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.)

Our COVID-19 Resources Page provides up-to-date information, webinars, guidelines and materials helpful for our members and supporters.

Thank you to all of our amazing health care professionals and your incredible contributions in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

A lei from Honolulu's Lei Day May 1st

Collaborating since 1999, Kōkua Mau – A Movement to Improve Care as 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 Hawai‘i.

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 (ACP) 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 Hawai‘i-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.

A lei from Honolulu's Lei Day

– What’s New in 2020?

Our COVID-19 Resources Page provides up-to-date information, webinars, guidelines and materials helpful for our members and supporters.

Kokua Mau (Virtual) Monthly Meeting Sept 2020 – Special TFT Presentation

Are you looking for innovative ways to address and deal with stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic? At our virtual Kōkua Mau Meeting, joins us for hands-on (zoom) presentation about TFT or Thought Field Therapy with Dr. Caroline Sakai. More details or watch the recording of the meeting.

Funerals & Memorials are very different these days. What are new ways to grieve, mourn, comfort and honor?

How are we supporting people in our community whose loved ones have died but are not able to go to funerals or memorials in a usual way because of the pandemic? In Hawai‘i, about 1,000 people die a month so nearly 6,000 people have died since gathering restrictions began impacting 10s of 1000s of people have not been able to grieve, mourn and comfort each other.

Watch our (Virtual) Kōkua Mau Monthly Meeting from August 27, 2020:

Learn about what is happening in our community and strategize about solutions. Click on the time code below to jump directly to a specific presentation on our YouTube channel.

  1. 0:03 Context and introductions
    by Jeannette Koijane, Executive Director, Kōkua Mau
  2. 03:15 Military rituals in the time of COVID by Patricia W. Nishimoto, DNS, FAAN, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Tripler Army Medical Center
  3. 12:01 What resources are available? Support groups and extra support in the time of COVID? by Valerie Payton MA, LCSW, Bereavement Social Worker, Home Hospice, St. Francis Community Health Services
  4. 35:39 What are mortuaries seeing in these times when no one can come together – by Pete Dilwith, Pete Dilwith, CFSP, CPC, CCO, VP of Operations, Mililani Memorial Park & Mortuary.
  5. 54:42 Clarence Liu, Retired chaplain (navian), local boy

September 2020: ‘Zoom Made Easy Page’ updated

Most of the time zoom works like a charm, but there are a million things that can go wrong (if you did not update to the latest version). Visit our Zoom Made Easy page, if you are looking for solutions.

Palliative Care Summit 2020 recording

Our very successful Palliative Care Summit on April 25, 2020 brought key stakeholders together for an overview of the current state of palliative care in Hawai‘i, with focus on:

Our 121 participants represented a diverse array of stakeholders including health plans, health systems, hospices, higher education, state and county government, and non-profits (including AARP and American Cancer Society). Participants from all counties included doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, community advocates and administrators. See our

July 30th Mapping Palliative Care in the State of Hawai‘i

  • Where is palliative care available in Hawai‘i?
  • How many people are receiving palliative care and in what settings?
  • What are the gaps and opportunities for improving palliative care?

This is the first time that we have done a statewide mapping project or calculated how much palliative care is being provided where and what the gaps are. View the recording

Chelsea Hirano presented the results of her research over the last 6 months looking at in-patient, out-patient and community based settings. Chelsea is a graduate nursing student in community health at UH Nursing. This is the first time this type of research has been done in Hawai‘i.

What is happening with Advance Care Planning in the time of COVID-19?

National and local experts agree that advance care planning continues to be important to make sure that people’s wishes are known. Here from our local experts on how they are approaching these conversations and what opportunities and challenges they encounter. Join us for our monthly virtual meeting Thursday June 25. Watch the YouTube Video recording.

  • Michelle Cantillo, Advance Care Planning Coordinator at Hawai‘i Pacific Health
  • Amy Hamane, Volunteer at Community First, Hilo
  • Susan Michihara, Interim Manager, Ambulatory Social Work at Kaiser Permanente
  • Lori Protzman, Advance Care Planning Coordinator at Queen’s Medical Center
  • Hope Young, Advance Care Planning Coordinator at Kōkua Mau

April 30, 2020, NPR, Morning Edition: Coronavirus Disrupts Hard Decisions About End-Of-Life Treatment

The coronavirus means more people are dying alone in ICUs. Families are having to make abrupt decisions at a distance about terminal care. Palliative care specialists try to adapt. Listen to the 4 minute NPR program.

April 12, 2020: Kokua Line: Naming a health-care proxy more important than ever

Read the interview with Kōkua Mau’s own Dr. Daniel Fischberg and Jeannette Koijane in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Kokua Line, by Christine Donnely from April 12, 2020. All COVID-19 coverage has free access at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

April 2020: Let’s make Personal Protection Equipment for Hawaii

March 18, 2020: We created a COVID-19 Resources page. In a fast changing world, please visit this page frequently as we add resources.

As of 3/18 the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) has made its resources available for free to the public. Please check out their tailor made: CAPC COVID-19 Response Resources toolklit including crisis communication and symptom management protocols for all clinicians, and guidance to help palliative care teams address high levels of volume and stress during a crisis.

What’s in the Toolkit

  • Communication Tips
  • Symptom Management Protocols
  • Palliative Care Team Tools
  • Telehealth
  • Patient and Family Support Resources from the CDC
  • Medicare COVID-19 Waivers
  • Federal COVID-19 Guidance
  • Setting-Specific Guidance
  • Role of Palliative Care

Since March 2020 we switched our Palliative Pupus to a virtual zoom meeting due to concerns about the spread of the Corona virus that can cause COVID-19.

Since March 26, 2020 all Monthly Kōkua Mau Meetings are virtual via zoom. More

Third lei for Lei Day in Honolulu, Hawaii

– 2019 Highlights –

Nov 2, Dia De Los Muertos – Free Family Event

Thank you to all who to attended this interactive, fun family event. More and map

Legislative Briefing on Hospice

Kōkua Mau invited you to join us: on Sept. 11, 2019 at the Hawai‘i State Capitol. 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.

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

Queen’s Medical Center excellent home grown conference.

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. In collaboration with the Hawaii Catholic Conference we participated in 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. For a complete listing of dates and location, please visit our webpage.

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 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. This bill is a collaboration with Kōkua Mau, the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN) and the Department of Health. More

Jan. 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

2018 Highlights and Events

Useful documents

Everyone needs an Advance Health Care Directive – Not Everyone needs a POLST

⇒ 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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Ongoing 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.

►  I want to join Kōkua Mau as an individual member
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