Minister honored posthumously


POSTED: Monday, May 11, 2009

The late Rev. Frank A. Chong, a longtime social activist and executive director of the Waikiki Health Center for 25 years, was honored posthumously with a Certificate of Recognition from the Hawaii State Senate and a new grant program by AlohaCare.


Sen. Brickwood Galuteria presented the award to Chong's wife, Sherry, on April 9, along with a check for $5,000 from AlohaCare donated to the Institute for Human Services in her husband's name. Chong was manager of government and community relations for AlohaCare for five years before he died on March 8, 2008, after a long battle with cancer.

AlohaCare has also established an annual AlohaCare Community Conscience Award grant program as a tribute to Chong.

It will distribute $40,000 in grants to organizations that focus on the prevention and/or treatment of childhood obesity, asthma or diabetes, and to nonprofits that provide access to care for children and adolescents.

Chong, an ordained United Church of Christ minister, was one of Hawaii's most dedicated advocates for the poor and disenfranchised throughout his 35-year career, a news release said. In 1977 he expanded the original Waikiki Drug Clinic to the Waikiki Health Center, which provides health and social services with growing numbers of homeless, HIV patients, seniors and youths in Waikiki, Honolulu and North Shore communities.

In 1994 Chong became a founding board member of AlohaCare, a nonprofit MedQuest health plan for the medically underserved and fragile.