LIHUE — Two women help kupuna by their nature, and now they’re being recognized for their efforts.
Hawaii’s largest privately owned nursing healthcare company, Ohana Pacific Management Company, honored Sye Chee and Marjorie Dela Cruz during its recent holiday celebration at the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club.
The annual event, “Celebrating One Ohana,” acknowledged these ladies’ efforts helping needy members of the community.
Chee is the social services director at Hale Kupuna Heritage Home, a nursing and intermediate long-term care center in Omao. She’s responsible for discharge planning, as well as advocating for and attending to the needs of elderly residents.
Chee goes above and beyond her job duties by bringing smiles to the home’s residents and their loved ones. In one instance, she helped out the neglected husband of a resident by bringing groceries and signing him up for Meals On Wheels.
She also helped a resident who loved surfing but was suffering from depression, by getting him involved with KORE (Kauai Ocean Recreation Experience), which gets people with disabilities back in the water. She spent a Saturday getting him to the North Shore, and he has made a remarkable recovery since.
“I think if you treat them like your own grandma or grandpa, it helps them feel like this is their home,” she said.
Her grandfather always told her to remember to take care of the old, the sick and the poor. She continues to help the elderly, and feels blessed to be able to make a difference in their lives.
“I just want the residents to enjoy being here,” Chee said. “For a lot of them, this is the last place they’ll be, so we’re making their lives better and happier. It’s good knowing when I go to bed I did something good for somebody.”
Dela Cruz, head nurse at Garden Isle Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, was also honored.
She takes time to listen to her patients to provide the services they need and help their families understand.
“Patients can continue to receive medical care if they are not able to go home because their health condition does not permit,” she said. “It gives their family time to prepare for their return home to suit any new changes in physical condition or mobility.”
Dela Cruz attributes her success to hardworking co-workers and management at the rehabilitation center in the Wilcox Medical Center campus. She helps manage short-term and long-term patients at the 109-bed nursing facility.
“I try to provide holistic care that meets the physical, psychological and emotional/spiritual needs of patients with various ethnic backgrounds,” Dela Cruz said. “Anyone can be a nurse, but it really involves being both passionate and having a genuine attitude toward caring for your patients.”