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Hospice of Kona provides family-centered support, education and care for those approaching the end of life.
• Hospice of Kona is the preferred choice for end-of-life care as we strive to meet the needs of our clients and caregivers in our service area.
• Hospice of Kona is recognized as the best resource to support and advocate for the terminally ill and their caregivers and to educate professionals, volunteers and the general public about hospice care and palliative care.
• Hospice of Kona provides the best and most professional management and staff working as an interdisciplinary team in support of our mission to provide family-centered support, education and care for those approaching the end of life.
• That the Hospice philosophy enhances quality of life.
• That Hospice service is a personal entitlement option.
• In providing the highest quality of compassionate care.
• That fear of the unknown can be overcome with education and caring.
• In respect for individual beliefs.
• In supporting bereavement throughout the community.
• In maintaining an excellent, educated staff.
• In being a financially responsible organization.
Hospice of Kona staff members are a team working for the patient, the family, caregivers and friends. When you receive assistance from Hospice of Kona staff members you know that an entire team of professionals will be at your side to develop a comprehensive health care plan to meet the specific needs of your loved ones in a manner consistent with accepted standards of practice.
Hospice of Kona Staff
• Laura Varney, CEO, hired in 2006.
• Christine Winn, Director of Finance, hired in 2008.
• Kathryn Crowder, Director of Clinical Services, hired in 2017.
• Mary Villaverde, Memory Lane Manager, hired in 2008.
Other staff include: Social Services staff, Registered Nurses, Spiritual Care Provider, Home Health Aides, Communit Awareness Coordinator, Bookkeeper, Receptionist and part time Administrative Assistants. At the Nakamaru Hale, we have a Homemaker, RNs and Home Health Aides.
We are a dedicated group of individuals committed to offering our best in service to end of life patients and those who care about them, including services to the bereaved for at least a year after the death of your loved one.
Our Board of Directors
The Hospice Of Kona Board Of Directors is comprised of skilled professionals from our island who serve as Board members on a volunteer basis.
Hospice Board of Directors 2021
• Chair: Koa Woolley, Personal Banker, First Hawaiian Bank
• Vice Chair: Kevin Shaw, Construction
• Treasurer: Susana Bullard
• Secretary: Jennifer Shimada, Attorney
• Jacob Bur
• Mamie Bramlett
• Darl Gleed, Attorney
• Arron Biber, Owner/Operator - Big Island Electric
• Scott Ast, Financial Advisor, Co-Founder - Impact Wealth
Originating in England, hospice care evolved into a popular concept in the United States in the mid 1970’s. Since then, more than 2,900 U.S. Hospice programs of care for the terminally ill have been established. Attending the dying in a palliative (comfort) rather than a curative manner resulted in rapid growth of the hospice movement. Hospice offers terminally ill patients the hope of comfort and death with dignity. U. S. Congress designated November as National Hospice Month, demonstrating again that hospice now receives national recognition.
Hospice of Kona was organized in 1985 after the Rector of Christ Episcopal Church died of cancer. A member of his congregation, Sandol Stoddard, who authored “The Hospice Movement,” brought Dr. William Lamers from California to instruct on Hospice Care. A committee of dedicated volunteers from Christ Church organized, and Hospice of Kona was begun. By 1987 Hospice began seeing patients. Staffed by volunteers, Hospice of Kona relied on donations and grants. In 1992 Hospice became Medicare Certified to provide hospice care to patients meeting the eligibility requirements of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Hospice of Kona also contracts with most commercial insurance companies that offer the Hospice Benefit. Patients are accepted solely on the basis of medical need and not on the basis of their ability to pay.
In 1994 Bruno J. Keith donated property on Palani Road to Hospice of Kona. This location served as offices for the staff until 2006 when the property was sold and the staff was relocated to a newly renovated office space in Kealakekua. At the end of 2007 the Community Services Center opened in the heart of Kailua Kona and serves as our Volunteer, Bereavement, Social Services and Administrative headquarters as well as the headquarters for our clinical team.
In 2010 Memory Lane, Hospice of Kona’s thrift boutique was established as a center for giving, sharing and volunteering. The requests to donate belongings including personal items, clothing, house wares and furnishings was overwhelming so we finally said yes. Memory Lane’s success is directly connected to the good work our team of hospice professionals and staff do in our patients homes every day. The proceeds from Memory Lane began supporting Hospice of Kona’s Nakamaru Hale, a 5 bed hospice residential home in the summer of 2012.
Hospice of Kona’s staffs, contracts and utilizes a team of compassionate professionals to provide quality programs and services for the community of West Hawaii.