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.


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 2020?

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

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

Thur. June 25, 2020
3 PM

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 and hear from:

  • 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

This is already our fourth virtual Kōkua Mau meeting via zoom. We will also be hearing updates from participants about their experiences in the COVID-19 crisis. All are welcome.

Please register in advance to get the zoom details. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. PS: Please make sure you update to zoom 5.1 (zoom is very moody lately, if it is not up-to-date). More about that on our website zoom made easy.

June 2020: Zoom Made Easy Page

Most of the time zoom works like a charm, but there are a million things that can go wrong. Visit our Zoom Made Easy page, if you are looking for solutions.

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 Kokua 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

March 18, 2020 switched our Palliative Pupus this month to a virtual zoom meeting due to concerns about the spread of the Corona virus that can cause COVID-19.

Our March 26, 2020 Monthly Kōkua Mau Meeting will also go virtual 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. 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

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. 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. 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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Other Current Events:

Register here to receive free Kōkua Mau e-Newsletters with local and national updates and events.

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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