Pōhai Mālama Care Center is pausing operations in Hilo

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Pōhai Mālama Care Center in Hilo will pause all inpatient hospice care operations beginning on
Nov. 18, 2022. Photo Courtesy: Hawaiʻi Care Choices

Pōhai Mālama Care Center, a 12-bed inpatient hospice facility in Hilo, will take a tactical pause on all inpatient hospice care operations beginning on Nov. 18, 2022, according to a press release by the facilityʻs owner and operator, Hawai’i Care Choices.

All levels of the organization’s services — hospice, palliative and bereavement care — will continue to be provided for the East Hawai’i Community in other locations, including patient residences and long-term care facilities.

The company said the “tactical pause” is a deliberate break in operations that will allow time for Hawai’i Care Choices to reassess the impact of continued underutilization and the growing cost of building repair and maintenance that is naturally occurring after 10 years of usage at the facility.


“This tactical pause offers the necessary break to reimagine and discover possible options for this beautiful home-like facility,” said Hawaiʻi Care Choices CEO Brenda S. Ho. 

“Since 2012, Pōhai Mālama Care Center has been a great resource and location of inpatient hospice care for our community. However, data and trends over the years show that patients prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes,” the press release said.

“We touched many lives at Pohai Malama, but resources are limited and change has to be made when it is needed,” Board President Karen Maedo said.


Currently, less than 5% of Hawai’i Care Choice’s hospice patient days are in the facility. Most of the organization’s services are delivered to patients at their residence.

“We have always delivered hospice care to where patients lived,” said Medical Director, Dr. Dolan. “This includes the nearly two decades prior to the time PMCC was built. This pause does not change our capability in ensuring quality care is provided.”

According to the press release, Hawaiʻi Care Choices remains open and continues to offer all services. The highest priority is to minimize the impact of this tactical pause on current patients receiving inpatient hospice care at PMCC. Staff will work with these patients and families to ensure a smooth transition to other locations for hospice care.


For more information, contact Hawai’i Care Choices at 808-969-1733 or [email protected]

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