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Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Jan. 23, 2010, Blessed Statue
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Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Sept. 15, 2008, Hospice Hospitality 
 
 
Courtesy Peggy Chun /
St. Francis Heathcare System of Hawaii
"Eye Heart You," by Peggy Chun, was painted
using eye movements, and will be used to add a
local touch to the LodgeNetRx Interactive Patient
Television system being installed in St. Francis
Healthcare System's Nuuanu and Ewa Beach hospice
facilities as part of a $3 million modernization project.

Hospice hospitality

St. Francis Healthcare is pumping $3 million into its two facilities

The renovations include installation of a LodgeNetRx Interactive Patient Television system -- first in the nation for a health care facility.

"Many may be familiar with the LodgeNet system when staying at hotels," said Sister Agnelle Ching, chief executive officer of the system. "We're blending the best of two worlds, merging the hospitality industry with health care."

The two St. Francis hospice facilities are the Sister Maureen Keleher Center at 24 Puiwa Road, Nuuanu, with 12 beds, and the Maurice J. Sullivan Family Hospice Center, 91-2127 Fort Weaver Road, Ewa Beach, with 24 beds.

St. Francis Hospice, Hawaii's oldest and largest hospice program, also serves about 160 residents in their homes, as well as in nursing and care homes, and anticipates about 200 by the end of the year, said Joy Yadao, executive director. "We anticipate large growth as people age."

She said the program is looking for locations for new residential facilities to serve Windward and East Honolulu residents.

"We want to be able to give options so people have a variety of locations to choose from," Yadao said. "Finding a proper location is difficult. We are very concerned about having hospice patients in an environment that is homelike and relaxing but at the same time where we can provide high-quality care."

   
Courtesy Peggy Chun /
St. Francis Heathcare System of Hawaii
Artist Peggy Chun has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and can only move her eyes.

The St. Francis Healthcare System is upgrading its two hospice facilities in a $3 million modernization program and expanding services to terminally ill patients in their homes.

The renovations include installation of a LodgeNetRx Interactive Patient Television system -- first in the nation for a health care facility.

"Many may be familiar with the LodgeNet system when staying at hotels," said Sister Agnelle Ching, chief executive officer of the system. "We're blending the best of two worlds, merging the hospitality industry with health care."

The two St. Francis hospice facilities are the Sister Maureen Keleher Center at 24 Puiwa Road, Nuuanu, with 12 beds, and the Maurice J. Sullivan Family Hospice Center, 91-2127 Fort Weaver Road, Ewa Beach, with 24 beds.

St. Francis Hospice, Hawaii's oldest and largest hospice program, also serves about 160 residents in their homes, as well as in nursing and care homes, and anticipates about 200 by the end of the year, said Joy Yadao, executive director. "We anticipate large growth as people age."

She said the program is looking for locations for new residential facilities to serve Windward and East Honolulu residents.

"We want to be able to give options so people have a variety of locations to choose from," Yadao said. "Finding a proper location is difficult. We are very concerned about having hospice patients in an environment that is homelike and relaxing but at the same time where we can provide high-quality care."

The existing facilities are being upgraded with new furnishings and beds, flat-screen TVs and "on demand" entertainment and education through the LodgeNet system.

A Hawaiian music channel will be added, and the system will feature the artwork of Peggy Chun, who paints with eye movements. She has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Sister Ching said in a news release, "With hospice, our focus is on quality of life rather than length of life. We're concerned with our patients' physical well-being and provide emotional, social and spiritual support. We want our hospice facilities to truly be centers for excellence and take the final stage of life for our patients to a new level."

The preference, as much as possible, is to keep terminally ill people in a home environment, surrounded by familiar things and loved ones, Yadao said in an interview. However, because of economics or circumstances, many people are unable to provide caregiving at home, so the hospice program tries to provide the comforts of home, she said.

St. Francis has plans to offer therapeutic massage and healing touch for patients and eventually music therapy, aromatherapy, acupuncture and other therapies.

Patients at the Nuuanu facility have been relocated to Hawaii Medical Center-East (formerly St. Francis Medical Center) through October. The home hospice staff moved to the Joseph Paiko Building, 2228 Liliha St.

The Nuuanu facility, a two-story home built in 1917 that St. Francis acquired and converted to a hospice in 1988, will undergo extensive repairs, exterior and interior painting and landscaping. The Sullivan center, which opened in 1997, will have "cosmetic touch-ups."

St. Francis Hospice, observing its 30th anniversary, is the only hospice program in Hawaii with national accreditation.