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Our Island,
Our Community,
Our Health

Healthcare is caring for health not treating disease. Only a community can make this paradigm shift.

Community First Founder
The Late Barry Taniguchi

Why Community First?

Barry Taniguchi founded Community First to help our community come together to make this shift and to find solutions based on the common good.

He had 3 Principles:

  • Only Together
  • Make the Invisible, Visible
  • Try, and don’t expect to get it right the first time

Guiding Principles

Only Together

There is no way to transform healthcare & achieve a sutainable system without coming together. If West, North, and East Hawaii come together, we can build a County-wide system of health governed by each community to best address their needs while leveraging information technology and payment models which require scale.

Make the Invisible, Visible

My son Toby once said, “We value harmony more than truth.” Sometimes for the sake of harmony we make the visible invisible in order to get along. But in the long term, harmony can only come from truth so we must make the invisible, visible. Truth is the basis of the trust needed for collaboration and transformation.

Try, and don’t expect to get it right the first time

The house is burning. We need to act, recognizing that we can’t figure it all out through the creation of binders of plans, and that we will need to make adjustments as we move forward. But we will make these adjustments collaboratively and in the best interests of the community. Only by acting can we innovate.


A community where we not only take personal responsibility for our own health, but help each other care for our mutual well-being.


A sustainable medical and social service system which provides quality care for all the people of Hawai’i Island.

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Latest Insights

Big Island Docs: Today’s Marcus Welbys

Formerly known as East Hawaii I.P.A., often confused for the name of a craft beer, Big Island Docs is comprised of more than 50 current-day Dr. Welbys. They represent a kaleidoscope of private individual practitioners who are part of the community and know their patients, their families and caregivers. Like Dr. Welby, some continue to make house calls to accommodate patients unable to travel to their appointments.

Our Kuleana Combating COVID-19 on Hawaiʻi Island 

Our Kuleana is a community-based effort to mobilize Hawaiʻi Island residents during critical times of need, initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our privilege to be a part of this island’s ʻohana comes with an inherent kuleana, or duty, to our people and place. The devastating impacts of COVID-19 have presented an opportunity for us to fulfill our kuleana to protect and care for each other.

Our Island, Our Community, Our Health:  Island Wide Efforts

Community First is expanding its scope to include North and West Hawaii.  As part of our island wide outreach, we convene a weekly Vaccine Update and Discussion between the Hawaiʻi District Health Offices and the medical provider community.  The meetings are facilitated by Randall Kurohara and focus on issues surrounding vaccination supply and capacity of vaccines, registration and administration, and messaging.

The Our Kuleana Campaign uses multiple media platforms, and engages local organizations to participate in its Kuleana Partners program with the aim of galvanizing community behavior to end COVID-19 spread.  Over 150 organizations have become a Kuleana Partner.  Please the site OurKuleana site here to learn more about this important effort.

Our Advance Health Care Directive Committee (AHCD) holds monthly virtual AHCD sessions.  For 2021, our dedicated volunteers are targeting selected geographical areas of the island and partnering with local organizations to engage more of the community through community health workers.  The committee continues to reach out to medical clinics and doctors.

In 2014, Community First partnered with the County of Hawai’i and Hawai’i Island United Way to launch the Hawai’i Island Well-Being Challenge.  For one month, individuals 18 and older participated in a fast, free confidential health assessment survey.  This island wide challenge helped socialize the concept of well-being in the community, gave each participant an assessment of their well-being and a plan to improve it, and gave the community a baseline to measure and direct the initiatives to improve well-being.   There were over 1,190 assessments completed, and a donation was made to the Hawai’i Island United Way Kokua Puna Fund.







©2021 Community First Hawaii

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