Since the launching earlier this year, the Kūpuna Collective has gained significant momentum so far thanks to the dedication of our growing membership of over 230 members. Below are some quarterly highlights:
- In alignment with Older American’s Month and the release of the Kūpuna Vaccination Outreach Group (KVOG) After Action Report, Mayor Rick Blangiardi declared May 6, 2022 as Kūpuna Vaccination Outreach Group Day to honor our members’ efforts to support equitable vaccine access among older adults. Kūpuna emerged as leaders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and together with the support of KVOG, 100.0 percent of kūpuna in the City & County of Honolulu have completed their initial vaccine series (with similar rates on neighbor islands). KVOG, as a subgroup of the Kūpuna Collective, continues to empower kūpuna across the state with the resources needed to access booster shots and COVID-19 tests to stay protected.
- An article was published in Generations Today (by the American Society on Aging) telling the story of how the Kūpuna Collective was formed from the incredible partnerships fostered by Age-Friendly Honolulu, the Kūpuna Food Security Coalition, and the Kūpuna Vaccination Outreach Group.
- Representative Ed Case included a funding request from the Kūpuna Collective as one of 15 requests total for FY23 Community Project Funding. The request garnered support from Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters, Kūpuna Caucus Co-conveners Senator Sharon Moriwaki and Representative Troy Hashimoto, the State of Hawaiʻi Executive Office on Aging, AARP Hawaiʻi, AlohaCare, University of Hawaiʻi Office of Strategic Health Initiatives, and over 50 community organizations and advocates. Once funded, the Kūpuna Collective will establish a Kūpuna Support Navigator Program as an innovative and sustainable workforce training initiative to build the capacity of kūpuna service providers and ensure equitable access to care for kūpuna and their families.
- With funding from the City & County of Honolulu’s Community Development Block Grant-Coronavirus, the Kūpuna Collective awarded grantees Aloha Harvest and Waiʻanae Coast Comprehensive Health Center with a combined total of $897,380 to dually support kūpuna food security and local agriculture. Grantees will work with Community Health Workers to ensure food security efforts are paired with wraparound health and social support. This project is part of a statewide project made possible by matched funding from Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and Stupski Foundation for neighbor island grantees. Early data analysis shows that over 1,500 kūpuna have already been served by this project.
To learn more about the Kūpuna Collective and to join as a member, visit hiphi.org/kupuna or contact email@example.com. Lindsey Ilagan is the Program Manager for HIPHI on Kūpuna initiatives and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-591-6508 extension 19.