For A Healthy Community

By John Henry Felix
Wednesday - March 31, 2010
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Since its founding more than 20 years ago, Hawaii Medical Assurance Association has worked to bring benefits to the community that has made our growth and success possible. We do this in the obvious way - by offering comprehensive medical insurance plans that benefit Hawaii businesses and their employees across the state. But we also do it in some not-so-obvious ways - such as making a strong effort to support charitable and other nonprofit organizations that enrich our community in myriad ways.

HMAA’s founder, Arnold Baptiste Sr., saw the need for a health care insurer that could provide small businesses - which account for the overwhelming majority of Hawaii’s employers - with the kind of quality, affordable health plans that only the state’s larger businesses enjoyed up until then.

Arnold had his roots in a working-class family on Kauai. His aloha for the community shaped the way he did business. As a result, our two-decade tradition of giving back to the community is written into HMAA’s charter and has been woven into the company’s DNA from the very beginning.


Healthy communities ... healthy families ... healthy living. These are inseparable, and our efforts to nurture them are the heart of who we are and how we operate.

That is the reason, as we begin our third decade, HMAA gives generously each year to supporting Hawaii’s worthy charitable and nonprofit community. As a company devoted to people’s health, we allocate much of that support to organizations that promote and protect people’s health, ranging from the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and March of Dimes (prevention of birth defects and premature births) to organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

But just as HMAA offers its members medical plans that cover acupuncture, chiropractic and naturopathic care in addition to traditional coverage, we also recognize that in our support for nonprofit organizations, it’s important to go beyond those with a strictly medical focus and provide assistance to groups that look after other aspects of our community’s well-being. It’s part of our philosophy of healthy communities ... healthy families ... healthy living.

That’s why the list of organizations we support includes those that assist individuals with disabilities (Abilities Unlimited), recovering substance abusers (Habilitat), at-risk youth (Adult Friends for Youth) and many other groups that do vital work in our community, including the American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Helping Hands Hawaii and the Waikiki Community Center, to give just several examples.

We also have a special place in our heart for sports, because they do so much to promote healthy living. That explains the support we provide for the OIA Athletic Foundation (the Oahu Interscholastic Association, the “league” for public high school teams) and the Positive Coaching Alliance.

Because we’re anxious to contribute to the community as a whole, we also assist organizations that enrich people’s lives in many other ways - various schools and colleges, cultural organizations like Bishop Museum and the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, youth groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, Hawaii Public Radio, the Hawaii Council on Economic Education and many others that contribute to the vibrant life of our community.

All this, we believe, is as essential to the life of healthy communities ... healthy families ... healthy living ... as the outstanding health care benefits we provide to our valued members. And at a time when the economy is in a downturn, the community’s needs are greater than ever, so we are especially pleased to follow the example set by our founder and do our part in serving Hawaii’s families.

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