Supporting family caregivers in West Hawaii since 1996
It takes a whole community to care for our caregivers.
Many thanks to our sponsors from 2015 through 2020:
In 1995, a group of healthcare professional women joined with the Senior Planner from the Kona office of the Hawaii County Office of Aging (HCOA) to evaluate the needs of family caregivers in West Hawaii. With input from HCOA, Hawaii Community Caregiver Network (HCCN) was formed and developed its Mission and Vision statements (see below), which would be our guide into the future. Funding was provided by a grant from Hawaii Island Rural Health Association, which also acted as the group’s non-profit 501(c)3 umbrella. During the initial years a needs assess-ment of family caregivers in West Hawaii was completed, which determined that respite and education were among the priority needs of caregivers.
Over the years since, HCCN has presented more than a dozen successful conferences to provide caregivers with pertinent topics, informed speakers, and a chance to network with local agencies and services as part of the Resource Fair.
Starting in 2014, HCCN took on the responsibility of providing the national evidence-based program, "Powerful Tools for Caregivers." With these free classes, HCCN has provided over 120 caregivers in West Hawaii with the skills needed to handle the challenges of caring for a loved one. These include an introduction to local resources; learning communi-cation skills; how to deal with stress through relaxation techniques; how to manage emotions, such as anger, guilt, and depression; and how to take care of themselves.
During 2019, HCCN created a pilot program together with Regency Hualalai Assisted Living, to fund respite stays for care receivers. This program provided family caregivers with a week of much needed “me time” to take care of them-selves. We plan to continue this program when it is again safe
to do so.
We promote, enhance, and support caregiving though education, networking, planning, coordinating, and advocacy.
We envision a community in which caregivers are valued for their contribution (and receive social, educational, economic, and emotional support) and where the care receiver is able to live life meaningfully, with dignity and self-worth.
Below the Board of Directors roster you'll find a profile of our founding member, current treasurer and guiding light, Judy Bell.
Meet the HCCN BOARD OF DIRECTORS, 2020
Judith M. Bell, BA, Treasurer; Founding Member. Former family caregiver; retired from the health care field after 45 years. Actively involved in a number of community and senior volunteer organizations, e.g. Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Powerful Tools for Caregivers class leader and Master Trainer, Hawaii County Committee on Aging North Kona representative.
Katherine Buckovetz, M.S.,EdD; Director. Former family caregiver, retired director of governmental social services, Medicaid, food stamps, housing, welfare, immigration, counseling, aging and economic development programs, school psychologist, national consultant. National Employment Counseling President and National Counselor of the Year, AAUW HI Public Policy Secretary, Susan B Anthony Award, Volunteer in various West Hawaii programs. Kathy grew up on O’ahu and spent school vacations on the Big Island.
Joann D'Addio, M.Ed.; Director. Former family caregiver for Mom; retired after 34 years from Chicago Public Schools as a high school teacher of students with learning disabilities as well as counselor to the entire student population. Currently co-facilitating caregiver support group monthly as a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter Kona.
Karen Klemme, RN; Director. Former family caregiver to parents; retired RN after 40+ year career in Rehabilitation; case management and nurse life care planning. Karen opened the Kona Adult Day Center in 1988 and has been a resident of Kona since 1986. She facilitates the Kona Brain Injury Support Group meetings (since 1994) and volunteers with Meals on Wheels and LifeCare Center of Kona.
Heloise Lochman, BA; President. Former family caregiver; retired craftsman, musician. Has been a volunteer reading tutor with Ignite Literacy Program at Holualoa School; Reef Teach volunteer.
Eileen Mena; Vice President. Former family caregiver to husband and mother; retired in 2006 from Department of Justice Office of the U. S. Attorney. Has volunteered with Kona Elk's Lodge in the Drug Awareness Program, and AARP on the Big Island.
Karen von Kaenel, R.N., PhD.; Director. Former professor of nursing, developer of a nationally recognized Health and BioScience Academy and a certified Master Teacher. As a health educator and a developmental psychologist, Karen brings her nursing expertise to the areas of family behaviors and gertontology.
Kathy Weidner; Director. Former family caregiver for my mother; retired Social Worker (LCSW); worked for Visiting Nurses in NJ for 10 years with many seniors and their issues; moved to HI in 2016 and now volunteer with Medicare SHIP program and Powerful Tools for Caregivers as Class Leader.
The Board of Directors is responsible for spearheading the organization’s work; exploring opportunities to serve caregivers, such as sponsoring Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes; and assessing community resources. We keep records of activities and resources. Officers and directors serve the Board on a voluntary basis. Board members are directly involved in project planning, implementation and evaluation. We form subcommittees from time to time, drawn from HCCN volunteer membership, to fulfill the aims of a particular project or program, such as our periodic conference for family caregivers.