Kokua Mau Monthly Meetings

Please join us for our 2023 Kōkua Mau Monthly Virtual Meetings on Zoom

Please join us for our Virtual Monthly Meeting on zoom, to learn, laugh, mingle and network. Subscribe to our eNewsletter for the most up-to-date information and zoom log-ins. A recording of many of our meetings are available on our YouTube channel, in case you might have missed it.

Last Thursday of the month* from 3 to 5 pm (on zoom)

  • Each month we have updates about events in the community and one or more guest speakers.
  • Meetings are open to all.
  • Free Parking (See map at bottom of page.)
  • Each month’s topic is announced in our eNewsletter
  • Current meetings are listed under events on the right and in the calendar

* Please note that there are always months with five Thursdays. The meeting is on that last (5th) Thursday of that month (except November & December when we have a combined meeting after Thanksgiving).

Recordings of past monthly meetings

Examples of past Kōkua Mau Meeting agendas:

Agenda for March 2024: Death Studies

Our Virtual Monthly Meeting had presentations and an interactive conversation with

  • We are heard from Noelani Ahia will be joining us from Maui. Her topic: Grieving Lahaina: Past and Present. The intimate connection between ‘āina and Kānaka and the space needed to heal.

Agenda for September 29, 2021: Prognostication

Our very own Kōkua Mau Board president Dr. Daniel Fischberg will present about Prognostication

Estimating and communicating prognosis, while often challenging, is often an essential part of care for those living with serious illness. Patients, family members, and providers, all need good prognostic information on which to base important decisions. In this introductory presentation on the subject, we will cover the following learning objectives:

  • Describe aspects of prognostication
  • Review general guidance when discussing prognosis
  • List tools and special considerations for a variety of situations

Register here in advance. After registering, you immediately receive a confirmation email with details on how to join the zoom meeting.

Agenda for June 2020

What is happening with Advance Care Planning in the time of COVID-19 here in Hawai‘i?

National and local experts agree that advance care planning continues to be important to make sure that people’s wishes are known. Hear from our local experts on how they are approaching these conversations and what opportunities and challenges they encounter and hear from 6 local experts who presented at the June 25, 2020 Kōkua Mau Meeting. Hear from:

  • Jeannette Koijane, Executive Director, Kōkua Mau – A Movement to Improve Care Direct link to speaker click on the time: 00:45
  • Michelle Cantillo, Advance Care Planning Coordinator at Hawai‘i Pacific Health. Direct link to speaker click on the time: 2:48
  • Amy Hamane, Volunteer at Community First, Hilo 10:46
  • Susan Michihara, Interim Manager, Ambulatory Social Work at Kaiser Permanente 28:47
  • Lori Protzman, Advance Care Planning Coordinator at Queen’s Medical Center 48:28
  • Hope Young, Advance Care Planning Coordinator at Kōkua Mau 58:47

Agenda for January 2020: Please join us for the first Kōkua Mau meeting of 2020.  We will be celebrating lunar new year and be inspired by our guest Elizabeth Kent who will be talking about Successful Coping Techniques for Compassion Fatigue (also known as vicarious trauma.)  We know that many who care for others professionally and personally, can feel burnout and stress. Elizabeth will be talking about various techniques and how to design an action plan for resiliency.  Let’s start the new year by taking care of ourselves.  Please invite your colleagues and friends. 

You can read more about Elizabeth on her website: MeetingExpectationsHawaii.com

Agenda for March 2019: Ethical and Spiritual Wills: Getting Your Thoughts on Paper

“People die the way they live. So let’s practicing living consciously now.” — Holly Blue Hawkins

What are ethical and spiritual wills and why do they matter? Regardless of your age, it is always valuable and meaningful to consider the hopes, ideals, principles, and blessings that you want to leave as a legacy to your loved ones. Ethical and spiritual wills are the way you can do that. This session will get you started on creating yours. Our Guest Speaker is Holly Blue Hawkins, Last Respects Consulting, Santa Cruz, California.

Our meetings in person at our permanent meeting space are cancelled for the (un)foreseeable future

Please disregard the rest of this information below for now (April 2024)

NEW: We have set up a conference call for those who are unable to participate in person.  Conference Dial-in Number: (712) 775-7100; Participant Access Code 1079885#.

Please let us know ASAP if you will be calling in so we can get you the slides. We will most likely NOT be available to send you the slides on the day of the meeting.

Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin

Multi-purpose Room, downstairs
1727 Pali Highway
Honolulu, HI 96813

Many thanks to St. Francis for hosting for many years but their campus renovations means the meeting rooms are no longer available.

Please access to the temple campus is from driveway off Lusitana Street, not the Pali Highway.

There is plenty of free parking all around the buildings on the campus.

Take the first right on the Pali Highway after the merge with the H1 turn-off. Take a right on Lusitania and the driveway into the temple campus is to your right. There is a second entrance on the makai side, right after the bus stop, if you missed the first one.

We are grateful for the temple to invite us and host our meetings since 2018.

Kokua Mau monthly meeting at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. This is a photo of the temple.
Kokua Mau monthly meeting at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. This is a photo of the entrance to the meeting room.
Kokua Mau Meeting Room in 2019
Kokua Mau monthly meeting at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. This is a photo of the temple and the door to the meeting room in the basement of the temple
Kokua Mau Meeting Room 2019 – Downstairs
Kokua Mau monthly meeting at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin. This is a photo of the map on how to get there by car.

Agenda for July 2018: Laura Miner, Certified Thanatologist and End-of-Life Midwife, is a member of ADEC, Association for Death Education and Counseling and INELDA, International End-of-life Doula Association. In June, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the leading hospice and palliative care membership organization in the U.S., announced the formation of a Council to provide information and resources to its members, affiliated organizations, and the public regarding the role of end-of-life doulas. Please join Laura as she discusses the ‘Death Doulas’, her experience in April at the International Death Doula Training on Maui, and ‘Alive for Now: Using Death to Thrive in Life’, a workbook and educational tool written by her colleague and friend, Jessica Murby.

Agenda for April 2018: We are having a presentation by students from the Iolani Hospice Program.  These amazing high school students are trained to serve as hospice volunteers at the bedside of people at the end of life and have moving and profound stories to tell.  We’ll also be hearing updates from National Healthcare Decisions events, Oncology on Canvas, legislative updates and other happenings in the community.

Agenda for October 2017: Our own Michelle Cantillo, ACP Coordinator from Hawaii Pacific Health, will be giving us an update on their activities. HPH has been tracking Advance Directive and POLST completion as well as made important updates to their EMR. They have shown, for instance, an increase in ACP from 29% to 87% and an increase in POLST from 13% to 59% from 2009-2015. HPH has made Advance Care Planning a priority and gotten national attention for their work

Agenda for February 2017: Join us on Feb. 23 from 3-5pm at the Kōkua Mau monthly meeting when the topic will be Health Care Decisions Day and different ways you can use this national event to get conversations going in your facility and agency and in our community. Although the actual date in April 16, we encourage people to think about any date or dates around that time that work for you. You can also visit their website.

Agenda from December 3, 2015: Dr. Ritabelle Fernandes and Jody Mishan will be presenting about the new grant the UH Center on Aging has received on dementia and be asking for our feedback.

Additionally we will have a presentation on the Kaiser Permanente SWITCH program.
Presenters:  Aleza Matayoshi, MD, Continuing Care Physician, Medical Director; Medicare
Walt Schroeder, Pharm.D., BCPS, Director; Transition and Senior Care Strategy

SWITCH (Social Wellbeings’ Impact To Care & Health) is a care delivery movement to prioritize member preferences in medical care delivery.  The work centers around “knowing the member first and treating them second.”  Social Work Navigators are paired with frail, elderly members to learn about their priorities for care and what matters most to them.  Navigators facilitate interdisciplinary team discussions with the member’s primary care physician, nurse, pharmacist, and home health representatives to develop a comprehensive social and medical treatment plan.  This work also involves collaborating with community resources to transform the way healthcare partners with the community to support member wellness.

Agenda for January 29, 2015: Teacher Bob Kane and several Iolani students will be presenting about their hospice class, an elective for seniors which trains them as hospice volunteers to work with people in the final days of life.

We will have students attending to take questions and share their experiences to date. Francesca Pennino (Harley School Class of 2005) about the program: “Hospice class has taken the darkness, the invisibility of death away.  It has allowed me to look at death as a part of every being’s life and to see how beautiful it can, and should be for every person.  The program has allowed me to see the insurmountable importance of dying with dignity and has shown me how so many going through the dying process are not given this care.  The program has ignited in me an inextinguishable fire to help others, a passion that I cannot ever put into words nor will ever be satisfied. I am continually restless with the desire to reach out to others. The hospice program has truly opened my eyes to the incredible simplicity of doing just this. While big changes in the world may not come quickly, small changes are what bring us there, whether it be sitting with a dying woman, or holding a hand.”

