About the Public Health Fund

$3.5 Million

Grants to Non-Profits Since 1985

Twice a year, the Chamber, as trustee of the Public Health Fund (PHF), makes grants to a variety of Oahu non-profits to support health-related programs, projects and services.

Grants are made for projects involving public health education and research for which funds are not available from other sources. Preference is given to projects that are collaborative. Applicants must be non-profit organizations operating on Oahu in public health-related activities.

For questions or more information call (808) 545-4300 or email: phf@cochawaii.org.

View Public Health Fund Grant Recipients


In 1899, an epidemic of bubonic plague closed Honolulu Harbor and quarantined part of Honolulu. In an effort to exterminate rats from the wharves and prevent future epidemics, a committee of shipping company representatives and importers assessed themselves ten cents per ton of imports for rat control.

Fifteen years later the Public Health Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu* accepted responsibility for collecting the voluntary assessments and disbursing funds for public health programs.

In 1923, the Chamber was appointed trustee of the Public Health Fund and directed to limit grants to public health activities within the City and County of Honolulu. Assessments were discontinued in 1950. Since then, grant awards are made through the interest and dividends received from investment of principal.

*The Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu merged with the Hawaii State Chamber of Commerce on January 1, 1967 and became the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.

Public Health Fund in Action

2022 Public Health Fund Grant Recipients:

  • Breast Cancer Hawaii – PROTEA Project – Partnering with researches in Oncology to educate and activate
  • Downtown Art Center – Bereavement Expressions: Art & Grieving
  • Hawaii Friends of Restorative Justice – Kai Kalihi Project that serves struggling Micronesian youth (ages 13-16) from the Kalihi Valley Homes community
  • The Practice Center – Forgiveness Training to enhance workplace climate
  • Waikiki Health Center – Pu’uhonua Prison Program: Broadening the scope of health interventions to address a unique public health issue

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, through its Public Health Fund, presented a $50,000 grant to Mental Health America Hawaii to expand its Mental Health Resilience & Wellness Training Program.⁠

Pictured here, left to right: From the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Sherry Menor-McNamara, President & CEO, and Licia Hill, VP, Operations & Programs. Joining them are Mental Health America of Hawaii’s Bryan Talisayan, Executive Director, and Mestisa Gass, Program Director.

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