Supporting family caregivers in West Hawaii since 1996

It takes a whole community to care for our caregivers.

Many thanks to our sponsors from 2015 through 2020:

  • West Hawaii Healthcare Council
  • Hawaii Community Foundation
  • Hawaii County Office of Aging
  • AARP
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers
  • Young Brothers
  • Kona Adult Day Center
  • Services for Seniors
  • Hawaii Alliance for Community Health (HACH)
  • Regency at Hualalai
  • Project Dana
  • Young Brothers
  • Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union
  • Walmart
  • HMSA
  • Tutu's House
  • Ho'oNani Place
  • PFI Rubbish Service, Inc.

Our History

In 1995, a group of healthcare professional women joined with the Senior Planner from the Kona office of the Hawaii County Office of Aging (HCOA) to evaluate the needs of family caregivers in West Hawaii. With input from HCOA, Hawaii Community Caregiver Network (HCCN) was formed and developed its Mission and Vision statements (see below), which would be our guide into the future. Funding was provided by a grant from Hawaii Island Rural Health Association, which also acted as the group’s non-profit 501(c)(3) umbrella. During the initial years a needs assessment of family caregivers in West Hawaii was completed, which determined that respite and education were among the priority needs of caregivers.

Over the years since, HCCN has presented more than a dozen successful conferences to provide caregivers with pertinent topics, informed speakers, and a chance to network with local agencies and services as part of the Resource Fair.

Starting in 2014, HCCN took on the responsibility of providing the national evidence-based program, "Powerful Tools for Caregivers."  With these free classes, HCCN has provided over 120 caregivers in West Hawaii with the skills needed to handle the challenges of caring for a loved one. These include an introduction to local resources; learning communi-cation skills; how to deal with stress through relaxation techniques; how to manage emotions, such as anger, guilt, and depression; and how to take care of themselves.

During 2019, HCCN created a pilot program together with Regency Hualalai Assisted Living, to fund respite stays for care receivers. This program provided family caregivers with a week of much needed “me time” to take care of them-selves. We plan to continue this program when it is again safe 

to do so.

Our Mission: 

 We promote, enhance, and support caregiving though education, networking, planning, coordinating, and advocacy.

Our Vision: 

We envision a community in which caregivers are valued for their contribution (and receive social, educational, economic, and emotional support) and where the care receiver is able to live life meaningfully, with dignity and self-worth.

Below the Board of Directors roster you'll find a profile of our founding member, current treasurer and guiding light, Judy Bell.


Judith M. Bell, BA, Treasurer; Founding Member. Former family caregiver; retired from the health care field after 45 years. Actively involved in a number of community and senior volunteer organizations, e.g. Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Powerful Tools for Caregivers class leader and Master Trainer, Hawaii County Committee on Aging North Kona representative.

Katherine Buckovetz, M.S.,EdD; Director. Former family caregiver, retired director of governmental social services, Medicaid, food stamps, housing, welfare, immigration, counseling, aging and economic development programs, school psychologist, national consultant.  National Employment Counseling President and National Counselor of the Year, AAUW HI Public Policy Secretary, Susan B. Anthony Award, volunteer in various West Hawaii programs.  Kathy grew up on O'ahu and spent school vacations on the Big Island.


Roxanne Cedor, DPT; Director. Former family caregiver for her father, who passed away due to congestive heart failure, lung cancer and brain cancer. Doctor of Physical Therapy with 25 years of experience in inpatient and acute care, ICU, rehab and home health settings. Owner of a private practice mobile physical therapy company serving West Hawaii. 

Joann D'Addio, M.Ed.; Director. Former family caregiver for Mom; retired after 34 years from Chicago Public Schools as a high school teacher of students with learning disabilities as well as counselor to the general student population. Former volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter Kona, and currently facilitating the HCCN caregiver support group.

Karen Klemme, RN; Director. Former family caregiver to parents; retired RN after 40+ year career in rehabilitation; case management and nurse life care planning. Karen opened the Kona Adult Day Center in 1988 and has been a resident of Kona since 1986. She facilitates the Kona Brain Injury Support Group meetings (since 1994) and volunteers with Hospice of Kona's Memory Lane Thrift Store.

Heloise Lochman, BA; President. Former family caregiver; retired kitemaker, musician. Has been a volunteer reading tutor with Ignite Literacy Program at Holualoa School and  Reef Teach volunteer.

Eileen Mena; Vice President. Former family caregiver to husband and mother; retired in 2006 from Department of Justice Office of the U. S. Attorney. Has volunteered with Kona Elk's Lodge in the Drug Awareness Program, and AARP on the Big Island.

Dora Paulo; Director. Former family caregiver to her grandmother, father and father-in-law. Currently employed as Community Relations Director at the Regency Hualalai assisted living community, with a background as a home health aide, CNA, and Medical/Surgical Assistant. All Dora's work experience has focused on working with elders, and she truly enjoys it.  

Karen von Kaenel, R.N., PhD.; Director. Former professor of nursing, developer of a nationally recognized Health and BioScience Academy and a certified Master Teacher. As a health educator and a developmental psychologist, Karen brings her nursing expertise to the areas of family behaviors and gertontology.

Andrina Uemoto; Director.  Currently employed as the Community Relations Director at Regency Hualalai - Retirement, Assisted Living & Memory Care Communities since 2009. Supporter of HCCN since 2015. One day all of us will be a caregiver or care receiver, we take comfort knowing that we have HCCN as a valuable resource.

The Board of Directors is responsible for spearheading the organization’s work; exploring opportunities to serve caregivers, such as sponsoring Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes; and assessing community resources. We keep records of activities and resources. Officers and directors serve the Board on a voluntary basis. Board members are directly involved in project planning, implementation and evaluation. We form subcommittees from time to time, drawn from HCCN volunteer membership, to fulfill the aims of a particular project or program, such as our periodic conference for family caregivers.