touchpoints with their mentees each month.

Kūpuna to Kamaliʻi, Oʻahu
Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi (CCH) has been serving Hawaiʻi for over 75 years, working with the mission to help people in need regardless of faith, culture, ethnicity, disability, English proficiency, sexual orientation, or gender preference. CCH’s Kūpuna to Kamaliʻi (K2K) program is a cultural-based mental health and wellness program located on the Leeward Coast for vulnerable individuals at every stage of the lifecycle. Program services include trauma-informed therapy, cultural and recreational activities, support groups for children and seniors, case management, and outreach.

Strengthening Understanding and Awareness of Infant Mental Health for Hawaiʻi Families, Hawaiʻi Island, Molokaʻi, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, Maui
Family Hui Hawaiʻi (FHH)’s mission is to support, encourage, and empower families to thrive during all seasons of early childhood to ensure that children are thriving, healthy, and safe. FHH is dedicated to strengthening families, reducing violence against children through family-to-family connections, and providing parenting and early childhood development education. FHH supports over 1800 total parents, caregivers, and children annually. FHH will partner with Association for Infant Mental Health in Hawaiʻi (AIMHHI) for the “Strengthening Understanding and Awareness of Infant Mental Health for Hawaiʻi’s Families” project, which aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of the importance of infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) among families in Hawaiʻi. FHH will integrate IECMH within their programming through staff training, reflective supervision, and consultation; provide families with workshops to learn about IECMH; incorporate IECMH foundations into Hui program materials, group leader training, and curriculum; and promote IECMH principles through website and social media.

Housing is Healthcare: Ending Family Homelessness, Oʻahu
Family Promise of Hawaiʻi (FPH) works to prevent and end homelessness for families with children. It is the only organization exclusively dedicated to addressing family homelessness on Oʻahu. Funds will be used to support FPH's key programs and services which include an emergency shelter (non-congregate model) with space for 12 families experiencing homelessness; short-term rental assistance to prevent evictions and rapidly re-house families fleeing domestic violence; individualized case management and other wraparound support services to help families transition to and maintain stable housing; and a navigation center that provides free showers, food, hygiene products, and other basic needs.

Service Integration Coordinator, Hawaiʻi Island
Five Mountains Hawaiʻi dba Kīpuka o ke Ola (KOKO) is the only accredited independent rural health clinic in Hawaiʻi. KOKO is in Waimea (Kamuela) on Hawaiʻi Island, and its mission is to provide cultural, spiritual, medical, and psychological services to all residents of North Hawaiʻi Island with a special emphasis for Native Hawaiians. KOKO has expanded services to include primary care services, psychiatric services, and behavioral health services. KOKO will create a new position, the service integration coordinator. This position is designed to coordinate and integrate the full array of direct health services, service providers, and support staff in a manner that ensures a positive and seamless patient experience. The coordinator will work directly with patients on scheduling, clinician staff coverage, and solicit feedback to improve service delivery and enhance patient experiences.

Hawaiʻi Island Frequent Users System Engagement, Hawaiʻi Island
Going Home Hawaiʻi’s (GHH) mission is to assist justice-system-involved Hawai`i Island men, women and youth with re-entering community life through employment, education, housing, and appropriate services. Through four residential facilities with 84 beds in Hilo and Kona, GHH provides reentry recovery housing and supportive services that include intensive care management and mentoring. GHH also offers support to justice-system-involved pregnant women struggling with substance use disorders. GHH arose out of the Hawaiʻi Island Going Home Consortium, established in 2004, to address correctional system overcrowding and recidivism. Now a GHH program, the Consortium convenes stakeholders at the county, state and national levels on a monthly basis. The Hawaiʻi Island Frequent Users System Engagement (HI FUSE) project seeks to collect and analyze cross-sector, local data as a basis for developing a collaborative, community-based housing solution for the hundreds of people cycling through our county’s jails, shelters, and emergency services. HI FUSE will be coordinated by GHH and involves data collection, program design, systems and partner collaboration, and FUSE housing implementation."

GROW SOME GOOD - $10,000
Nā Māla Kaiāulu: Growing Some Good for Maui Families, Maui
Growing Some Good for Maui Families is an initiative created by Grow Some Good in partnership with Maui Family YMCA to develop a community farm and garden site to strengthen community members’ relationships with the ʻāina that supports them.

Advancing Paid Family Leave in Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Island, Molokaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, Maui
Hawaiʻi Children’s Action Network (HCAN) works to ensure all keiki are healthy, safe, and ready to learn by building a unified voice educating and advocating for Hawaiʻi’s children. HCAN works on the macro level to provide every child with access to quality childcare and early learning programs, reduce health disparities, prevent abuse and neglect, and improve the economic stability and wellbeing of families. HCAN will bring together community members, nonprofits, businesses, and policymakers with the goal of advancing paid family leave so all residents are able to care for family members and themselves in the event of illness, injury, or birth of a child. Funds will be used to assess the current landscape (in collaboration with UH Center on the Family), build and expand the Paid Family Leave Coalition, conduct grassroots engagement to build a base of engaged parents, families, workers, and community members, and develop and launch a public information and advocacy campaign.

