Categorized | Volunteering

Hospice of Hilo in need of community support for in-patient facility


Hospice of Hilo is asking for community support to fund the first neighbor island in-patient Hospice facility. The in-hospice home is an important link in strengthening the overall healthcare system in East Hawaii.

The new hospice home will provide assistance for patients who are too sick to be cared for at home or don’t have family members available to serve as caregivers.

The $10 million project has received substantial support from government and is seeking foundation funding, but needs additional funds to open the doors of the new facility in early 2012.

Government funding to date totals $3,857,628. State Rep. Jerry Chang worked with other Big Island legislators to secure state funding. Gov. Linda Lingle this summer released $1.25 million that was appropriated by the legislature for the capital improvement program. Community block grants through Hawaii County provided $1,867.628.

“Our success to this point is in large part due to the significant support we have received from Mayor Billy Kenoi and the Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development Block Grant program,” said Brenda Ho, executive director of Hospice of Hilo. “We are extremely grateful to Mayor Billy Kenoi and his team for their support.”

The federal funding for the Community Development and Block Grant program comes through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Barry Mizuno, Barry Taniguchi and Norman Hayashi co-chair the community campaign. Mizuno is a statewide energy consultant. Taniguchi is the president of KTA Super Stores. Hayashi recently retired from the county as a land use planning consultant.

“The capital improvement money released by the governor, along with the community block grants have provided the funds for the groundwork,” said Mizuno, “putting us well on our way.”

Hayashi added that “the community giving will convince foundation donors that East Hawaii recognizes the importance of providing our residents with comfort care in their final days.”

To reach further into the community, the chairs have appointed subcommittees that focus on faith-based organizations, statewide business, healthcare and construction industries, small business and general public.

Cynthia Sorenson and Sid Fuke chair the overall hospice capital campaign.

The 14,150 square foot facility will be equipped to serve 300 patients and their families per year. 12 patient rooms each with private lanai, a spa, family and keiki rooms are planned. Space for six more patient rooms is also planned into the design to accommodate expansion.

Construction will begin at the end of the year next to University of Hawaii – Hilo.

Hospice of Hilo is a private, non-profit agency providing compassionate, quality end-of-life care through support, counseling, and education. For more than 25 years Hospice of Hilo has served Hawaii Island from Lapahoehoe to South Point. Care and support is provided to all terminally ill patients and their families without regard to diagnosis, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, race, creed, disability, age, place of residence or ability to pay.

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