On Aug. 20, Hospice of Hilo’s Pohai Malama a Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Care Center admitted its first patient. The new 14,140-square-foot, state-of-the-art, care center is the first of its kind on a neighbor island and designed to be a home-like setting while providing the highest quality compassionate care to anyone in the community facing a life-limiting illness.
“It’s really about being there for people, helping them to live as fully as possible,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO Brenda S. Ho.
It has been a long road for Hospice of Hilo with initial planning beginning in 2004, an official groundbreaking blessing in 2010 and completion of the building in 2012.
Prior to opening the care center’s doors to the community, Hospice of Hilo, as it does with its home care program, took the time to select just the right staff members to fulfill the task of meeting the end-of-life needs of those needing inpatient hospice care.
“The care center nurses come from all walks of health care background; pediatric oncology nursing, ICU nursing, long term care nursing, but the common thread for all of them is providing palliative care, that comfort and support needed by our patients,” said Clinical Manager Misae Wela.
According to care center nurse, Michael Stevens, “The orientation process we went through was the most in-depth I’ve had in my 30 years of nursing. Misae was brilliant in helping us develop as a team not through our technical training, but by getting to know each other as people first rather than by what role we would be playing.”
“We’re incredibly grateful to the community for helping us raise over $9.6 million of our overall $10 million goal, creating a place that will compassionately serve all of us for years to come,” said Hospice of Hilo’s Development, PR, and Education Coordinator An Umamoto.
But, according to Umamoto the remaining $400,000 is crucial to the success of the care center during beginning stages of operation. “The community’s support is critical in this fundraising effort to ensure that we can recruit, train and retain the most talented staff possible and to meet the needed start up service costs of the facility,” said Umamoto.
To find out how you can support Hospice of Hilo in bringing its capital campaign to completion, as well as details on donor naming opportunities, call An Umamoto at 969-1733.