Welcome to Kōkua Mau

Kōkua Mau is Hawaii’s trusted resource for accurate information on advance care planning (ACP) as well as hospice and palliative care. (Kōkua Mau means ‘Continuous Care‘ in Hawaiian.)

Collaborating since 1999, we are a network of organizations and individuals we bring to the forefront meaningful, thoughtful and sensitive conversations on improving care and support for those with serious illness. We are viewed as a thought leader working to ensure that every individual has the right to quality care throughout their lives, especially at the end of life. We advocate for quality palliative and hospice care within the medical and legislative communities in Hawaii.

Our goal is to create a community in which advance care planning conversations are the norm. We are fostering a movement to change social norms in Hawai‘i regarding conversations and decisions around serious illness and end-of-life care, and to provide all individuals and communities with greater choice and control regarding their quality of life. We do not focus on the end of life, but rather the quality of life.

Advance care planning can take place years before an illness or crisis occurs and is the first part of the continuum of planning for one’s legacy wishes.

We hope that you will find useful Hawaii-focused information and resources on hospice, palliative care, end-of-life care, POLST and Advance Care Planning for yourself, your loved ones and those you care for.

In our Tool Kit you find all Kōkua Mau materials (as PDF files) in one place are.

Kōkua Mau’s vision is a community where: the people of Hawai‘i are treated with dignity, compassion and love throughout their lives.

To make that vision a reality, Kōkua Mau’s mission is: to weave a lei of caregiving and support so that the people of Hawai‘i facing serious illness can live in the place of their choice, with relief of pain and suffering and according to their values, beliefs and traditions.

– What’s New in 2019? –

Dia De Los Muertos – Free Family Event

Saturday Nov. 2 for a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration.

Thank you to all who to attended this interactive, fun family event. We had several art projects, including making an ofrenda and decorating skull cookies. We had good Mexican food and great music. Thank you to our sponsor: Borthwick Mortuary. More and map

Sat. Nov. 2 10am- 2pm
Church of the Crossroads

Legislative Briefing on Hospice

Kōkua Mau invited you to join us:
Wed Sept. 11
Hawaii State Capitol – Room: 329

We had a unique opportunity to learn from and talk with two of the most knowledgeable experts in the country on Hospice regulation, compliance, policy, and advocacy. Find out more about the legislative briefing.

Register early: Nov. 11, 2019 – The Fine Art & Science of Pain and Palliative Care

Please join us for this excellent home grown Queen’s Medical Center conference. Information and registration details on our webpage

Trainings in an all-islands collaboration with the Hawaii Catholic Conference

With our Let’s Talk Story Program we want to meet people where they work, play or pray.

We are happy to announce that in collaboration with the Hawaii Catholic Conference we are participating in their 11 trainings on all islands about the importance of the conversation and Advance Health Care Directives as well as the benefits of hospice and palliative care. These events are the culmination of months of planning and collaboration with Fr. Mark Gantley, Eva Andrade and Kokua Mau’s own Joy Yadao.

All sessions are open to the public for all adults, age 18 and older. For a complete listing of dates and location, please visit our webpage, calendar or Download the PDF of all 11 trainings on all islands.

O‘ahu: Saturday, October 5
Tuesday, November 12
Thursday, November 21
Hawai‘i Island: Thursday, October 3
Saturday, November 23

July 17 & 18

We hosted “Overcoming the Challenges of Community-Based Palliative Care“, a live-streamed palliative care conference, brought with the generous support of Gary Simon, Chaminade University and Kōkua Mau.

July 2, 2019:

Governor Ige signed the Support Palliative Care SB 804 on July 2, 2019 at the Governor’s chambers!!

Governor Ige Signing the Support Palliative Care SB 804 in Hawaii
Signing the Support Palliative Care SB 804 in Hawaii

Great news and thank you to everyone who wrote supportive testimony. Many thanks to Senator Baker, Representative Belatti and Representative Mizuno for their support in shepherding the bill through.

Palliative Care SB 804

This legislative session two bills focused on Palliative Care moved through both houses of the state legislature. This bill is a collaboration with Kōkua Mau, the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN) and the Department of Health. More

January 2, 2019

The Our Care, Our Choice Act (OCOCA) is a Hawaii law that permits terminally ill adult patients with the capacity to make medical decisions and who meet certain other conditions to be prescribed an aid-in-dying medication. The law went into effect on January 1, 2019. Hawaii is the seventh jurisdiction to enact such a law. Kōkua Mau created a webpage with an overview of the Our Care, Our Choice Act, including information for patients and families and Frequently Asked Questions for Providers. Kōkua Mau is a neutral source for information on the new law.

