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Health > Wellsites6/21/06 IS Online

Kokua Mau

A partnership improving care at the end of life.

By Angela Ellenwood

Talking about death and dying is difficult, especially when the subject of discussion is you or someone you love. But having these conversations can help ensure personal wishes are honored and avoid additional stress as the end of life nears.

Kokua Mau means "continuous care" in Hawaiian and is the name of a statewide coalition working to strengthen partnerships and increase awareness to improve end-of-life care. Formed in 1999 through the Hawai'i Executive Office on Aging, Kokua Mau's mission is to "ensure that Hawai'i's people may die in the place of their choice, free of pain and suffering, and treated according to their beliefs and values." HMSA has provided grant support for Kokua Mau projects and is on its advisory group with other organizations and individuals concerned about end-of-life issues.

Along with providing direct assistance for people in Hawai'i, Kokua Mau offers its research, education and outreach resources online. The Kokua Mau web site has guides and information for people who are terminally ill and their families; health care, hospice and related service providers; and others interested in the subjects of aging, dying and death.

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