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2019 Update: We relocated this page. Please visit our page Legislative Agenda for the latest news

June 30, 2014 Congratulations to all of us!

We are happy to report the POLST legislation to expand signing privileges to APRNs was signed June 30, 2014 by Governor Neil Abercrombie, effective on July 1, 2014 as Act 154!!

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make this possible especially Senator Roz Baker who introduced the bill and Senator Josh Green and Representative Della Au Belatti who helped move it through the process.

The Kōkua Mau POLST Task Force is made up of Drs. Cherylee Chang and Daniel Fischberg, Queen’s Medical Center; Dr. Libby Char; Ken Zeri, Hospice Hawaii; Keith Ridley, DOH; and Jeannette Koijane, Kōkua Mau.  Additionally we had great support from Malia Espinda, QMC, and Kathleen Yokouchi and Valisa Saunders, Hawaii State Center for Nursing and the expert advice from Jim Pietsch, Director, University of Hawaiʻi Elder Law Program.

There was support for the legislation from a wide variety of organizations who submitted supportive testimony and attended hearings throughout the process including Healthcare Association of Hawaii, The Queen’s Medical Center, Hawaii Pacific Health, HMSA, The Department of Health, the Executive Office on Aging, UHA, the Hawaii Association of Health Plans, the Hawaii Association of Professional Nurses, Hawaii State Rural Health Association, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, UH Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, Maui County Office on Aging, Hawaii Medical Association, Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency, Lanai Community Health Center, and a cadre of individual well-spoken nurses, many of whom are Kōkua Mau members.

While the ‘old’ POLST forms with the word ‘physician orders’ are still valid we recommend that you only use the new POLST form after July 1, 2014. (It has a new added section E and quite a few wording changes or clarifications.)

We are updated the website and support materials.  We have training materials, so if you are interested in a POLST training, please contact us.

February 2014

This year we at Kōkua Mau have been working with Sen. Roz Baker, Sen. Josh Green and other policy advocates to introduce a bill that will expand signing privileges for POLST to include APRNs. The bill will also clear up some inconsistent legal language.

We have had great response to the bill. It is in both the governor’s legislative package and the Kupuna Caucus legislative package. We hope that you can provide supportive testimony for both bills. Both bills are moving forward and now (mid-February) will be heard by the Judiciary Committees on both sides.  Yes, you must submit testimony for each committee but can submit the same one again.

Reminder on the process: 
In order to submit testimony, you can go to the Hawaii State Legislature Page, register for a free account on the top right and then search for bill HB2052 (and SB 2227).  There is blue button to push to submit testimony.  You can also follow our link.

To clarify: There are two bills – one from the House and one from the Senate, with exactly the same wording.  The House bill is HB2052 and the Senate bill is SB2227.  You can sign up on the Hawaii State Legislature page to receive updates on the bills.

We hope that you will support this bill and feel free to contact Jeannette Koijane if you have any questions.  We would also like copies of the testimony you submit.

December 2012

Palliative Care: An Underutilized Resource in Cancer Survivorship and Improving Quality of Life for People with Cancer.

Kōkua Mau, Hawaii Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has successfully collaborated with the Hawaii Cancer Control Programs since 2005.  To learn how other states collaborate with organizations providing hospice and palliative care, Kōkua Mau conducted a survey in September 2009. The results are presented in this 20-page report from Nov. 2011 (PDF).  –more

Kōkua Mau awarded 2 grants in January 2009

Climbing Higher: Organizational Capacity Building Grant

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation has awarded Kōkua Mau an Organizational Capacity Building grant. The Climbing Higher grant will allow Kokua Mau to expand and strengthen the scope of our work and help us to achieve our mission that all people in Hawai‘i will receive good end-of-life care.

The grant has three parts:

  1. Build Strategic Relationships. Through a survey of stakeholder needs and interests, Kōkua Mau will better understand our constituents. This will allow Kōkua Mau to provide improved programs and services and increase its membership base.
  2. Resource Development. In order to better understand and cater to the educational needs of our constituents, Kōkua Mau will research and develop relevant resources. This might provide new revenue for Kōkua Mau.
  3. Evaluation and Impact. We need to develop methods to measure the clinical and non-clinical impact of our work.

Because Kōkua Mau is an umbrella organization for organizations and individuals invested in hospice, the impact of these grants will be felt throughout the state. The ultimate effect will be increased healthcare capacity throughout the community, improved care for people living with serious illness and their loved ones, more effective options to better utilize scarce resources and a true continuum of care from birth through death in Hawai‘i.

Improving Professional Education, Sustaining Support (IMPRESS) and Care Project for work in Long Term Care Facilities

The Hawai‘i Chamber of Commerce has awarded Kōkua Mau a grant to improve palliative care capacity in long term care facilities through tailored educational trainings and developing supportive networks. The IMPRESS and Care Project addresses an important gap in the current healthcare system: a shortage of beds in long term care facilities. According to the Long Term Care Association, the problem could be addressed by building the capacity of staff to provide quality palliative care to residents: The goals of the project are to prevent hospital readmissions, decrease hospital stays, and improve quality treatment and care of people living with serious or chronic illnesses.

Kōkua Mau will conduct a needs assessment of O‘ahu LTC facilities, develop and deliver tailored courses and materials and evaluate the program for replicability to other venues.

If you would like to help with these efforts, please contact us