Taking Care of Business

Hear about the important issues our leaders are dealing with and the key insights and perspectives they have to help guide us as we move forward into an unknown future.
05 21 Taking Care Of Business Hero

Illustration: Getty Images

Tcb Chris HauseChris Hause, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer and VP of Marketing Sales & Business Development
Kaiser Permanente

Q: How is Kaiser Permanente supporting businesses during the pandemic? 

From the beginning of the pandemic, Kaiser Permanente has recognized that COVID-19 has created both a public health crisis and an economic crisis.

We’ve taken many steps to help our customers weather the financial challenges, including support and resources for employees losing job-related coverage; setting up payment plans for employers; and providing frequent updates by email and webinar. Since March of 2020, we’ve hosted 15 “Science of Coronavirus” webinars with breaking information about the pandemic. Additionally, we partner with the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to co-produce “Getting Back to Business, Safely”, a semi-monthly webinar to share ideas between businesses.

What is Kaiser Permanente doing to help the community through this crisis? 

We believe there is nothing more important than the health, safety, and security of our community. Our care teams are on the frontlines of the pandemic. We had the first COVID-19 patient in Hawaii and took steps to create safe care environments, expand testing, and increase our capacity to conduct virtual care through telehealth. We are now vaccinating more than a thousand members and non-members each day and are working to greatly expand that number in the coming weeks.

We are also working closely with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Filcom Center, Hawaii Public Housing Authority, Marshallese COVID-19 Task Force, and others to provide community outreach vaccination clinics to ensure that the most vulnerable and impacted in our community receive easy access to the COVID vaccination.

In the last 12 months, we’ve provided over $2.1M in grant funding to Hawaii community organizations, helping to serve the homeless and feed the hungry. We’ve also hosted 21 food distribution events for displaced workers from the visitor industry, providing over 433,000 pounds of food to 11,850 island families.

Kaiser Permanente
711 Kapiolani Blvd. 
Honolulu, HI 96813



Tcb MarkyamakawaMark Yamakawa, President & CEO
Hawaii Dental Service of Honolulu

Q: How is Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) continuing to support its members and clients while COVID-19 is still present? 

As an essential business, HDS has placed the utmost importance on members’ access to dental care, sharing coronavirus safety measures at the dentist, and uninterrupted service to our members and clients. While working remotely, our Customer Service and Sales teams have continued to support our members. We share dental coverage options for those hit hardest during this pandemic, but we also help them to navigate benefits from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) recently signed into law.

HDS has also prioritized wellness for our members. As Hawaii’s workforce transitioned to home offices, we optimized SMILEWell, our wellness program for local businesses to set and achieve oral health goals. We engage their employees by providing tools and incentives to better manage their oral health.

Are more people seeing the dentist? What should local businesses do to motivate their employees to stay on top of their oral health? 

Absolutely. First, the face of dentistry in Hawaii has changed in ways that benefit all patients and make them feel at ease at the dental office. Our participating dentists incorporated additional safety measures to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Second, we’ve also seen that stress and anxiety due to lockdowns and social restrictions have also been a factor in people visiting the dentist; a common sign of stress is teeth grinding, or bruxism, which can lead to tooth damage and pain in the jaw.

Preventive care is critical, especially in a time when the overall health of employees is the top concern for Hawaii’s businesses. Good oral hygiene, visiting their dentist regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet are ways to prevent additional and costly dental treatment and help lower their risks for diseases that accompany poor oral health and nutrition. These are small, essential steps all employees can take to Live Well, Smile More.

Hawaii Dental Service
900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1900
Honolulu, HI 96813-3705
(808) 529-9248 | HawaiiDentalService.com



Tcb Pamela Smith NursingPamela Smith, EdD, APRN-RX, FNP-BC
Associate Dean, School of Nursing and Health Professions

Q: How have nurses adapted to COVID pandemic needs in the past year? 

The pandemic has illustrated the need for health care providers and leaders to quickly innovate and adapt. Nurses in healthcare organizations assimilated new information, developed and implemented new policies and evaluated the effectiveness of these changes. Many advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) pivoted to offer patient care via telehealth to make care accessible and serve their patient population safely.

Does the Doctor of Nursing Practice program prepare nurses for new professional roles?

DNP graduates can seek many advanced roles in nursing such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Director of Healthcare Quality, Director of Quality Improvement, Executive Nurse Leader, Chief Nursing Officer, Clinic Director, Director of Research or Nursing Faculty.

What makes Chaminade’s DNP unique? 

We take a values-based approach to education and patient care. In addition to a curriculum guided by the AACN Essentials, Chaminade incorporates strong community partnerships, individualized mentoring, and culturally-informed advanced practice. This approach gives graduates a strong foundation in addressing health inequities and the preparation to serve unique populations including Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and their families.

Chaminade University of Honolulu
3140 Wai‘alae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96816

(808) 735-4711 | chaminade.edu



Tcb John Henry FelixJohn Henry Felix, Executive Chairman

Q: How is HMAA helping employers with their health insurance needs?

