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.

yellow-hibiscus.jpg#asset:9

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.