[ INSIDE HAWAII INC. ]
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
The Waikiki Health Center has promoted Adrianna O'Donnell, standing in one of the center's examination rooms, to director of development. She says the nonprofit medical and social service agency always needs volunteers.
Keeping a good thing going
Question: Why did you join the health center in 2005?
Answer: At first when I got here to Hawaii, I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. When I happened to look into the want ads, I saw an ad for the health center, and the ad was just what I wanted to do. It was the opportunity to use the experience I had at Rhode Island. I wanted to be in charge of direct mail and grant writing, and it happened to be there and I took it.
New job: O'Donnell has been named director of development of the Waikiki Health Center, a nonprofit medical and social service agency that serves all of Oahu. O'Donnell replaces longtime Director Mary Spadaro, who has been named to the newly created position of major gifts officer. Last year, the center treated about 5,600 individual patients.
Position: O'Donnell will oversee corporate, foundation and individual fundraising, as well as public relations, donor relations, and training. She also will coordinate the annual back-to-school canister drive, which involves hundreds of retailers and volunteers around Oahu.
Experience: O'Donnell joined the center in 2005 and previously served as assistant director of development. Before that, she was marketing coordinator with Plan USA, an international development organization in Rhode Island. O'Donnell is married to Navy Chief Petty Officer J.R. O'Donnell and has a 2-year-old daughter, Ava. They came to Hawaii in 2004.
How does the center provide care regardless of whether patients can pay?
A: We provide health care to insured and uninsured individuals. It's based on a sliding fee on income level, and we accept patients with Medicare, Medicaid and most major private insurance.
Q: What is your annual budget? Where does the money come from?
A: Our annual budget is $3.7 million. Government funding is about 51 percent of revenue and support, patient revenue is 27 percent and contributions are 21 percent. That's from 2005.
Q: How much have your costs risen?
A: From 2003 to the current year, Waikiki Health Center's budget increased from $2.3 million to $3.7 million, due to high community demand. This is the cost of providing care as well as general cost of care. We expect this number to continue to increase due to our community's growing needy population, as well as rising medical costs, which is affecting all health care providers. With a high proportion of our patients uninsured or underinsured, we must look to private donations to help us provide these services.
Q: What are the most common things that you treat?
A: We treat HIV, AIDS patients. We do physicals, immunizations for school-age children. We do breast health and refer our patients for mammographies, and we also work with diabetes patients, so it's really all things related to primary care. And we have our homeless patients and clients that have superficial injuries.
The homeless population is rising and we're seeing more patients and clients. Since we've moved here we see 90 homeless people a day, using a broad definition of homelessness.
Q: What's your next fundraiser?
A: We have our holiday direct-mail appeal going out in the middle of this month, which is our biggest direct-mail piece, going out to about 30,000 donors and prospects, which are people who have been interested in the center but haven't contributed, and to other people that share similarities to donors.
Q: Do you take care of many tourists?
A: We do have tourists that come in for care, but it's mostly residents of Oahu. We offer services throughout Oahu, so it's not just patients here in Waikiki.
Q: Are you thinking of changing the name?
A: Waikiki Health Center is going to be 40 next year, and that's the way we've been for a very long time, so why change a good thing? Maybe our tag line should be changed instead of "reaching from the heart of Waikiki" you could add "to all residents of Oahu," or something like that.
Q: Last word?
A: The health center, while it receives cash funding, we also need volunteers to help us out with our everyday operations, so we do accept in-kind donations, which can be anything from canned food to slippers for our homeless clients, patients. We have office volunteer opportunities, and it can be on a short- or long-term volunteer commitment. And we have student internships as well.
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