Communications, Education, and Workforce


Since the viral disease outbreak, HAH has worked increasingly hard to amplify its communications and media relations to effectively address COVID-19 both internally and externally and most importantly, offer timely day-to-day messages. HAH also supported its members through the following efforts:

  • Handled daily increased media relation requests that showed President and CEO, Hilton Raethel in news coverage across multiple media platforms (tv, radio, print, online).
  • Prepared commentary and op-ed pieces for the major news outlets, such as the Honolulu Star Advertiser, so that HAH member voices were heard on important COVID-19 issues.
  • Hosted weekly calls for public information officers (PIOs) so that messaging and
    communication resources were distributed throughout the membership.
  • Cancelled the Annual Meeting and the Awards and Scholarship Gala in order to allocate staff resources towards COVID-19 member support.
  • Worked with KITV, which donated unused airtime to HAH for PSAs on donating PPE.
  • Coordinated donations of homemade PPE to HHEM and other healthcare recipients.
  • Updated COVID-19 screening site list in Hawaii.



The Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH) collaborated with key community stakeholders, including the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), Hawaii State Center for Nursing (HSCN), and the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (UH JABSOM) to provide infection control education, training, and resources for its post-acute care members.

HAH and HSCN developed a resource document of governmental guidance on COVID-19 best practices and standards of care, that is updated regularly as new resources and recommendations for care are identified. Additionally, with funding to support infection control and prevention, education from DOH and HSCN developed four webinars focusing on COVID-19 Resource Review for Post-Acute Care Facilities:

  • Cohorting and Social Isolation
  • Staffing Considerations
  • Geriatric Considerations
  • Limiting Transmissions

Along with the UH JABSOM Department of Geriatrics, HAH also assisted with trainings provided to postacute care facilities by supporting national speakers from nursing facilities with active COVID-19 cases to share their experiences, guidance, and best practices in protecting both residents and staff, infection control, and facility preparation.

HAH also engaged with HealthStream to obtain over 160+ on-demand webinars for all levels of healthcare staffing, both licensed and non-licensed, that apply to a variety of healthcare settings for a limited time. HAH shared this extensive education with all healthcare workers across the state, both to its members as well as non-members, so that these professionals could access this COVID-19 education at no cost.


In September, HAH released the results of its first-ever Healthcare Workforce Initiative (HWI) report, showing that Hawaii had 2,200 patient-facing positions open which were taking anywhere from six months to a year to fill.

The report was the result of nearly two years of work. HAH started the Healthcare Workforce Initiative in 2018 as a result of the HAH Strategic Plan, which identified workforce needs as an industry priority. HAH also participates in a sector partnership collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i and the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.

The report made front page news and gave new urgency to the creation of job and degree programs in Hawaii. New partnerships and collaborations formed between HAH members and community and academic partners to address the needs of healthcare providers across the continuum of care.

On February 28, 2020, HAH hired Janna Hoshide as the senior director of workforce development to lead the statewide initiative designed to bolster Hawaii’s healthcare workforce. She brings to her new role more than 14 years of healthcare experience, organizational development, and a passion for developing Hawaii’s healthcare workforce. As part of the workforce development team, Colleen Garrett, who was formerly the policy analyst at HAH, was hired as the administrative coordinator. She will assist with research, administrative support, coordination and project management of workstream projects, and help the senior director with overall workforce initiative portfolio management.

During the pandemic, HAH continued to assess the jobs needs of its members, aligning its efforts towards producing more qualified employees.