Many companies are looking at ways to reduce expenses without sacrificing health benefits for their employees and families. HMAA works with employers of all sizes on their specific needs to ensure they can continue keeping their employees covered while identifying potential savings on insurance costs. We are pleased that our partnerships with PEO fi rm Makai HR and local associations has already helped many businesses that are in or support the construction, food and beverage, hospitality and lodging, landscaping, medical/healthcare, professional services, restaurant, or retail industries. Select businesses can also promote their products and services while offering special savings to our members through HMAA’s Member Plus Discount Program.

What does HMAA offer its members to help them stay healthy?

HMAA understands the hardships everyone is facing during this pandemic and wants to help our members stay healthy by providing a wide array of benefits for medical, dental, and vision care; medications; and alternative care. We also provide value-added wellness solutions such as discounted fitness memberships, worksite health screenings, preventive programs, EAP, and our free Baby & Me maternity program.

How does HMAA make it easy to access healthcare services?

HMAA members have convenient access to our thousands of participating providers in Hawaii and throughout the Mainland. We also make it quick, easy, and virtually painless for members to speak with a local physician day or night through our free HiDoc® telemedicine service while at home, at work, or traveling. Phone and video consultations are available for most non-emergent conditions and mental health counseling. There is no out-of-pocket-cost on consultations and no limit to the number of times HMAA members can use HiDoc®.

Oahu: (808) 591-0088
Neighbor Islands toll-free:1 (800) 621-6998



Tcb Jill HoggardJill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN, President and CEO
The Queen’s Health Systems

Q: How has Queen’s managed to provide safe and high-quality care to all of its patients throughout the pandemic?

At Queen’s, we are so fortunate to have more than 7,000 caring, dedicated and innovative caregivers who have risen to the occasion despite the challenges they have faced with this devastating disease. From new treatment options and protocols, to expanding our network of services including creating a clinic to provide ongoing care to individuals with long-term symptoms after their infection from COVID, to building and opening a new Infectious Disease Unit to create the safest environment for our patients and caregivers, we have always put the health and safety of our patients and staff first. We have also greatly expanded our telehealth services to offer an alternative for those who need care but want to remain in the comfort of their home. Our goal is to make the patient experience a positive one.

How has Queen’s played a role in the COVID-19 vaccination efforts?

Queen’s is very proud of the fact that we provided the very first COVID-19 vaccination in Hawaiʻi. By April 14, 2021, Queen’s had administered more than 156,000 doses of vaccine across our health system, which is comprised of four hospitals and numerous clinics. Vaccinations are an important part of helping to keep our community safe. More recently, we have extended our reach into the community through our mobile clinics, which have been a convenient option for those who may not be able to travel to a vaccination clinic.

What are some of the ways Queen’s is helping to keep our community healthy?

It would be impossible to discuss our role in keeping our community healthy without discussing our continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that we remain optimistic that we are getting closer to the last phase of the pandemic and, as shared, we are vaccinating as many individuals as possible. My goal continues to be 5,000 vaccinations given daily to ultimately stop this dangerous disease.

Additionally, we continue to innovate the ways we provide affordable, accessible care to ensure our population is able to be well, get well and stay well. Our goal is to become lifetime partners to the people we serve. Right now, we are actively planning how to best grow, build and strengthen our regional network of care to meet the needs of our communities while providing the highest quality, safest, most compassionate care. A few examples include: the primary care center EmPower Health, which offers a full range of primary care and wellness services with an emphasis on preventive health; The Queen’s Health Care Centers and our numerous Primary Care Centers, which are designed to ensure access to high-quality health care services in the communities where people work and live.

After more than a year of the pandemic, when many people were not able to have annual screenings and wellness visits, we are eager to provide these essential preventative health care services in every community.

The Queen’s Health Systems


Tcb Ray VaraRay Vara
President & Chief Executive Officer
Hawai‘i Pacific Health

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawai‘i and the rest of the world continue to feel the effects of this devastating disease. Unemployment, business failures and economic stagnation became the norm as many people nationally, internationally and here in Hawai‘i literally struggled to survive.

Then something happened to galvanize us all.

The strength of the human spirit, and our ability to not only endure, but to collaborate to overcome problems became our operating principle. Nowhere was this more evident than right here in Hawai‘i. We learned how to wear masks, to better respect each other’s space and to overcome personal and professional challenges. Perhaps most important, we worked together to take care of those who needed help the most, the very definition of the Aloha Spirit.

We are starting to see the benefit of all of our hard work in terms of our ability to combat the disease and to return to some level of normalcy. With one of the lowest positivity rates in the country, Hawai‘i managed the pandemic better than most, thanks in part of our tiered system of tracking the disease, personal discipline, and our ability to insulate ourselves from the rest of the world. Thanks also to the rapid development and distribution of three vaccines, Hawai‘i is one of the state’s farthest along in vaccinating its population.

Hawai‘i Pacific Health has been one of the leaders in this area, opening the state’s first mass vaccination center. I cannot tell you how proud I am of our staff for standing up the Pier 2 Vaccination Center in a matter of days. We are now vaccinating more than 2,000 people a day, limited only by the availability of the vaccine. As a system, we have already administered 145,000 shots to qualified local residents.

That is not to say that we do not have our challenges and there is not a long economic recovery ahead, but the journey forward will be less difficult thanks to everything that makes Hawai‘i special.


Hawaiʻi Pacific Health
55 Merchant Street 27th Floor
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813
Categories: Health & Wellness, Partner Content