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Maui Health Foundation’s Inaugural Holiday Celebration Raises $5.25 Million

Foundation news | Thursday, December 29, 2022

Maui, Hawaii (December 29, 2022) – Maui Health Foundation is excited to announce it has raised $5.25 million for Maui Memorial Medical Center’s planned Clinical Decision Unit (CDU).

On Friday, December 2, 2022, more than 160 community members gathered at the historic Olowalu Plantation House for Maui Health Foundation’s first-ever Holiday Celebration to raise funds for Maui Memorial Medical Center. Thanks to generous bidding on an array of one-of-a-kind live auction lots and a fund-a-need paddle raising, more than $1.25 million was raised for the hospital’s CDU, further enforcing the great depth of community support to improve healthcare for everyone on Maui. Kaiser Permanente chair and chief executive officer, Greg A. Adams, made an announcement by video at the event that Kaiser Permanente is contributing $4 million for the CDU, bringing the evening’s total to $5.25 million.

“The generosity of our auction lot donors and bidders proves what a special community we have, and what a magical night to acknowledge that,” said Dr. Lee Weiss, Medical Director and Chairman of the Maui Memorial Medical Center Emergency Department. “The multi-million-dollar pledge from Kaiser Permanente represents a major investment on their part in the health of our community. Thanks to these generous donations, our CDU is quickly becoming a reality. This will allow us to meet the growing need for critical care for the thousands of Maui residents and visitors we see in our Emergency Department each year.”

Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Emergency Department cares for nearly 60,000 patients annually, from newborns to elders, and is one of the busiest EDs in the state. To meet this demand, Maui Memorial Medical Center will build a Clinical Decision Unit, or CDU - a system developed and used by medical institutions such as the Mayo Clinic, Stanford Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering.

The CDU will improve and streamline care for ED patients who may benefit from protocol-driven care in a dedicated space. The CDU will add 12 observation beds, including a specific area for patients with chest pains, allowing physicians and staff to monitor patients who do not meet the criteria for inpatient admission but are not well enough to go home. ED patients who require observation or testing can be monitored and treated according to disease-specific protocols in a separate area. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and is projected to be completed within 12-18 months.

Peter and Maggie Martin generously provided their exclusive Olowalu Plantation House as the site for the first annual holiday celebration, bringing together the talents of so many to ensure the event was a great success.

The “Bridgerton” like setting, created by Event Designer Darren Keala included white linens, and crystal chandeliers draped with white and blush roses. The breathtaking Olowalu sunset and the ocean waves crashing in the background provided the perfect backdrop for the evening. Acclaimed chef Brian Etheredge and his staff prepared a sumptuous four-course dinner, and several hospital employees volunteered to work behind the scenes making it a memorable evening for all that attended.

The live auction hosted by local sports reporter Kanoa Leahey brought in close to $450,000. Lots included one-of-a-kind private events, rare wines, and diamond jewelry, all donated by doctors, board members, and other gracious supporters.

Dr. Lee Weiss spoke to guests about the need to support our acute care hospital on the island. He complimented the staff and physicians of Maui Memorial for being the “DNA” of our institution, highlighting that we have a Trauma, Cardiac, and Neuro-Intervention program like no other state. “We have a special community that is not to be taken for granted,” said Dr. Weiss. “We need to think about digging deep into our moral courage for the needs of our entire community.”

Adams closed his announcement with an ask to “join in sharing the responsibility to ensure that future generations have access to quality care close to home.” Attendees heeded his message and raised their paddles for the fund-a-need portion of the evening, ultimately raising another $712,500.

With proceeds raised from the holiday event, including Kaiser Permanente’s generous $4 million, and including funds previously raised, Maui Health Foundation has now raised about two-thirds of the funds needed to build the CDU.

“Words cannot express our immense gratitude for those who came out to support this event. To see friends from all over the island contribute to our mission, one that benefits so many in our county, both residents and visitors alike, is truly a testament to what a special community we have here on Maui,” said Melinda Sweany, Chief Development Officer, Maui Health.


Press photos attached (high resolution available upon request):
1. Maui Health Foundation Board President Tamar Goodfellow, Mei Lee Dowling, Estrella Dunn, and Mary Anne Fitch.
2. Janice Olson gets ready to bid for one of the exclusive auction lots.
3. Board member Saedene Ota, husband Ken, and daughter Xia take a family photo by the Christmas tree.
4. Kanoa Leahey preps the audience for the live auction.
5. Hosts Peter & Maggie Martin pose as the sun sets on Olowalu before the evening’s festivities begin.
6. Board member Chris Kulis and Tarah Principato pose as they arrive.

About Maui Health Foundation
Maui Health Foundation is dedicated to the philanthropic support of the Maui Health hospitals. Our Foundation works hand in hand with Maui Health to be a lifeline for our patients by supporting patient care, advancing programs and technology, and creating healing environments for all who walk through our doors. Your donations support the health of our island’s communities and can include gifts of cash, property or securities, corporate grants, bequests, and employer-matching contributions. For more information visit

About Maui Health Maui Health, aka Maui Health System, community hospitals and associated clinics affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, Lanai Community Hospital and associated clinics, and serves the people of Maui and Lanai. The facilities under Maui Health employ more than 1600 Maui County residents, partner with over 460 hospital-based physicians, clinicians, and community-based primary and specialty physicians, and are open to all patients regardless of health insurance coverage. Maui Health is committed to delivering high quality, affordable, patient-centered health care and improving the health of the community. Maui Health is supported by Kaiser Permanente’s industry-leading technology systems, evidence-based medicine, and nationally recognized care quality. For more information, visit