A Kaiser Permanente doctor in Hawaiʻi who won an award for her outstanding community service has dedicated the $10,000 prize to support The Hawai’i H.O.M.E. Project, which provides medical care for the homeless.
Colleagues of Kaiser physician Alean Cook-Palmer presented the check to the University of Hawaiʻi’s Dr. Jill Omori, who leads the Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (H.O.M.E.) Project at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).
Through H.O.M.E., UH medical school students, graduates and faculty volunteer at free “mobile” medical clinics that are held four times a week in seven different Oʻahu locations.
Dr. Cook-Palmer, now retired from the Kaiser Permanente Clinic in Waiʻanae, is a UH medical school graduate and longtime H.O.M.E. volunteer. She was one of 12 Kaiser Permanente employees nationwide to receive the annual David Lawrence Community Service Award, named after a former Kaiser Permanente CEO. The award provides a $10,000 charitable contribution on behalf of each winner, to the nonprofit organization of his or her choice.
The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) was well represented during the check presentation at the medical school. On hand was Dr. Todd Kuwaye (JABSOM MD 1997), Assistant Associate Medical Director, Primary Care Operations, Oʻahu, Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, who presented the ceremonial check.
“I’m glad to be here today,” said Dr. Kuwaye. “This check is from Kaiser Permanente on behalf of Dr. Alean Cook-Palmer, one of my JABSOM classmates and a leader in our Nanaikeola Kaiser clinic," said Dr. Kuwaye. Joining him was fellow JABSOM alumnus Dr. Marcus Iwane (JABSOM MD 2010), who recently assumed leadership of the Kaiser Permanente Nanaikeola Clinic, which is located in Waiʻanae.
"It’s a great clinic because of the location," said Dr. Iwane, an internist. "We are able to take care of a lot of patients in the community on the west side of Oʻahu. West Oʻahu has the highest per capita population of Native Hawaiian people in the entire world. To be able to show our presence in the community and to be able to give back to our community means a lot to us and to our patients as well."
“I would just like to thank Dr. Cook-Palmer as well as Kaiser for this very generous donation," said Dr. Jill Omori, (JABSOM MD 1995), Hawaiʻi HOME Project founder. "Hawaiʻi Home Project goes out and provides free medical care for Oʻahu’s homeless at seven different sites, four times a week. We help both sheltered and un-sheltered homeless. This $10,000 will help us to provide much-needed care and support the cost of medications and supplies and putting on special events for the keiki at the shelters. We are just tremendously appreciative of this gift.”
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