Maui News

Maui Health Employees Extend Compassionate Care into Community

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  • Lānaʻi Community Hospital prepares to present gifts to their adopted family on Lānaʻi. PC: Maui Health
  • Over 600 gifts were donated to families on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. It took three days and over 15 car trips to transport all the gifts from MMMC and Kula Hospital to Maui families. Lanai and Molokai gifts were shipped to each island for the families. PC: Maui Health
  • Staff from MMMC’s Hale South department deliver their gifts to MFSS case workers. PC: Maui Health
  • MMMC RN Tina Polanco attempts to squeeze more gifts into a MFSS case worker’s car for her department’s adopted family. PC: Maui Health
  • MFSS Program Assistant Sheri Ann Sardinha and caregivers from MMMC’s Hale East unit with their adopted family’s gifts in front of the MMMC Lobby Christmas tree. PC: Maui Health
  • MFSS Case Managers line up in the MMMC parking lot to fill their cars with gifts for the families that were adopted by Maui Health employees. PC: Maui Health

Maui Health employees on Maui and Lānaʻi helped spread holiday cheer this year to more than 40 Maui County families in need through Maui Family Support Services’ Adopt-A-Family program.

“The participation and excitement this year completely blew my mind,” said Sheri Ann Sardinha, Program Assistant at Maui Family Support Services. “You would think that our healthcare heroes would be absolutely tapped out given the incredibly challenging year they’ve had and all the sacrifices they’ve already made being on the frontline of COVID and taking care of our loved ones, many who were very sick. But they all went above and beyond to make sure that our families will have the best Christmas ever. Every gift was carefully and beautifully wrapped and I stopped counting when we hit over 600 presents last week. Words can’t express how grateful we all are here at MFSS.”

The partnership between MFSS and MMMC began several years ago with MMMC’s Obstetrics Department as an opportunity to give back to families within the community during the holidays. As participation grew, it became an organization-wide holiday giving campaign with all five Maui Health hospitals and clinics participating, providing gifts to families on Maui, Lānaʻi, and Molokaʻi.


MFSS provides each participating department with information on their adopted family including ages of the children and a list of basic needs like clothes or towels as well as “wish lists” for each member of the family.

Prior to COVID, Maui Health employees were able to present their gifts to families in-person in the last two weeks of December. Some families were even treated to a surprise visit from Santa. COVID halted the in-person visits, but that did not deter participation as visits were conducted virtually these last two years.

“I have tremendous gratitude and pride for our Maui Health employees,” said Maui Health CEO Michael Rembis. “They continue to give, and we have all witnessed that their compassionate care does not stop when they leave work. I am humbled and privileged to work alongside such incredible, kind, and generous individuals here at Maui Health. When people try to describe aloha spirit – this is it. Our healthcare heroes exemplify that spirit.”


In addition to MFSS Adopt-A-Family, Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lāna‘i Community Hospital staff give back to the community in many ways during the holidays and throughout the year including serving food at homeless shelters, donating gifts and food, and volunteering their time to other outreach programs.

Established in 1980, Maui Family Support Service’s mission is “to promote healthy family functioning by providing family supportive services which build on family strengths.” They provide service to families on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lāna‘i.

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