Maui News

Bayada and Uptown Kitchen partner to bring Christmas to Maui kupuna

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Bayada Maui Visits employees, their families, and Jojo Bonner. PC: BAYADA Home Health Care

For the second year in a row, Alvin Makimoto and his team at Uptown Kitchen in Wailuku have partnered with Bayada’s Maui Visits office to help slow the holidays down, and give back to kupuna in the community.

“Alvin and his team are so generous. Without hesitation, he is always ready to support our clinicians, and of course, the residents that live here,” said Client Services Manager, Heidi Acosta, who helped organize the event. “It is a beautiful tradition we all look forward to during the holidays, and that we hope to expand to other campuses in the future. There is no replacing the happiness in the residents’ eyes.”

Armed with masks, Santa hats, dance moves, and Christmas carols, therapists and nurses served nearly 50 residents at Hale Mahaolu Ekolu with a shoyu chicken plate from Uptown Kitchen, and a bag of toiletries and goodies from the Maui Visits Office including: toilet paper, flushable and baby wipes, Lysol disinfectant spray, hand sanitizer, masks, a therapy ball, and tissues.

Bayada Maui visits Employees stopping to refill their wagon full of Shoyu Chicken plates from Uptown Kitchen and toiletry bags. PC: BAYADA Home Health Care
Former patient and longtime friend, JoJo Bonner with field nurse, Brianna Meyer. PC: BAYADA Home Health Care

One excited resident of Hale Lōkahi ʻAkahi, and former Bayada Home Health Care patient, Jojo Bonner was overcome by excitement, “I can’t believe you guys came out of your way to visit me. It brings tears to my eyes. You have made my whole year.”

For many years, Bonner and her nurse, Brianna Meyer, an employee of Bayada Home Health Care’s Medicare Certified Maui Visits Office have built a relationship of mutual respect.

Because some residents weren’t home, the staff had a few extra plates. That’s when Meyer recalled her former patient and friend, Bonner, who lived not too far away. An executive decision was made to proceed to give the few remaining plates to residents at the neighboring community, Hale Lōkahi ʻAkahi.


Meyer, and Acosta, who also helps serve as the On Call Manager for Bayada, knew Bonnerʻs number by heart, and called to ask her for permission to visit. She was at her door waiting with her walker when the team arrived.

“Home health has been delicate to navigate these past few years with the ongoing challenges related to COVID-19, and for many of our kupuna on Maui, they have felt isolated,” according to administrators.

Bonner shared that aside from a friend travelling to see her from out of state in a few days, her time with the staff has been the first time she’s had visitors over in years.


“With tears in her eyes, she was overwhelmed with gratitude as she was able to finally match faces with voices that she’s spoken to over the years when she was in need,” according to healthcare workers.

“I just love you all for everything you’ve done for me. You’ve made it finally feel like Christmas,” said Bonner, as the team left and promised to be back again soon.

Sharon Inzano (OT), Janet King (RN), Nanette Burnett (PT), and Catherine Leone (Clinical Manager) taking a moment to smile before greeting a happy resident at Hale Mahaolu Ekolu. PC: BAYADA Home Health Care
Clinicians respecting social distancing and singing carols to residents at Hale Mahaolu Ekolu. PC: BAYADA Home Health Care

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