Caring the Pacific Way: Palliative Care and Cancer Survivorship

From April 22-24, 2009, Kokua Mau collaborated on an innovative, community-based participatory course titled “Caring the Pacific Way: Palliative Care and Cancer Survivorship”  held at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). Kokua Mau created the palliative care content for the course, providing speakers, materials and technical assistance.

Our amazing team from Kokua Mau includes:  Dr. Emese Sogyi-Zalud, Dr. Rae Seitz, Joy Yadao, Pat Nishimoto, Ken Lee, Joan Foley, Clarence Liu, JP Sabathhi, Ritabelle Fernandes and Riano Nazareth.  Many thanks to the American Cancer Society and Lani Almanza for their help in organizing the evening reception.

Participants represented all ten jurisdictions of the US Associated Pacific Islands. Included were the comprhensive cancer control coordinators along with representatives from the Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands, cancer survivors, clinicians, outreach workers and others involved in health and cancer prevention and control in the Pacific.

The course will generate a new curriculum on palliative care and on community cancer education for the US Associated Pacific Islands.  This curriculum can then be used for other audiences as Kokua Mau expands its educational offerings.  In addition it will assist the jurisdictions prepare strategies for introducing hospice care, as currently hospice is only available in Guam, not in any other jurisdictions, despite the recognized urgent need for home and community-based hospice care throughout the region.

By improving the delivery of palliative care, providing the region with resources to improve health education on non-communicable diseases such as cancer, and helping to develop hospice programs in the region, this workshop also helps to stem the flow to Hawaii of patients from the region seeking medical care in Hawaii’s hospitals, addressing a problem that the state of Hawaii has recognized but has not found the resources to address.

This course is the first in several curricula that are being developed to enable Kokua Mau to provide training to our constituents and others who request it.

This course contributes to JABSOM’s mission of improving healthcare in the Pacific region and the school’s commitment to eliminate disparities in health.
This workshop is being prepared by Kokua Mau,  the Cancer Information Service of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, and the Pacific Center of Excellence in the Elimination of Disparities of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, JABSOM (Pacific CEED).

To download the final program of the workshop please click here

Acknowledgement: Funding for this Caring the Pacific Way was made possible by the cooperative agreement number 5U58DP000976-2 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specifically the REACH US project. The views expressed in the workshop and by Kokua Mau do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of Kokua Mau imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.