Our History

Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‛Ōiwi is a private, non-profit organization originally formed in 1985 as the Puna Community Caring Health System in collaboration with Alu Like, Inc.  Hawaiian community leaders (mostly farmers), health professionals, technicians, and educators responded to the Puna Hui `Ohana’s concern about the Native Hawaiians reluctance to seek medical care until it was too late.

With funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a grassroots campaign was organized to address concerns about access to preventive and primary health care services and the many health issues facing Native Hawaiians who lived in remote areas of Hawai`i Island.

These community efforts led to research conducted by the Hawai`i State Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control and the National Cancer Institute that established the need for improved access to care and later resulted in the formation of the Native Hawaiian Health Task Force of Hawaii Island in 1988. It was designated through the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act, Public Law 100-579 later that same year.

Finally, in 1990, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‛Ōiwi opened its doors and was recognized as the Hawaiian Health entity representing the Big Islands Native Hawaiians. Census 2000 data indicates more than 40,000 Native Hawaiians reside in Hawai`i County.

Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‛Ōiwi’s basic trust is to provide access to health services on Hawai`i Island, home to one of the largest populations of Native Hawaiians (second to Oahu with 50% pure-blooded Hawaiians). foreign diseases continue to harm Native Hawaiian communities where cultural and traditional healing practices are still available.

This Native Hawaiian Health Care System is comprised of the Main Office in Hilo and five satellite offices around the Island of Hawai`i:  Hilo, Pahoa, Na`alehu, Captain Cook, and Waimea.