Wailuku, Hawaii (December 17, 2021) – Maui Health employees on Maui and Lanai helped spread holiday cheer with over 40 Maui County families in need through Maui Family Support Services (MFSS) Adopt-A-Family (AAF) program last week.
“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, Lanai, and Molokai.
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, Molokai and Lāna‘i.
Press photo(s) attached (additional/high-res images available upon request):
- 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.
About Maui Health
Maui Health, aka Maui Health System, community hospitals and associated clinics affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, includes Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital, Lanai Community Hospital and associated clinics, and serves the people of Maui and Lanai. The facilities under Maui Health employ nearly 1700 Maui County residents, partner with over 450 hospital-based physicians, clinicians, and community-based primary and specialty physicians, and are open to all patients regardless of health insurance coverage. Maui Health is committed to delivering high quality, affordable, patient-centered health care and improving the health of the community. Maui Health is supported by Kaiser Permanente’s industry-leading technology systems, evidence-based medicine and nationally recognized care quality. For more information, visit mauihealth.org.