Supporting family caregivers in West Hawaii since 1996

It takes a whole community to care for our caregivers.

Mary Huebner Memorial CNA Scholarship 

for Certified Nursing Assistants

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are a vital part of a family’s caregiving team, providing basic personal care for people living at home. They offer respite to the patients’ families and friends, and become the support system for those who live alone and need care. They help individuals 

and families to age in place.

To help address the critical shortage of these health workers in West Hawaii, Hawaii Community Caregiver Network has created the Mary Huebner Memorial Scholarship, honoring  Mary Huebner’s memory and her many contributions to both HCCN and the greater Kona community. This scholarship will be awarded four times a year to students selected by the HCCN Scholarship Committee from West Hawaii applicants  who plan to attend Island CPR in Kona.

Mary Huebner was born Mary Louise Cochran on 6/24/39 in Hennepin, Minnesota. After high school, her life journey took her to Phoenix, Arizona where she attended the police academy and worked as a police officer. She was one of the first female police officers in Phoenix to drive her own “beat.”After suffering a work-related injury, she was not satisfied with being on the desk. She moved to Hawaii in 1987, as her grandmother and brother were living in Kona at the time, and she fell in love with Kailua-Kona.

Mary became active in the West Hawaii community. While working as a travel agent for Kona Coast Travel, she became very active in the Kona Crime Prevention Committee and eventually became president. Mary was involved in social organizations such as the Soroptimist International; she was on the board of directors of Hospice of Kona and HCCN (Hawaii Community Caregiver Network). She worked hard on the HCCN annual education conferences and fund-raising for Hospice of Kona. She was also very active in local and state politics, often helping candidates in their campaigns. Mary was a Hawaii delegate to the State White House Conference on Aging held in January of 1995, one of the State delegates to the WHCOA (White House Conference on Aging), and also a volunteer for the Hawaii chapter of AARP.

Mary passed away on November 28, 2021. She is survived by a son, Scott; a daughter, Cori Christian; and a grandson.

Mary Huebner

June 24, 1939 - Nov. 28, 2021

The Scholarship

The HCCN Mary Huebner CNA scholarship will provide $1,075 for a student to attend Island CPR, Kona’s local medical training school. This amount will be paid directly to the school after the student makes an initial tuition payment of $350. Release of funding to Island CPR depends on the student’s passing grades. Please contact us to receive an application form.

Financial Help for Caregiving Families

Here’s a short summary of possible financial help for caregivers on Hawaii Island. This information was developed in personal conversations with the provider agencies. Thanks, HCCN board member Kathy Weidner, for your research!

Please remember that funding is scarce, and agencies are overworked. There’s also a shortage of available caregivers in West Hawaii. It’s a good idea to be persistent in asking for help.

HCCN Caregiver Conference -- 

board member Joann D'Addio 

discusses memory loss.

Kupuna Care Program

Kupuna Care was enacted in the past few years by the Hawaii State Legislature, to help working caregivers stay in their jobs. The program may provide about $70/day to pay someone else to care for your loved one. The payments will only extend for 6-8 months, while you are presumably making other arrangements.

You must work outside the home for at least 30 hours a week, cannot be self-employed, and must hire your caregiver through a licensed agency (not a family member or neighbor, though some licensed agencies do create arrangements with family members to make this program work). You’ll be asked for a letter from your doctor and your employer to support your application. Call the Hawaii County Office of Aging, 808-323-4290 in Kona, or search online for your local Office of Aging.

HCCN Caregiver Conference --

board member Karen Klemme shares 

tips about in-home care.

Community Living Program (CLP)

This program is not time-limited like the one described above, but it does have financial limits. You may receive up to $800/month to pay someone to care for your loved one; this caregiver can be a family member, but not the person who pays the bills. 

The patient must need help with at least three activities of daily living, and be diagnosed with dementia; he or she cannot have an income of under $1223 per month or over $3670 per month (as of 2020). 

You can get a lot of good information on their website, https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/hawaii/community-living.  Sign up through Hawaii County Office of Aging at 808-323-4290, or search online for your local Office of Aging.


Medicaid is for folks with very low income -- $1,235 per month for one person, or $2,540/month for a family of four. There are also limits on your assets, although you can usually keep your home as long as you and/or your spouse live there. For an elderly couple, there are a few possible situations where they may get in-home help for an ill spouse. 

 In Hawaii, Medicaid is called MedQuest. To connect with this agency (which is part of the Hawaii Department of Human Services), call 327-4970 for West Hawaii; search online for “How to contact Med-Quest;” or call the statewide Customer Service number at 1-800-316-8005.

Veterans Administration

The VA has various programs for in-home help for the elderly, but they do not pay you to care for your 

spouse. There is a new Respite Relief Program going nationwide in 2021 for grants to families caring for a vet at home. For any VA info, call the Kona Vet Center, 808-329-0574, or search online for your local VA Center

Fraud -- Don't Be a Victim

It’s so important to protect yourself as a matter of habit. Here are some suggestions from AARP:

1.  Let calls from strangers go to voicemail.

2.  Simply delete suspicious pop-ups or phone messages.

3.  Do not allow anyone remote access to your home computer.

4.  Take the pledge: “I will never, ever, ever buy a gift card for someone I don't know.” Gift cards should           only be purchased for family and friends.

For more info on this important topic, see https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2020/tips-to-protect-yourself-from-fraud.html