Hawaii Island Beacon Community Makes Available $300K in HEAL Grants

Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community (HIBC), an island-wide, federally funded, collaborative project administered through the College of Pharmacy (CoP) at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo as part of the national Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program, yesterday released $300,000 to be awarded to the community as Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Grants ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 per project. The grants will support Hawai‘i Island nonprofit and for-profit projects that promote positive changes in healthy eating, physical activity and/or tobacco use and prevention. Interested applicants may sign up to download the RFP at www.hibeacon.org. The deadline to apply is December 2.

Hawaii Island Beacon Community

“Our goal is to serve as a catalyst for long-term change and innovation,” said Susan B. Hunt, MHA, project director and CEO of HIBC. “HEAL Grants set HIBC apart from other Beacon Communities nationwide because we are funding community-based projects that are outside of the traditional health care system. The grants will build upon the strength of Hawai‘i Island communities to extend outreach that helps our residents take ownership of their health.”

In addition to HEAL Grants, HIBC is conducting other forms of outreach and working to effect clinical transformation, particularly in terms of greater access to care for patients who are most at-risk for chronic diseases. HIBC is also assisting providers with Health Information Exchange (HIE) technology that enables patient health information to be stored and shared electronically, thus improving health care quality and efficiency.

“Hawai‘i Island was selected as a federal Beacon Community not only because of the island’s health needs, but also because of the strong sense of community,” said Karen L. Pellegrin, principal investigator for HIBC and director of continuing/distance education & strategic planning for UH Hilo CoP. “Leaders from our local health care system and the community at-large are coming together and collaborating to effect positive change.

Technology, as a tool, supports and extends health care services, but it takes outreach and person-to-person connections to transform a community.” “Clinical transformation is happening across the nation. HIBC is helping the community and providers here navigate and manage these changes, resulting in better, more efficient care for patients,” said Ed Montell, MD, president of the HIBC board and co-owner and practicing physician at Gastroenterology Associates, Inc. See the HIBC Fact Sheet for more details on HIBC’s three major initiatives:

1) technology, 2) clinical transformation, and 3) outreach

Participating Organizations

Organizations participating in HIBC include:

  • AlohaCare
  • Bay Clinic, Inc.
  • College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
  • East Hawaiʻi Independent Physician Association
  • Hamakua Health Center, Inc.
  • Hawaiʻi County
  • Hawaiʻi Health Information Exchange
  • Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA)
  • Hilo Medical Center
  • Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi
  • Kohala Family Center
  • Kona Community Hospital
  • North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital
  • West Hawaiʻi Community Health Center

Hawai‘i Island Leadership in a National Vision

HIBC was one of 17 Beacon Communities selected nationwide to participate in the national $250 million Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. The Beacon Communities are strengthening their HIE infrastructure and capabilities to improve care coordination, increase the quality of care, and slow the growth of health care spending.

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