Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

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.

  • Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support.
  • Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis.
  • This care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.

Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC, 2019)

Palliative Care is sometimes referred to as Supportive or Concurrent Care, and provides strong support for individuals and their loved ones with a serious illness or condition, or have complex health issues. It is not the same as hospice care, and individuals using this benefit can continue to receive curative treatments as desired. Comfort-directed services are focused to help people manage the symptoms and stresses of serious illness. Contact your health plan for further details on this beneficial service.

This video animation compares palliative care to the foundation of a bridge. While illness may weaken the foundation, the palliative care team provides a stronger layer of support. Watch more videos at GetPalliativeCare

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 on our YouTube channel.

Mapping Palliative Care in Hawai‘i

In order to map palliative care across Hawaii, a survey was conducted from January to July 2020 to determine the availability of in-patient, out-patient and community based options. Read the report from July 2020

Palliative Care Summit 2020

Our very successful Palliative Care Summit in April 2020 brought key stakeholders together for an overview of the current state of palliative care in Hawai‘i.


Hospital-based (Inpatient) Palliative Care Programs

  • Castle Medical Center: 808-263-5253
  • Kaiser Permanente: 808-432-7100
  • Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children (ask for palliative care consult): 808-983-6000
  • Maui Memorial Medical Center, Palliative Care Coordinator: 808-442-5801
  • North Hawaii Community Hospital: 808-885-4444
  • Pali Momi Medical Center (ask for palliative care consult): 808-486-6000
  • Straub Medical Center: (ask for palliative care consult): 808-522-4000
  • The Queen’s Medical Center: 808-691-4726
  • Wilcox Medical Center (ask for palliative care consult): 808-245-1100

Community-Based (Outpatient) Palliative Care Programs

  • HMSA Case Management Program: toll free 1-844-378-9997 or 808-948-5377
  • Humana and UnitedHealthcare toll free 1-800-851-7110 or 808-532-6989
  • Kaiser Permanente: 808-432-8046
  • Kupu Care by Hawaii Care Choices (Hilo): 808-934-2913
  • Kōkua Kalihi Valley Home-based Palliative Care Services: 808-791-9410
  • Palliative Medicine Partners (Kaua‘i Hospice): 808-245-7277
  • St. Francis Palliative Care 808-595-7566
  • UHA Comfort Care: toll free 1-800-458-4600 #300 or 808-532-4006

All hospice providers offer Community-Based Palliative Care, also known as Supportive or Concurrent Care. Contact your preferred hospice directly for more information.


Two health plans offer in-home palliative care programs – UHA and HMSA.  UHA’s program is called ‘Comfort Care‘ toll free 1-800-458-4600 #300 or 808-532-4006.

Supportive Care‘ is HMSA’s palliative care benefit. The goal for this Benefit is to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. Typical goals of care would be to prevent or treat symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment.

Under the supportive care benefit, an HMSA member receives comprehensive clinical and psycho-social support while maintaining their usual care. Typically, supportive care includes skilled nursing, case management, psycho-social support, personal care aid and spiritual support. Additionally, most durable medical equipment and comfort medications related to the supportive care diagnosis are covered. Supportive care providers are available by phone or in-person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All hospices in Hawaii provide Supportive Care teams . Please contact the hospice directly to learn more or schedule an appointment. See full listing of all Hospice Providers.

For more information: Palliative Care Resources for Hawai‘i compiled by Kokua Mau

National Web site