$15 million partnership with health centers to promote health equity and systems change throughout Hawai‘i

May 24, 2023
Contact: Matthew Nagato, 415.655.4434

Collaborative, community-driven grants built on trust and respect transform relationship with grantees


HONOLULU, HI – For over 50 years, Community Health Centers in Hawai‘i have provided comprehensive health care and social support services to populations experiencing the most significant disparities in access to care, and focusing on upstream social determinants to create sustainable improvements in the health of their communities.

To support these widespread system changes, Stupski Foundation will provide $15 million in grant funding to seven health centers across Hawai‘i. This initiative is the largest single program investment in the foundation’s history, and represents a deep commitment to a values-based approach with its Hawai‘i partners.

“What’s important about this level of partnership is that it can promote greater health equity and improved social outcomes far beyond the Foundation’s lifespan,” noted Dr. Sulma Gandhi, Hawai‘i Health Program Officer for Stupski Foundation. “And being able to do that over four years with organizations who are committed to sustainable health equity is inspiring.”

Participating centers include

These health centers provide care for nearly 30,000 Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, addressing adverse health outcomes driven by poverty and racial inequities.

“We’re humbled by the extraordinary award from the Stupski Foundation to support the perpetuation of Native Hawaiian healing at our health center,” said Mary Oneha, Chief Executive Officer of Waimānalo Health Center. “This partnership will help improve food security, and support the expansion of access to oral health care through the opening of a new dental clinic in Kāne‘ohe and an expanded dental clinic in Waimānalo.”

Richard Taaffe, Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center’s Chief Executive Officer said, “This is a groundbreaking initiative that allows us all to bring about changes in our respective communities, and to collaborate statewide by sharing our mana‘o with colleagues.”

The flexible, unrestricted grants allow the health centers to embrace a complete systems approach to addressing the unique needs of their communities, rather than focusing solely on specific health interventions or programs, and to plan for long-term, sustainable solutions.

“This kind of collaborative, community-driven grant helps us all get to the core question philanthropic organizations should answer,” said Dr. Gandhi. “How can we be impactful and of service by relinquishing both control and power, and trust in our partners to address equity in ways that they know best, rather than what we as funders think should be done?”

“Partnerships like these, built on listening, mutual respect, and trust are how we truly heal our communities,” Dr. David Derauf, Chief Executive Officer of Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services said. “This is going to be exciting.”



The Stupski Foundation is a private foundation returning all of its assets to communities in the Bay Area and Hawaiʻi by 2029, supporting just and resilient food, health, and education systems. Learn more at www.stupski.org