October 23, 2019, Kailua, HI. Requests from a number of community-based organizations for presentations on several topics of interest, varying from “Exercises for the Elderly,” to “Nursing Management of the Patient with ALS,” keep ALSFH and its mission in the minds of the audience. It is customary to save a few minutes after presentations for a short spiel on ALSFH.

St. Francis Healthcare Manager of Volunteer Programs Maylynn Wong, extreme left, and two participants flank Sandy and John Repczynski and Divina for a pose after the presentation.

Maylynn Wong, Manager of St. Francis Healthcare Volunteer Programs, organizes course offerings for groups of family caregivers interested in a variety of caregiving topics. For a nominal fee of $10 per class, people can sign up for these quarterly offerings. On September 18, Divina presented on “Introduction to Care of pALS in the Home,” with John and Sandy Repczynski providing the patient and caregiver perspective – a role that, in the past two years, pALS Shawn Brewer and wife, Renee, played just as effectively.

Divina demonstrates wrist exercises for elderly residents to foster care home caregivers.

Last October 15, the Community Home Care Association of Hawaii, a large group of foster care home administrators, invited Divina to talk on “Exercises for the Elderly,” a topic relevant to their care of intermediate care facility (ICF)-level residents in the caregivers’s homes. At the end of the session, Divina talked about an ALS Residence specifically for pALS that is being planned for Hawaii.

Sandy Repczynski in extreme left, accompanied husband and pALS, John, who is surrounded by speech pathology graduate students at UH JABSOM Department of Communication and Speech Disorders.

The next day, October 16 was the annual Fall Colloquium for the UH JABSOM Department of Communication and Speech Disorders. This time, the audience is composed of graduate students in Speech Pathology – future therapists who will play a significant role in the lives of pALS and their families. In this colloquium, Divina discussed “ALS as a Communication Disorder,” with the help of Sandy and John Repczynski whose perspective as caregiver and pALS has a tremendous impact on how these future service providers deliver care.

Divina (center, front) and Terryn Davis of ALSA-Golden West Care Manager (third from right at the back) joined forces to discuss ALS, care, and management to avoid readmissions with HMSA RN’s and Social Workers. HMSA’s Kerianne Bernard, Manager of Care Transitions is second from right in front. Lyn Muramaru, Case Manager, is to Terryn’s right.

And finally, on October 2, Divina partnered with Terryn Davis, ALS Association-Golden West Chapter Care Manager for Oahu to discuss ALS and what it takes to care for pALS in homes and acute care settings so readmissions are reduced, or altogether, eliminated.  This was a response to a request from HMSA’s Integrated Case Management Department’s Manager, Kerianne  and Lynn Muramaru, LSW.  The audience comprised mainly of RN’s who provide home care service and social workers who follow-up pALS when discharged.  Powerpoint presentation, handouts, and brochures were distributed to aid the hour and a half presentation. 

ALSFH Board welcomes any request for presentation on topics related to ALS Care or Nursing, in general. In meeting community education needs, the BOD is able to find opportunities to disseminate information about ALSFH and its mission.