Maui News

Kaiser Employees Mark MLK Jr. Day With Community Service

January 20, 2020, 3:43 PM HST
* Updated January 21, 6:01 AM
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Dr. John Meisel removes a large fishnet rope from the beach at Waihee Coastal Refuge.

More than 150 volunteer physicians, staff and family members continued a 15-year tradition of giving back on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by participating in the Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Annual Day of Service.

The volunteers worked with Paeloko Learning Center and Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge.

Paeloko is Maui’s only Hawaiian cultural learning center dedicated to preserving Native Hawaiian culture and traditions by providing hands-on educational opportunities. The Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge is dedicated to active restoration programs that enhance critical native wildlife habits, while preserving the area’s rich archaeological and cultural resources.

“The environmental, educational and cultural significance of Paeloko and Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge make volunteering there an extremely rewarding experience,” said David Ulin, MD, AMD Maui atKaiser Permanente Hawaii. “We are grateful to our employees for their participation in giving back to the communities we live and work in.”

Volunteers assisted with several projects at Paeloko, including planting and watering native plants; building and painting new picnic tables and benches; rebuilding a fire pit and sheds; and weeding and clearing auwai (irrigation ditches), wauke (paper mulberry patches) and loi. At the Waiheʻe Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge, volunteers helped to restore native plants, clean up the shoreline, and clear the gulches of invasive grass.


Today’s volunteer project was part of a larger community service effort by more than 1,000 Kaiser Permanente Hawaii physicians, staff, families and community organizations statewide, with additional service projects taking place simultaneously on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi.


The volunteers joined thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees nationally, who participated in a “day on, not a day off” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, volunteering their time to honor Dr. King’s legacy of service.

Dr. Megan Wright clears a stream with her daughter at Paeloko Maui.

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