 Our Care Our Choice Act in Hawaii  

 OCOCA Information for Providers

OCOCA Information for Patients and Families   

DOH webpage: Patients, Family Members, and Care Support Resources

Listen to the webinars: The California Experience or Web-based training: End-of-Life Care Options in Hawai’i

December 2018

New webpage: Remember: Everyone needs an Advance Health Care Directive – Not Everyone needs a POLST

November 18, 2018

Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation 2018 Community Service Award
Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation 2018 Community Service Award

Kōkua Mau was presented with the 2018 Community Service Award by the Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation to Jeannette Koijane, Kōkua Mau’s own Executive Director. more

October 2018

Kōkua Mau is happy to announce an updated printing of the 16 page booklet “Advance Care Planning: Making Life Decisions”. Thank you all for being a part of our movement to improve care, and special thanks to Mountain Pacific for your sponsorship in this endeavor. More

August 2018: Free webinar: Preparing for Medical Aid in Dying: Perspectives and lessons from California

Our colleagues at the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, a sister organization to Kōkua Mau, shared their experiences and suggestions as Hawai‘i moves towards a January 1, 2019 start date for our law. The laws are very similar and their experiences are very relevant. They shared data from the first two years, information on provider and community education as well as the experiences from a Kaiser physician that is assisting in implementing the law in their region. A link to the webinar recording.

July 2018:

As part of our longstanding cooperation with The Conversation Project, these two new resources are now available with a co-branded version listing Kōkua Mau as a local resource for Hawai‘i. (more)

  • How to Talk to Your Doctor 12-page PDF file
  • How to Choose a Health Care Agent & How to Be a Health Care Agent 16-page PDF file

We hosted once again the Virtual Conference “Turning Points – Mastering Transitions in Care” on July 18 & 19 – more

Kōkua Mau awarded 2nd year of funding from Stupski Family Fund

We are very pleased to announce that Kōkua Mau has been awarded a second year of funding for “Improving Care and Support for those with Serious Illness” from the Stupski Family Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation.  We are very grateful to the Stupski Family Fund for their vote of confidence in the work of Kōkua Mau. The grant allows us to build on the work that we collectively have accomplished over the last 18 years, and further expand our reach and impact across the state.

We have heard from you, our members, and others in the community that there is a unfilled need for more advance care planning conversations to occur long before people develop a serious illness or are in a crisis. We will be using the grant to reach out to the community where people work, live and pray with the support of Hope Young, our Advance Care Planning Coordinator, and our Let’s Talk Story Program (Speakers Bureau).

March 2018: Research Completed: Hawaii Resident Perceptions of Advance Care Planning

We contracted with Ward Research to conduct telephone surveys and focus groups of Hawaii residents to learn about their attitudes towards conversations with doctors, families and completion of advance care documents. This research was made possible with a grant from the Stupski Family Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation. The results are very interesting, showing people in Hawaii are having conversations but there is a long way to go. More and PDF files of both reports.

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⇒ Let’s Talk Story Program: Kōkua Mau wants to get our community talking about wishes for care at the end of life. Our new Let’s Talk Story Program will go out to community organizations, churches and temples with our free, 2-hour interactive sessions facilitated by Kōkua Mau’s trained experts. Option 2 is a free screening of ‘Being Mortal’.

⇒ Translations of key Kōkua Mau Advance Care Planning materials: The multilingual resources are intended as tools to help members of our community with limited English proficiency. As is common with such complicated issues, these documents do not replace a one-on-one conversation, sometimes with the help of an interpreter, to walk people through the decisions they have to make for themselves or their loved ones. Two ways to access the multilingual PDF files:

  • By Language: Click on the language link for all resources available in that language. We will add selected materials in the language (such as the Conversation Starter Kit) when we become aware of it.
  • By Document: Just click on the “multilingual” link for e.g. POLST and you find all the languages available for POLST on one webpage.

We want to thank all the volunteers who have dedicated countless hours reviewing documents and giving us feedback. It has been a herculean task but our community project is finally a reality thanks to all of you that helped us with your expertise.

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Other Current Events:

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Kōkua Mau’s vision is a community where: the people of Hawai‘i are treated with dignity, compassion and love throughout their lives.

To make that vision a reality, Kōkua Mau’s mission is: to weave a lei of caregiving and support so that the people of Hawai‘i facing serious illness can live in the place of their choice, with relief of pain and suffering and according to their values, beliefs and traditions.

Kōkua Mau depends on donations and annual membership fees to carry on with our work. Please help us improve quality of life for people living with serious illness or at the end of life here in Hawaii. This is a community wide effort that needs everyone’s support.

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