Who We Are

Nā Puʻuwai is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and one of five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems developed to improve Native Hawaiian health equity and disparities. 

Nā Puʻuwai is primarily federally funded through the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act. 

Nā Puʻuwai serves the islands of Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi which also includes Kalaupapa. 

Our History

Following the Molokaʻi Heart Study, Nā Puʻuwai applied for and received federal recognition in 1986 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity dedicated to researching chronic diseases affecting Native Hawaiians and improving their health. The Board of Directors included representatives from four districts of topside Molokaʻi, one from Kalaupapa, and one from Lānaʻi. 

When the opportunity arose to expand Nā Puʻuwai to provide a suite of culturally relevant health services, the communities of Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi approved. 

Nā Puʻuwai was initially formed in 1984 as the advisory board for the Molokaʻi Heart Study. Incorporated in 1985, Nā Puʻuwai has operated as a private, non-profit organization since 1991. 

Nā Puʻuwai took on the kuleana for planning a Native Hawaiian Health Care System for the islands of Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi under the federal Native Hawaiian Health Care Act of 1988, which was later reauthorized as the Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Act in 1992 and again in 2010. 

Nā Puʻuwai Logo

Nā Puʻuwai

About the name

Nā Puʻuwai is literally translated into the hearts.  Many hearts is symbolic of the heart our staff has to serve our patients, the heart of the ʻohana (families) within the communities we serve, the heart of the ʻāina (land) that we care for and l0ve, the physical, emotional and spiritual heart, and our commitment to heart health (Native Hawaiians have high heart disease health disparities).

About the logo

Our logo is symbolic of the heart (puʻuwai) and its role in circulating the blood and love to create the wellsprings of life. 

Our Model

Nā Puʻuwai aims to work toward Native Hawaiian health equity through the inclusion of physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health in our delivery of programs and services. 

Our target is mauli ola (wholeness, health and wellness), which we aim to achieve through integrative clinical care and culturally tailored programs that equip patients with tools for health success that collectively lead to health empowerment and resilience. 

We acknowledge that the health of our people is dependent on the ʻāina which we care for, the pilina (relationships) that we develop with akua, aumakua, kūpuna, ʻohana, and ourselves, which includes our sense of ʻōiwi (self-identity). 

This model is only successful with an interdisciplinary team of staff and providers, supported by the communities we serve and is grounded in Hawaiian values and traditions. 

Our Approach

Nā Puʻuwai has developed an innovative approach to transform the delivery of Native Hawaiian Health Care through the development of our Integrative Health Center which was designed to improve health outcomes through integrative clinical services (treat), culturally adapted programs (equip) and an integrative fitness center (empower). 


Nā Pu‘uwai strives to empower its communities with advancing Mauli Ola, through the delivery and teaching of integrative, comprehensive primary health services and programs that are grounded in Native Hawaiian culture, practices, tradition, and language built upon the foundation of Ho’ohui (integration), Ho’omana (empowerment), and ‘A ‘ohe pau ka ‘ike I ka halau ho’okahi (not all knowledge is learned in one school).