Kalihi-Palama Health Center (KPHC) grew out of a walk-in free clinic that opened in the basement of Kaumakapili Church in 1975.
Many new Americans and their extended families start their life in Hawaii, in the Kalihi and China Town areas. Reverend Richard Wong, Auntie Anne Kanahele, Uncle Henry A’arona, and other community leaders at Kaumakapili Church acknowledged the need to provide primary health services to poor Native Hawaiians and immigrants from several Asian countries and the Pacific Islands. The community leaders opened the clinic to meet the need for primary health care services.
In addition to poverty, these residents faced tremendous language and cultural barriers that affected their health and their ability to access both health and social services. Reverend Richard Wong, Auntie Anne Kanahele, and Uncle Henry A’arona broadened the mission to address not only health care, but also the needs of the whole person including access to food, housing, and the ability to participate in community life in a manner that maintained the dignity of these marginalized residents.