Welcome to Kōkua Mau

Kōkua Mau is a Movement to Improve Care for those with serious illness and their loved ones. We are Hawaii’s trusted resource for accurate information on Advance Care Planning (ACP) including Advance Directives and POLST, palliative care, which provides relief from the symptoms and stress of illness, and hospice care which provides the best care possible at the end of life. (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: 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, including 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.

We hope that you will find useful Hawai‘i-focused information and resources for yourself, your loved ones and those you care for.

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. To make this possible Advance Directives and POLST are key documents and our Let’s Talk Story Program is available for public and professional education.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. 

Hospice is specialized care which focuses on the needs of the person and loved ones in the last weeks and months of life and is seen as best care possible for those at the end of life.

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

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 2021?

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

October 2021

September 2021

Instagram Campaign launched: Palliative Care – Care The Way It Should Be

Our project goal is to answer the question, “Can social media be an effective tool in encouraging the public to seek more information on Palliative Care as an option for themselves or their loved ones?” Our Palliative Care, Care The Way It Should Be, public awareness campaign launches this week on Instagram.

We encourage you to follow us @Kokua.Mau and hope you will click like, share, and repost our content on your accounts. Follow Kōkua Mau’s first Instagram account, and the LinkTree for clickable links in the bio. Details on our webpage.


Thur 8/26 “Watch Your Mouth! Three Problems of Language in Palliative Care”

In our August meeting we welcomed Jennifer Moore Ballentine in person. We heard Jennifer present recently at a national conference and we are honored and pleased that she has agreed to present to Kokua Mau. Recording on our YouTube Channel.


Wed. 8/18: 21 Gun Salute: The military culture and traditions surrounding death

Kōkua Mau’s own Dr. Pat Nishimoto discussed Military Culture on zoom in the context of caring for veterans. Dr. Nishimoto has decades of experience as an oncology nurse specialist with Tripler Army Medical Center and is a nationally known teacher. Email Dr. Joseph Eppink for more information. A recording of the presentation is nowavailable on YouTube


7/29 Focusing on Transformation: the 2021 Virtual Conference from NHPCO, AAHPM and HPNA

We watched the streamed conference together. The conference organizers, NHPCO, AAHPM and HPNA, recognized the profound and historic impact of the global health pandemic. That is why the 2021 Virtual Conference is focused on transformation. More


6/22 & 23 our Virtual Summit Working Together: Forging the Future of Serious Illness Care

Kōkua Mau collaborated with our partners in California and Arizona on a virtual summit for those working to improve care for those with serious illness. Our partner the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) maintains the dedicated website for the Annual Summit. More


6/26 Hawaii MedQuest Palliative Care Summit

We solicited your feedback on a future, first-of-its kind, palliative care benefit for MedQUEST members at our historic Virtual Palliative Care Summit. A MedQUEST palliative care benefit could significantly improve how we in Hawai’i care for some of our most complex and seriously ill family, friends, and neighbors. Recording available. More


May 2021: Update on POLST nationally, new documents and the national POLST Form

In our May meeting we welcomed Amy Vandenbroucke, Executive Director for National POLST, with her presentation about what is happening with POLST nationally, including new guidance documents and the new National POLST form. Watch the recording on our YouTube Channel.


Communication skills for talking about COVID vaccines 

As you may communicate about vaccination issues, this is a good resource from our colleagues at VitalTalk. Their newest supplement to the COVID-Ready Communication Playbook addresses communication skills for talking about COVID vaccines. https://www.vitaltalk.org/guides/communication-skills-for-the-covid-vaccine/. Details on our COVID-19 page.

In 2020, The Conversation Project updated their Starter Kits and developed new Starter Guides to support and encourage people to have ‘The Conversation’ about what matters most. These newly revised Starter Guides have been thoughtfully curated and edited by Conversation Project Champions across the nation who regularly use The Conversation Project Materials. See the new versions here:

  • Download the new Your Conversation Starter Guide
  • Download the new Your Guide to Choosing a Health Care Agent

April 2021: An Update on Hawaii’s Our Care Our Choice Act

Our April 2021 Kōkua Mau meeting features an update on the Our Care Our Choice Act in Hawaii after the first 2 years by five presenters. Presenters: Laura Arcibal, HI Dept of Health, Jodi Shaw, Kaiser Permanente, Michelle Cantillo, Hawaii Pacific Health, Erin Hamilton, Bristol Hospice, Caryn Ireland, Consultant with Compassion & Choices. Watch the recording with time code for each presenter at ‘show more’ in our YouTube channel.


March 2021: Innovations in Palliative Care

Our partners at Hawaii Care Choices are providing high quality palliative care in their rural community through a series of innovations in Hilo, Hawaii. Our Monthly Meeting in March 2021 is a talk-story session with Lani Weigert, Community Relations Manager and Cara Sadira, Community Liaison implementing the programs and experiencing first hand the real change happening. Watch the video Innovations in Palliative Care.


Making Decisions Regarding Mortuaries in Hawaii

Making decisions involving mortuaries is never an easy task. This list of current costs – from mortuaries on all islands in Hawai‘i – for cremation, burial, funeral services, caskets and cremation urns, can help to simplify the decision process.


‘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. This page is updated frequently.


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.


Events from 2020 More


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
►  I want my organization to join Kōkua Mau