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About Community First


A Hawaiʻi Island where we embrace our kuleana for our own health and the well-being of others.


Community First convenes stakeholders, providers and policy makers to drive initiatives to improve the health of our community.

Community First is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit founded by the late Barry Taniguchi in 2014 to serve as a neutral forum for the community to come together, and as a catalyst for solutions to improve health and access to health care.

Through its programs, Community First hopes to shift the model of healthcare from reactively treating disease, to proactively caring for the health of every person on Hawaiʻi Island.

Area of Community First's Work

Own Your Health

Own Your Health is one group of Community First initiatives, working to redefine healthcare from treating disease to caring for health through grassroots, community efforts.

Advance Health Care Directives
Blood Pressure Management
Our Kuleana
Kuleana Health

Transform Healthcare

Transforming healthcare is a huge task that first requires the establishment of trust and collaboration so that the community, particularly the medical and social service providers, can work together to realize better health, better care, and lower costs.

Community Action Network
Access to Care
Regional Health Partnership
Initiatives Launched by Community First

The late Barry Taniguchi, the third-generation executive of the family-owned KTA Super Stores and a pillar of the Hawaiʻi Island community, founded Community First with three guiding principles:

Only Together

There is no way to transform healthcare & achieve a sustainable system without coming together. If all districts of the island 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

Barry would often recall his son Toby saying, “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

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.

Community First 2021 Annual Report

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