Skip to main content

Social services

When you or a loved one receives care at Maui Health, you can count on support from our highly skilled and compassionate team of social workers.

Social work services are provided at Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC), Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital. Depending on your needs, your medical team may connect you with the social work team, or you or your family members can request their help.

What our social workers do

Social work is a profession that concerns itself with individuals, families, groups and communities in an effort to enhance social functioning and overall well-being. Social workers are patient advocates who empower people and help them transition through the healthcare system and the community successfully. Although their specific roles may vary by location, our licensed and master's-level trained social workers serve in a variety of ways. For example, they:

Connect people to resources they'll need after discharge. Our social workers help with discharge planning for patients and connect them with services and resources they'll need after leaving the hospital. Social workers may assist with arrangements for:

  • Visits from home health aides to help with bathing, chores, shopping or activities of daily living.
  • Follow-up visits with a primary care provider or other medical specialist.
  • Long-term or skilled nursing care in a facility.
  • Referrals to services like mental health counseling, substance abuse support groups or a homeless shelter.

Provide information about healthcare planning. Social workers can help people understand advance healthcare directives. These documents allow patients to specify what type of care they do or do not want should they become unable to make their wishes known in the future. They also allow the individual to specify someone to make medical decisions on their behalf should they become too ill to speak for themselves.

Assist with family meetings. Social workers are skilled at helping families resolve conflicts and disagreements when it comes to a loved one's care plan.

Help answer questions. Social workers are trained communicators. They serve as liaisons between patients and medical team members. So you can turn to them if you have questions about the care that you or a family member receive. A social worker can help answer questions you may have about the healthcare system, including insurance options. If they don't have the answer, they will work to get one.

Support patients who are receiving long-term care. At Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital, social workers are on the team that provides care in our long-term nursing units. They work with patients, residents and clients on a regular basis, helping to ensure their needs are met and connecting them with appropriate community programs.