What They’re Watching: Naomi Morita, MD, Hui Pohala


Eli Kirshbaum


Hui Pohala is an advocacy organization in Hawaii that aims to increase access to quality palliative care for Hawaiians with serious medical illnesses. The group’s vice president, Naomi Morita, spoke with us at the 2023 Hawaii State of Reform conference in January about her main priorities for Hawaii healthcare policy. She says supporting the state’s long-term care workforce is crucial to her organization’s mission of providing broader access to home-based healthcare.

“What do these patients need to be able to remain at home? They certainly need things like CNAs, nurse assistants, [and] other direct care [workers] …”

To address this, Pohala is focused on implementing programs that train high school students to enter the long-term care workforce to try and fill in some of these gaps.