Advanced Planning of End of Life Care Decisions is Vital

Kona Community Hospital (KCH) is hosting “The Challenges of End of Life Care Decisions,” a presentation about palliative care on Monday, March 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Kona Community Hospital’s Conference Rooms. The expert panel includes representatives from Kona Community Hospital and other local organizations. Topics covered will be hospital care, home health care, financing end of life care and what to expect when you dial 911.

“There are many myths and misconceptions out there that we want to address,” Dr. Edwin Gramlich, KCH Medical Director and Palliative Care Initiative Coordinator, stated, “This forum will provide vital information and is a great example of the collaboration between our various health care organizations as it applies to palliative and end of life care.”

KCH’s Palliative Care Initiative is a multi-disciplinary team with the goal of providing services to help patients manage symptoms, relieve pain, plan medical treatment and achieve the best possible quality of life for patients and their families by drawing upon the various resources available in our community. A top priority is to provide community education about end of life care that many people do not want to talk about or even think about.

Studies have shown that advance care planning improves end of life care by enabling patients’ wishes to be determined, documented, and respected at end of life. It also improves such care from the perspective of the patient and the family, and diminishes the likelihood of stress, anxiety, and depression in surviving relatives.

“Understanding the importance of advanced planning is critical,” commented Lisa Contreras, KCH’s Skilled Nursing Manager. “Although it is such a trying time for a family to have lost a loved one, from my experience, I have found that families who have planned ahead have a less difficult time.”

Dennis Macklin, KCH’s Business Office Manager also noted, “Financing end of life care can be one of the most difficult decisions family members have to make. By being proactive and knowing what options are available will greatly benefit families in the long run.”

The dinner presentation is free and open to the entire community. Please contact 322-6960 or to reserve your space.

Founded in 1914, Kona Community Hospital is a 94-bed full-service hospital with 24-hour emergency services that supports the west region of the island of Hawaii. It is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a special agency of the state of Hawaii established in 1996. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Kona Community Hospital is dedicated to providing and enhancing accessible comprehensive healthcare services to the West Hawaii community.