Hawaiian Electric funds electric vehicle for JABSOM's Hawaii HOME Project

(News release issued by John A. Burns School of Medicine)

Release Date: 9/10/2018

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JABSOM Electric Vehicle

Pictured, from left to right:
Brennon Morioka, general manager, electrification of transportation
Jim Alberts, senior vice president, customer service
Dean Jerris Hedges, UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM)
Dr. Jill Omori, founder, HOME Project

Hawaiian Electric Company and the HEI Charitable Foundation have donated $30,000 to the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine's Hawaii Homeless Outreach & Medical Education Project (HOME) to purchase an electric vehicle. It will be used to transport homeless patients to medical and dental appointments.

"Hawaiian Electric is extremely happy to partner with the Hawaii HOME Project, serving the homeless and providing mobility services to get the kinds of services that they need while also participating in some of the state's initiatives of providing a cleaner environment, reducing our dependency on fossil fuels and achieving greater renewable energy in our portfolio," said Brennon Morioka, Hawaiian Electric general manager for electrification of transportation.

Morioka adds, "This model of the Nissan Leaf is a pure, battery electric vehicle, gets about a range of 110 to 115 miles so you really don't have to worry about running out of fuel going anywhere you want on this island. Hawaii is a very optimal place for electric vehicles because the range is just ideal.

"The Hawaii HOME Project's mission is to improve health care access and quality for the homeless while increasing student and physician awareness and understanding of this group's healthcare needs. The project serves sheltered and unsheltered homeless at free clinics at seven sites across Oahu. The team provides care for acute and chronic medical problems, preventative care, health education, dental and vision screening, minor procedures, resource management, labs and vaccines, and free medications for the uninsured.

The clinics are managed by volunteers and medical students through all four years of the school curriculum. Third- and fourth-year medical students serve as the main providers, supervised by faculty and volunteer community physicians. More than 3,700 patients have been helped since the project began.

The HOME project collaborates with U.S. Vets in Waianae, Kealahou West Oahu, Institute for Human Services, Catholic Charities, Aiea Bridge, CHOW Project, Aloha Medical Mission, and First United Methodist Church. Diagnostic Laboratory Services provides uninsured patients with free lab services, the Hawaii State Department of Health provides free vaccines for homeless children, and 5 Minute Pharmacy provides medication management and discounted medications for HOME patients.

Dr. Jill Omori, HOME Project founder said, "We are so thankful to HECO for this donation. We'll be using the car mainly for a patient transportation because a lot of our patients at HOME Project have a really hard time getting to and from appointments or even just accessing resources like going to apply for Medicaid or jobs or things like that and so the car will be very useful in helping to transport our patients to different things."