Maui News

Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Guardian Angel Program Recognizes Exceptional Care

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Maui Health leadership honors Guardian Angel Olivia Bautista. (L to R) Mike Rembis, CEO; Julie LaCroix, Senior Director Care Management; Olivia Bautista, Patient Care Coordinator; Marian Horikawa-Barth, Chief Nurse Executive; and Melinda Sweany, Chief Development Officer.

Outstanding caregivers at Maui Memorial Medical Center were honored as Guardian Angels during a recent recognition ceremony.

Because of COVID restrictions, honorees were recognized in their departments in an intimate ceremony personally hosted by Maui Health’s senior leader team in partnership with Maui Health Foundation. Surrounded by their colleagues, Maui Health CEO Mike Rembis and other leaders shared their gratitude for each Guardian Angel, presented them with special gifts, and shared nomination letters from patients expressing their utmost gratitude for the exceptional care they received.

“In light of the incredible demands that the pandemic has imposed upon our caregivers, it was of utmost importance for us to recognize our Guardian Angels in a way that truly honored their unbelievable sacrifices and service to their patients and our community,” said Melinda Sweany, Maui Health Chief Development Officer.


Patients who made a donation to Maui Health Foundation in honor of their Guardian Angel were also recognized by MMMC leaders during each recognition ceremony.

“We are so proud of all of our caregivers. Each and every one of them works hard every day and the last year has been especially challenging for all of our staff,” said Mike Rembis, Maui Health CEO. “To have our patients take the time to acknowledge the caregiver who went the extra mile or brought them comfort is heartwarming. We are grateful to be able to recognize both our caregivers and our patients through the Guardian Angel program.”

In 2021, there were 32 employees and departments who received this special recognition from patients who contacted Maui Health Foundation to share their stories.


One patient wrote, “I will never forget the kindness and wonderful personal care you gave my husband when he had to be brought in by emergency to your facility and stayed a few days. It was comforting.  The staff and doctor were awesome. Thank you!”

Throughout the year, patients can nominate any Maui Health employee who has touched their heart in any way. Guardian Angels can be a doctor, nurse, or any clinical or non-clinical employee from housekeeping or admitting to security or administrative departments.

The Guardian Angel program was established several years ago and has since grown to provide even greater recognition to these caregivers who are honored by their patients, thanks to a generous donation from Goodfellow Bros., who have pledged to sponsor this recognition program for the next five years.


Each caregiver nominated is acknowledged within the same month that they are nominated by their patient. Maui Health senior leadership visits the honoree to personally present them with a Guardian Angel certificate and pin. They also receive special Guardian Angel treats from Maui Sugar Mamas, a local company owned and operated by two Maui residents who also work in the healthcare field.  In addition, they receive a Guardian Angel poster to display in their unit.

Patients whose hearts were touched by their caregiver or caregivers are encouraged to nominate that individual or department by visiting


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