History

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.

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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.