Learn more about the upcoming e-book available with the film release.

Agenda for December 4, 2014: Robert Eubanks will be giving updates from HMSA’s supportive care program and the ACP Decisions videos project.

You can read more about these short videos at acpdecisions.org and contact Robert Eubanks at HMSA if you are interested in getting the videos for your facility.  HMSA is paying for the license for facilities across the state so there is no cost to you.

Agenda for March 27, 2014: This month Kōkua Mau’s own Jeannette Koijane, will be presenting about the POLST training she recently completed in California. Jeannette will be going through the 7 module curriculum and some new handouts to improve POLST conversations. We will also be having updates on our activities including plans for a community wide effort to increase conversations on Advance Care Planning.

Agenda for Sept. 16, 12013: This month Dr. Sheldon Riklon and Dr. Lauren Okamoto will be presenting on their research on Marshall Islanders’ attitudes towards death and dying. Dr. Riklon is Marshallese physician who currently practices in Hawaii but worked for many years in the Marshall Islands.  Both presenters currently work at JABSOM and are caring for Marshallese patients.  The results are very interesting and will hopefully provide some insights for those of you working with Marshallese people.  The presentation will include background information about the Marshall Islands (in case you didn’t know who to ask.)

Jeannette Koijane will present (including pictures) about the palliative care training she and Pat Nishimoto did in the Republic of the Marshall Islands in July 2013.

Agenda for August 29, 2013: Our speaker will be our own Kokua Mau board member Dr. Anna Loengard, Chief Medical Office of St. Francis Healthcare Systems.  Anna will be talking about (and showing drawings) of the plans for the facilities on Liliha.  Dr. Loengard will also be talking about a CMMI (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation) grant that they recently submitted on care for people with dementia.  They are proposing a very innovative model for improved care that would be filling an important niche. There will also be a chance for other updates and lively discussion (as always.)

Agenda for Sept. 27, 2012
: In the next meeting the Pain and Palliative Care Program team from Queen’s Medical Center will be presenting about their different programs and initiatives to improve care in their facility. We will also be discussing how POLST is being integrated in EMR systems (PDF or not) and the importance of advance directives in light of the high profile case in the media.

Agenda for the Thur. June 28, 2012: Meeting:
Come and join us at the next Kokua Mau meeting. Kokua Mau member and local author Lani Leary, PhD will be presenting about her work at our next meeting.  She will share with us her recently published book: No One Has To Die Alone – Preparing for a Meaningful Death. Lani is a psychotherapist and professor of death studies. She has written an extraordinarily clear-eyed and helpful guide for those who must care for a dying loved one, an almost unavoidable and challenging situation. Come and learn more.  All are welcome.

Agenda for October 25, 2012: At the next Kōkua Mau meeting, we will be discussing the upcoming presentation by Dr. Angelo Volandes as well as updates of activities.

Additionally we will have a special guest presenting:  
Rev. John Lunn, RN is a visiting consultant in palliative care in India and Africa. He spent nearly 7 years in India and 3 years in Liberia. His new assignment will be in Tanzania.

Before he embarks on his new journey, from the 1st week of October. He will spend three months in Honolulu.

Agenda for the May 31, 2012 Meeting:
: Deborah J. Whisnand, Executive Director of Pacific Health Ministry will present at this month’s meeting. Welcome Pacific Health Ministry our newest Kokua Mau Member! Pacific Health Ministry is a spiritual service agency founded in 1986 by the religious and health care communities to provide spiritual care and education in health care institutions and the general community.  PHM utilizes the unique multi-cultural content of Hawaii as a means of understanding ministry.  PHM provides the spiritual care services and Professional Chaplains at twelve of Hawaii’s major residential and health care institutions.  As the only organization in Hawaii accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, PHM trains clergy and qualified laypersons.  Clinical Pastoral Education teaches Ministry Formation, Spiritual Care, Crisis Counseling and Institutional Ministry Practice for persons pursuing certification as Professional Chaplains.

January 2012 Monthly meeting: John Grant from the Executive Office on Aging presented about the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) including the program to reduce hospital readmissions.

Elizabeth Bethea, County Executive on Aging, Elderly Affairs Division, joined us as well to talk about her experiences with this program.  This is a new resource that will hopefully be of benefit to those you care for.

Anna Loengard presented about developing a business model for integrating palliative care through/across systems which is relevant as St. Francis expands their service this year. This is in preparation for a national presentation she will be making.