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. All Kōkua Mau materials (as PDF files) in one place are in the Tool Kit.

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? –

November 18, 2018

Kōkua Mau was presented with the 22018 Community Service Award by the Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation to Jeannette Koijane, Kōkua Mau’s own Executive Director. more

October 2018

The October meeting will now be held on November 1. The topic is “A Caring Community: Jewish Rituals for End of Life” and the presenters will be Rabbi Ken Aronowitz and Alice Lachman. more

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

September 2018:

All workshops on Moloka‘i originally planned for September are rescheduled for December 13-15, 2018 due to Hurricane warnings.

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).

We are using the baseline research that Kōkua Mau commissioned last year to better understand and validate attitudes on advance care planning to inform our work. Read more about the results, including the PDF file. One of our key projects will be developing a brand new, innovative workplace wellness module to facilitate conversations in the workplace and in faith communities.

The grant also allows us to create a fund development campaign so that we can increase funding for greater impact and reach. Finally, with the support of various partners, we are researching meaningful and relevant data to further assess our impact in the community.  Please let us know if you have any questions or want to be involved.

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

Kōkua Mau Membership Drive 2018

Your support is what makes Kōkua Mau possible. Thank you for your membership. Now is a good time to renew or join Kōkua Mau and support the movement to improve care for people facing serious illness.

January 2018: We are happy and honored to welcome two new Board Members

Tori Abe Carapelho, President and CEO, Hospice Hawaii and Holly Davis, Executive Director, St. Francis Hospice. Read more about these new members. What’s New Prior to 2018

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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 – more – 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:

Kōkua Mau Materials:

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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.

Join Kōkua Mau
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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