Behavioral Health Support for Homeless and Underserved, Oʻahu
The mission of Hawaiʻi Health & Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC) is to reduce harm, promote health, create wellness, and fight stigma in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. HHHRC has over 35 years of institutional experience in working with vulnerable populations. The primary aim of this project will be to reduce the overall prevalence of homeless individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health conditions in Honolulu County by providing non-punitive social and behavioral health services that meet participants at their level of readiness for change.

Integration of Social Determinant of Health Data with Clinical Data, Molokaʻi, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu
Hawaiʻi Health Information Exchange (HHIE) is a Hawaiʻi 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in 2006 to serve as Hawaiʻi’s neutral, trusted entity to aggregate and securely exchange patient-level health and medical records between health plans, health systems, and providers. In 2009, HHIE became the state’s designated entity to facilitate the exchange of health information. HHIE has been securely exchanging patient records between health plans, health systems, and the Community Health Record (known as Health eNet). HHIE is starting a program to collect and integrate Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) data with the clinical data that it has been exchanging since 2015. To address health inequity, HHIE's current focus is on integrating Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) data that are often transmitted to HHIE in non-standard formats with clinical data. Some organizations are currently collecting SDoH of their patients, so HHIE is partnering with a community clinic on Molokai and a large health system to improve its capabilities in tying clinical and SDoH data in the Health eNet.

Leadership, Management and Program Training Collaboration, Hawaiʻi Island
Hawaiʻi Island Adult Care (HIAC) was founded in 1976 with a mission to provide ohana with high quality adult daycare and caregiver services to support aging in place. HIAC prevents premature institutionalization and supports caregivers with time off and the ability to remain employed through respite, support services, training, and educational opportunities. HIAC is the only adult daycare facility on Hawaiʻi Island and the largest in the state. HIAC will provide specific education and training through Positive Approach to Care (PAC) for its staff and bring the newly learned knowledge and skills back to Hawaiʻi with the goal of becoming a certified PAC training facility and holding workshops for caregivers throughout Hawai'i Island and the state. HIAC also plans to develop an introductory program for high school and college students interested in careers in dementia care.

Community Health Worker (CHW) Workforce Development, Hawaiʻi Island, Molokaʻi, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, Maui
In 2022, the first members of the leadership council were nominated and elected to implement the mission of the Hawai‘i Community Health Worker Association (HICHWA). This Leadership Council includes CHWs from varying lines of work including community-based organizations, health centers, and insurance companies. Activities that will be completed to address the need to grow the Hawai‘i CHW workforce for this specific funding will be to create CHW and CHW employer training materials, a CHW toolkit, educational campaigns, and an outline of pathways to sustain the workforce in Hawai‘i. HICHWA will host regional meetings on each island, and participate in discussions and research to identify sustainable pathways for the CHW workforce throughout Hawai‘i.

Hawaiʻi Hispanic Health Program, Hawaiʻi Island, Molokaʻi, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, Maui
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hawai’i (HCCH) is a volunteer staffed Chamber that was organized as a 501(c)(3) in September 2019. The HCCH mission is to strengthen Hawaiʻi’s Hispanic business community and foster economic, social, and cultural development for everyone. Health and wellness are important parts of developing and sustaining resilient business communities. Dr. Lisa Sanchez-Johnsen, a board member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi (HCCH) will lead the proposed activities focused on obesity and tobacco use in Hispanics. To address the need for information on Hispanic health in Hawaiʻi and to simultaneously provide outreach, it will: 1) Conduct three seminars focused on health and wellness in Hispanics. The purpose is to disseminate information about obesity and tobacco use in Hispanics and 2) Conduct two community advisory board (CAB) meetings to gain input about the priority areas to address and future directions of Hispanic heath in Hawaiʻi.

HOʻOKUAʻĀINA - $44,000
Hāʻehuola, Oʻahu
Hoʻokuaʻāina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing programs in a traditional loʻi kalo at Kapalai in Maunawili, Oʻahu. The mission of the organization is to cultivate a culture of individual well-being and community waiwai through aloha ʻāina. The goals of Hāʻehuola are to: 1) promote the personal growth and development of youth ages 8-24 by strengthening their cultural identity, pono decision-making, peer and family relationships, and ability to contribute to self, family, and community, and 2) increase cultural connectedness, sense of community, and well-being in the youth, students, volunteers, ʻohana, and kūpuna who visit. Hāʻehuola consists of 5 programs: Kūkuluhou (mentorship), Kupuohi (education), Kaiāulu (community), Kūpuna, and Kalo Production.

