Michelle Cantillo, RN
Michelle Cantillo is the Advance Care Planning (ACP) Coordinator for Hawai'i Pacific Health, Patient Safety and Quality Department since 2011. In this capacity she has oversight responsibility for development of ACP programs at Kapi'olani Women's and Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Clinic & Hospital and Wilcox Memorial Hospital. She is responsible for teaching the ACP POLST Facilitator Training at all four facilities as well as the community organizations.
Prior to working as an ACP coordinator, Michelle practiced for 25 years in medical surgical nursing primarily in the area of Critical Care. Michelle began her nursing career in Toronto, Canada and came to Hawai'i to continue her critical care experience at Straub Clinic & Hospital. Michelle was Straub's ICU supervisor and manager for 12 years before transferring to the Pacific and Safety Quality Department.
Elizabeth Freitas, APRN, RN, OCN, ACHPN
Elizabeth (Beth) Freitas is credentialed, privileged, and certified, Advanced Practice Nurse on the Pain and Palliative Care Service at The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu. She is the lead clinician for the JACHO Palliative Care Certification and has been recently certified as a Respecting Choices Instructor. Her research areas of interest are emotional intelligence, decision control preferences, and spirituality.
Barbara Hayes, MSN, GCNS-BC
Barbara Hayes is the Palliative Care Coordinator at Sparks Matsunaga Veteran's Administration (VA) and has worked in the VA for over 30 years with geriatric population. Her role includes assisting Veterans and families cope with life limiting illness, in order to maximize quality of life and alleviate suffering. She assists in providing access to benefits offered through VA, and advocating for excellent care at the end-of-life for Veterans through community partnerships. Barbara is also involved with educating staff about goals of care planning and care for Veterans at the end-of-life.
Jeannette Koijane, MPH
Jeannette G. Koijane, MPH is the Executive Director of Kokua Mau, Hawaii's Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, an organization she has worked with for over 14 years, beginning while she worked at the Executive Office on Aging. She received her graduate degree in Public Health from the University of Hawaii and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University. She has been involved with the field of hospice and palliative care for over 24 years, beginning in the field of HIV/AIDS working with the AIDS Memorial Quilt as the Director of International Programs and then in a variety of research and educational positions. Jeannette has worked in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands helping to develop palliative care programs through a collaboration with the UH Cancer Center and John A. Burns School of Medicine.
Patricia W. Nishimoto, DNS, FT, FAAN
Dr. Patricia Nishimoto is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Tripler Army Medical Center and also an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, University of Hawaii. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of Thanatology. She is retired Colonel in the Army after 33 years, of service and continues to work full-time as a civilian at Tripler AMC.
In her role as Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, she works with patients and their family members from Micronesia and the Pacific Basin. She co-authored two chapters for the USAPI Palliative Care Curriculum. She taught a five day course based on the curriculum in Kosrae, FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) for physicians and nurses from Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, and Yap. She has written chapters and articles about cultural aspects of oncology and of death and dying. She has lectured in the United Kingdom, Thailand, American Samoa, Korea, Japan, Saipan, Guam and nationally.
Dr. Nishimoto has been honored by the local American Cancer Society as Mana'olana (Nurse of Hope), the national American Cancer Society (Lane W. Adams Award for Nursing Excellence), the national Oncology Nursing Society, and Hospice Hawaii as the Allied Health Care Professional of the Year.
Valisa Saunders, MN, APRN, GNP-BC
Valisa Saunders, is a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner involved in care of the elderly for over 30 years in Hawai'i at all levels. Ms. Saunders currently is on a joint appointment to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) at Leahi and Maluhia Long Term Care Hospitals on Oahu, and the UH Mānoa School of Nursing, and is an adjunct instructor for the John A. Burns School of Medicine in the department of Geriatrics. She is a practicing clinician and teaches Nurse Practitioner graduate students, doctoral nursing students, Geriatric Physicians in-training, and registered nurses in Long Term Care.
In the classroom Valisa teaches geriatric syndromes and systems as well as chronic disease management. She translates the latest evidence into her practice and that of her colleagues through quality improvement initiatives, including advance care planning and end of life care.
Ms. Saunders was the first non-physician to receive the Clinician of the Year Award from the American Geriatrics Society in 2008. She has received other national nursing and many local awards.
Mia Taylor RN, MSN, FNP-BC
Mia is a Nurse Practitioner at St Francis Hospice with 30 years of nursing experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She is a diploma RN and received her bachelor's in psychology and sociology from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids Michigan and her Masters of Nursing from Michigan State University. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Steketee Family Leadership Award, demonstrating nursing excellence. She was the primary care giver for her mother with dementia and has a special interest in providing palliative care for the elderly.