Kamehameha Schools has joined forces with Hawaiʻi Pacific Health (HPH) to improve the education, health, economic stability and social well-being of students and families across Hawaiʻi. The partnership is KS’ first with a non-profit health care system.
Many factors impact the health of a community, from employment and food production to educational access. The partnership will address these root causes through joint occupational training programs, internships, increased outreach by HPH, financial and employment support centers, increased ʻāina-based education and more.
A memorandum of agreement between KS and HPH was signed at a ceremony today by Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Jack Wong and Hawaiʻi Pacific Health President and CEO Ray Vara. The organizations will collaborate toward shared goals of creating more resilient children and strengthening families through education, economic empowerment, expanded career pathways, increased ‘āina-based experiences, improved community health and advancement of the Hawaiian culture and language.
“Hawaiʻi Pacific Health and Kamehameha Schools share a common understanding that for us to achieve our organizations’ respective missions, we must extend our reach beyond the walls of our institutions and work together to strengthen and enhance the lives of our children and families across Hawai‘i,” Vara said. “Through the efforts of both organizations, we will address the root issues that impact the long-term health of our local communities and create sustainable change.”
Both organizations recognize that the health of Native Hawaiians is disproportionately worse than that of other ethnic groups in Hawai‘i, and strongly believe integrating a commitment to Hawaiian culture and language while increasing a connection to the ʻāina is essential to addressing this disparity.
“We are combining the good work, resources and visions of our organizations into a powerful collaboration of health, education and culture that can have a greater collective impact,” Wong said. “With the community at the heart of our work, and our shared dedication to Hawaiian culture guiding us, we will take action that helps Hawaiʻi’s haumāna and ʻohana thrive.”