I OLA LAHUI INC. - $50,000
I Ola Lahui: A Community Program, Hawaiʻi Island, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui
I Ola Lahui started in 2007 with a mission to provide culturally-minded, evidence-based behavioral health care to be responsive to the needs of the medically underserved, Native Hawaiian, and rural communities. The organization is also addressing the shortage of and access to behavioral health services. Partnerships have been built with Waimānalo Health Center, Kahuku Medical Center, Hawai'i Keiki, HOME Project, Na Puʻuwai, Big Island Substance Abuse Council, central to their mission in bringing stability of care for the community.

Project System Migration (Providing Better Data and Information), Lānaʻi
Lānaʻi Community Health Center (LCHC) is a 501(c)(3), federally qualified health center serving Lānaʻi. Its mission is to take care of the community by directly providing integrated health and wellness services and partnering with other organizations and providers. LCHC's target population consists of everyone on Lānaʻi, with a special focus on those who live at or below 200 percent of the FPL. LCHC proposes to transition from eClinicalWorks (eCW) to Epic Electronic Medical Record (EMR), starting with linking the LCHC Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program to Epic EMR for data-sharing across the continuum of health systems in Hawaiʻi. The goal is to create a referral process which removes current barriers, thereby streamlining the process for WIC families and healthcare providers and improving care coordination. Transitioning to Epic EMR would also give providers better information to inform clinical care, improve communication and relationships among providers, and allow patients to engage in their own care via a patient portal.

MĀLAMA KAUAʻI - $10,000
Bringing SNAP Online to Hawai‘i’s Food Hubs, Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, Maui
Founded in 2006, Mālama Kaua’i (MK), a nonprofit organization, focuses on increasing local food production and access for Kaua‘i. MK approaches its work through a lens of resilience and sustainability, which leverages workforce and development efforts, partnerships and innovative programs to grow community capacity. MK is the lead for a collaboration of four food hub collaboration. The SNAP Online collaboration emerged from the Hawai‘i Food Hub Hui. The four hubs participating in the SNAP Online collaboration project: Mālama Kaua‘i (MK), Maui Hub (MH), Kohala Food Hub (KFH), and Ho‘ola Farms (Hilo Food Hub). Through this collaborative project, these hubs will launch the state’s first SNAP Online pilot for local food, increasing food security and access, and improving social determinants of health for low-income residents across three rural islands where food access can be especially challenging. The project would help streamline processes to support SNAP customers, a growing customer base for local food hubs.

ROOT & RISE HAWAIʻI - $5,000
Nature & Art as Therapy, Hawaiʻi Island
Root & Rise Hawaiʻi, established as a 501(c)(3) in May 2023, addresses the need for community-based mental health support. Its mission is to cultivate social and emotional wellness through accessible therapeutic mental health programs for underserved populations. Root & Rise also provides opportunities for ʻāina-stewardship, inviting participants to experience peace and healing through interaction with the land. Its flagship program, Nature & Art as Therapy (NAT), offers free mental health support for adults through workshops that connect participants to ‘āina, arts, and community. Held two to four times per month, NAT has attracted over 150 individuals and six social service agencies in the past six months. Two to four workshops are facilitated each month. At least one is open to the public, and at least one is in partnership with a social service agency exclusively for their clients, intended to reach those most impacted by mental health challenges, with limited resources or significant barriers to access.

Client Assistance Fund, Hawaiʻi Island, Molokaʻi, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, Maui
Samaritan Counseling Center Hawaiʻi (SCCH) has been providing professional, affordable mental health care services since 1989, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. SCCH has five offices across Oʻahu and provides telehealth counseling services to people on the Neighbor Islands and in rural and underserved areas. Through community co-location partnerships, each counseling office operates at low or no cost, with support from local communities in Honolulu, Pearl City, and Wahiawa. The Client Assistance Fund provides subsidized mental health counseling to uninsured, underinsured, elderly, and low-income clients who might otherwise not receive any mental health care. Licensed counselors assess, diagnose, and treat clients using psychotherapy to improve or maintain psychological well-being. It will also provide mental health workshops that are free to the community which will provide mental health education, increase awareness about mental health services, and help reduce the stigma of mental illness.

Y.E.S. EDUCATION - $5,000
Changing the Quality of Health for all Lives in Hawaiʻi using Aeroponics and Aquaponics, Oʻahu
Youth Entrepreneur Success (YES) Education received its nonprofit determination letter in June 2020. The Hālau Hāloa organization (Facebook group) was founded by a group of people who were passionate about sustainable living in Hawaiʻi and saw the potential of aquaponics and hydroponics systems and promoting sustainable living in Hawaiʻi by providing education, training, lesson plans, and support to individuals and communities interested in setting up these food growing systems. The aeroponics and aquaponics project aims to promote sustainable and innovative approaches to agriculture by implementing closed-loop systems that recycle water and nutrients. The project seeks to address the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing the agricultural sector by reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, improving crop yields, and increasing resource efficiency.

Interested in learning more about the HCF Health and Wellness Grant Program? Contact Justina Acevedo-Cross at jacevedo-cross@hcf-hawaii.org.