Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation
111 Hekili Street, Suite A-496
Kailua, Hawaii 96734
October 17, 2018
You are invited to attend the Fourth Annual Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation Luncheon, Sunday, November 18, 2018 from 11:30 AM until 3:00 PM at the Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Ave.
Reverend Aoki dedicated his life’s work to teaching others about living life to its fullest and to “being fully present” with others, and being aware of ourselves, when faced with the mystery of death. He exemplified the best of our humanity and always sought to bring comfort, compassion and healing to others in the depth of fear, suffering and pain. He was a pioneer in the field of thanatology in Hawaii and taught thousands about the meaning of our human existence through his profound understanding of not only his Christianity and the field of philosophy, but through his awesome understanding of the world’s cultures and religions.
The Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation is dedicated to carrying on Reverend Aoki’s work through providing opportunities for our community to learn about caring for individuals and their families with serious illness and about end-of-life care. This year at our Fourth Annual Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation luncheon we will celebrate Reverend Aoki’s work in two ways. First, we are pleased to recognize the outstanding work of Kōkua Mau and to present the “2018 Mitsuo Aoki Community Service Award” to Jeannette Koijane, Executive Director. Kōkua Mau, founded in 2000, exemplifies outstanding community service by providing expert proactive leadership in the field of end of life care through bringing together people from throughout the community and providing information, training and resources with compassion, dedication, skill and expertise. Kokua Mau has been improving the quality of care in the State of Hawaii for the seriously ill and their families and we thank Jeannette Koijane and the Board of Directors for Kokua Mau for their amazing work.
Second, this year we carry on Reverend Aoki’s work through learning about the new “Our Care, Our Choice” Act which will be enacted in Hawaii as of January 1, 2019. “Our Care, Our Choice” enables physicians to write prescriptions for individuals who have 6 months or less to live that will allow patients to die on their own terms. It is very restrictive regarding the conditions of who can participate. Our panel speakers will present the law and discuss some of the experiences of other states. We hope to provide those in attendance with an opportunity to think and relate as to how this law may affect end of life care in Hawaii. It is a spring board from which we can reflect about self-determination, “death with dignity” and the role of health care providers, families and others at the end of life. Our speakers include: Sister Joan Chatfield, Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation (and Moderator), Jeannette Koijane, Executive Director, Kokua Mau, Dr. Rae Seitz, Palliative Care Physician, Clarence Liu, retired Hospice Chaplain and Alan Gamble, Mits Aoki Legacy Foundation. Included with this letter are the meeting agenda and speaker biosketches.
Registration for the luncheon is on line at https://hilopaa.wufoo.com/forms/mits-aoki-legacy-foundation/ The luncheon is hosted by the Foundation and seating is limited so please register early. Registration deadline is November 11, 2018.
Donations to the Foundation are used to perpetuate Reverend Aoki’s teachings and legacy through the preservation of written works and audio-visual recordings, community trainings and with the Foundation’s presence on the web at www.mitsaokilegacyfoundation.org , www.MitsAoki.com and at https://www.facebook.com/MitsAoki/ .
A YouTube recording of one of Dr. Aoki’s community lectures is now viewable at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR9-6aslVqE
Donations may be made on line through PayPal by clicking on the yellow donate button at http://www.mitsaokilegacyfoundation.org/ .
Our last annual Foundation meeting was held September 24, 2017 at the Church of the Crossroads with approximately 125 people in attendance. We watched and discussed a movie which Dr. Aoki had made to use for teaching in conjunction with “Living Your Dying.” This movie documented two, one hour interviews he had with Dr. Roger Long, a University of Hawaii professor. The first hour was done after Roger was told he had 6 months to live and the second hour about two years later. The movie was previewed publically for the first time during the luncheon. It was a documentary style movie during which Mits and Roger have an open, candid, dialog about life, death, and the remarkable, personal journey Roger is experiencing. It was very well received and deeply moving.
The Foundation provided a six session, 12 hour class, entitled “Learning from Dr. Mitsuo Aoki: Understanding and Working with Persons with Terminal Illness” during October and November, co-sponsored with Kokua Mau and Wesley United Methodist Church. Alan Gamble, Foundation President, organized and taught the course which was based on videos of a series of 5 lectures Dr. Aoki gave in 1986. The final session on Advanced Care Planning was facilitated by Dr. Pat Nishimoto and Susie Lee, RN, knowledgeable and outstanding nurses who volunteer with the Kokua Mau speakers bureau, as well as, Mr. Gamble. National Association of Social Workers continuing education credits (up to 12 CEUs) were given to social workers who attended. Classes and CEUs were provided at no cost to the participants. Attendees were from a broad range of backgrounds including: social workers, pastoral counselors, nurses, family members and individuals facing end of life challenges. Each session’s evaluations were very positive. This will be repeated in February 2019. Please email MitsAokiLegacy@hawaii.rr.com if you are interested in attending.
We continue to work with the University of Hawaii, West Oahu Campus, `Ulu`ulu: The Henry Ku`ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi, http://uluulu.hawaii.edu/, to digitally archive and preserve the movie “Living Your Dying”, as well as, over 250 tapes of raw footage for the film and other recordings, documenting Dr. Aoki’s work. This is becoming the “Mitsuo Aoki Collection”. If you would like to support this archive collection, donations can be made directly to the University of Hawaii Foundation https://giving.uhfoundation.org . The Fund number is 12604704 which is named the “University of Hawai’i System – Ulu’ulu — The Henry Ku’ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai’i”. Please write in that the donation is to be used specifically for the Mitsuo Aoki Collection.
First summer session of 2018, Alan co-taught a graduate level social work course for the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work, University of Hawaii –Manoa entitled “Death and Dying”. Luisa Wyant, LCSW, a hospice social worker with 17 years of social work experience, was his co-teacher. They integrated some of Dr. Aoki’s teachings into the class and helped to provide a fertile foundation for the growth of future compassionate, knowledgeable and skillful social workers, and other professionals, in the fields of health care and end-of-life care.
We will keep moving forward with the Foundation’s mission and the intention Mits set before us. The essence of his work, serving the community, also continues. Thank you again for your continued support, care, and generosity. We wish you and your family the very best this holiday season and in the coming year.
Alan Gamble, President
Joan Chatfield, M.M., Vice President
Sophie Ann Aoki, Secretary/Treasurer