In brief: June 28, 2021

Ironman receives
2021 Pualu Award

The IRONMAN Foundation has supported Kahiau Together through a pledge of $1 million to help feed Hawaii Island

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce presented its 2021 Pualu Award to the Ironman Hawaii team Friday at the chamber’s annual Membership and Installation Meeting in recognition of Ironman and the Ironman Foundation’s Kahiau Together food distribution program to help feed the community.

The Pualu Award recognizes individuals, businesses and/or non-profit organizations that exemplify a commitment to the improvement and advancement of the community.

The mission of the Kahiau Together program was built from the Hawaiian word Kahiau, meaning to give generously or lavishly from the heart while not expecting anything in return.

With a pledge of $1 million from the Ironman Foundation to support the program, the Kahiau Together Aid Station drive-through food distribution began last July and to date has served over 80,000 meals at 19 events through the distribution of food bundles of locally sourced fresh proteins, fruits, vegetables, and starches.

“We are collectively honored to have the opportunity to give back to our ‘ohana and the Hawaii Island community. We are so pleased that our community is being fed but also our local farmers, fishermen and ranchers have benefited from this as well,” said Diana Bertsch, senior vice president, World Championship Events for The Ironman Group.

Kahiau Together food distribution events for Hawaii Island residents will continue through 2021. The next Kahiau Together is set for July 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at Kona International Marketplace.

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Credit union
makes Forbes list

HFS Federal Credit Union was recognized by Forbes and Statista as Best-in-State Credit Union for Hawaii. This is the fourth year that Forbes and Statista has published this list, and the third year that HFS FCU has been recognized.

The best credit unions in every state were chosen based on an independent survey from a sample of about 25,000 U.S. citizens, among all states. Participants ranked the institutions based on various evaluation criteria, including trust, digital services, terms and conditions, branch services, financial advice, and customer services. Those credit unions with the highest scores were awarded the honor of being one of the best credit unions in the state. Throughout the nation, 190 unique credit unions were recognized.

“We are honored to have been named by Forbes as the Best-In-State Credit Union for Hawaii. This recognition is the result of our dedicated employees who continually go above and beyond in servicing our members’ financial needs. The pandemic has impacted everyone creating very challenging times. Our employees are committed to meeting each member’s needs with care and understanding. This award is only possible through the valuable relationships we have built with our members and we thank them for their continued support,” said President and CEO Nathan Abe.

HFS Federal Credit Union has been serving its members since 1937, and is the largest credit union on Hawaii Island. For more information about HFS FCU, contact the Credit Union at (808) 930-1400, visit or stop by branches in Hilo, Keaau, Prince Kuhio Plaza, Honokaa, Waimea and Kona.

HPM reaches halfway point
of 100 Acts of Service

HPM Building Supply has reached the halfway mark of its pledge to complete 100 Acts of Service to mark its centennial anniversary. Through partnerships with non-profit and service-based organizations, HPM owner-employees are fanning out across the state to give back to the communities that have supported HPM for a century.

“As we mark our centennial anniversary, HPM owes so much of our success to the communities that have supported us,” Jason Fujimoto, president and CEO, said. “These 100 Acts of Service are our way of showing appreciation and giving back—especially as our communities continue to recover from the pandemic. We look forward to strengthening connections through these service projects and continuing our commitment to a more resilient, sustainable Hawaii.”

The 100 Acts of Service initiative is led by a group of 22 owner-employees who serve as Community Building Team Champions. They organized more than 50 projects, which owner-employees from across the state have completed. HPM’s goal is to complete 100 Acts by the end of the year.

Completed projects include collecting diaper donations for the Hawaii Diaper Bank, volunteering at The Food Basket, organizing beach and park cleanups, and donating renovation supplies to organizations in need. Nonprofit organizations interested in partnering with HPM on an Act of Service should contact Kylie Bergen at or (808) 356-5456.

Founded in 1921 as Hawaii Planing Mill, HPM Building Supply is also marking its 100th anniversary with giveaways and other initiatives across its 14 locations on Hawaii Island, Kauai, Oahu, and Maui.

Alii Health Center adds orthopedic surgeon

Alii Health Center continues to grow by adding Dr. Paul Morton, who was born and raised on Big Island and graduated from Keaau High School before earning his medical degree from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii.

Morton spent half of his third-year medical school clinical rotations on the Big Island. He did his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at St. Luke’s University and Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In his final year, he served as Chief Orthopedic Resident.

Before returning home to Hawaii, Morton obtained his American Counsel of Graduate Medical Education-accredited fellowship training in Adult Reconstruction at the University of Chicago. He then went on to complete an AO Trauma Fellowship at Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin, Germany — one of the biggest hospitals in Europe.

“Alii Health Center is extremely excited to announce the expansion of our Hip and Knee Total Joint Reconstruction Program with the addition of Paul Morton, M.D. As a Fellowship-Trained, Board-Certified Surgeon, Dr. Morton’s expertise will bring additional skilled resources to our Big Island community,” said Clayton McGhan, CEO of Alii Health Center.

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QNHCH welcomes new provider

Dr. Michael Aldridge, MD, FACC, has joined the Cardiology Clinic team at Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital.

Aldridge earned undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and economics from University of California Los Angeles, and his medical degree from Albany Medical College, New York. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowships in cardiovascular medicine and echocardiography at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center and Keck Hospital of USC.

Aldridge is board certified in cardiology, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, and internal medicine, and is a member of the American College of Cardiology. Prior to joining QNHCH, Dr. Aldridge was in private practice in Santa Barbara.

He was also a member of the cardiology faculty at Olive View – UCLA Medical Center, holding the positions of Director of Cardiology Clinics and Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine. He co-directed the Heart Failure Clinic and participated in several clinical trials. He was instrumental in training both UCLA cardiology fellows and Olive View residents, receiving a teacher-of-the-year award.

Aldridge sees patients at the hospital’s Cardiology Clinic, located on the QNHCH hospital campus. In-person and tele-health appointments are available. For appointments, call (808) 887-CARE.

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