Maui News

New VP of Ambulatory Care and Clinical Services at Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i

June 2, 2021, 9:04 AM HST
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Maribel Avila-Kunkel is the new vice president of ambulatory care and clinical services at Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi, the organization announced.

She will be responsible for managing clinical operations for ambulatory care and ensuring that Kaiser Permanente continues to lead in quality, service, and patient safety. Her areas of oversight include primary care, specialty care, laboratory, imaging, and virtual care provided at all medical offices and clinic locations on Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi, and Kauaʻi.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi’s new vice president of ambulatory care and clinical services, Maribel Avila-Kunkel. PC: Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi.

In 2014, Avila-Kunkel started her career at Kaiser Permanente as primary care department administrator for pediatrics. In this role she oversaw the Bellflower and Orchard Medical Office Buildings in Southern California, directing pediatric urgent care and women’s and children’s health. Prior to Kaiser Permanente, Avila-Kunkel worked as a senior clinical administrator for the Maternal Child and Adolescent Center at the University of Southern California. There she led operations for the outpatient clinic and research center providing services for HIV patients and their families. Avila-Kunkel then served as director of group operations, primary care for PIH Health where she was responsible for seven ambulatory primary care centers. 

Most recently, Avila-Kunkel was assistant medical group administrator for Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers which consists of 12 medical office buildings in San Bernardino County, California. She oversaw family medicine, internal medicine, and urgent care operations, and improved quality scores for primary care during her tenure. Additionally, she directed labor management partnerships, compliance, community and government relations, budgeting and fiscal management for the service area. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Avila-Kunkel led testing and vaccine operations, opening several testing and screening sites and developing processes to manage PPE supply.

“Maribel’s exceptional track record of partnering with physicians, leaders, and staff across multiple disciplines to execute transformational change will allow us to continue delivering affordable, high-quality care to our Hawaiʻi members,” said Greg Christian, Hawaiʻi Market president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “Her operational experience and institutional knowledge will guide medical offices and clinics across the state in providing a seamless, coordinated approach to care.”

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Avila-Kunkel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She was a post-baccalaureate candidate in biology at Columbia University and earned a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Southern California.

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