February Town Hospice Hero
Posted on February 8, 2021
“I have had several losses in my own life and know how uncertain everything can feel, so being able to help others through that process is what drew me to hospice,” explained Holly Arroyo, this month’s town Hospice Hero.
Holly obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work with a specialization in health care and behavioral mental health. While attending college in Louisiana, she served as a respite volunteer for a local hospice agency. She also gained experience in the field by working as a pharmacy technician, gerontology case manager, and interning as a hospital social worker in the emergency department.
Originally from New Orleans, Holly moved to Hawaii in 2016 to be closer to her mom, who was already living here. She has been a licensed social worker with Islands Hospice since October 2018, and also serves as co-facilitator of the West Bereavement Support group.
As a hospice social worker, Holly has a long list of organizations she works with, and an even longer list of tasks she does to support hospice patients and their families. She provides ongoing social and anticipatory grief support, end-of-life planning such as making funeral arrangements or completing power of attorney paperwork, and connects patients and families to outside resources such as in-home care agencies, Handivan, and Meals on Wheels. With some individuals, she facilitates long-term care placement in nursing facilities, care homes or foster homes.
She deeply appreciates the hard work and dedication to our patients that everyone at Islands Hospice gives each day and recalls a particularly touching experience she had helping to fulfil the wish of declining patient. Holly and an Islands Hospice nurse worked together to set up a patient’s apartment so she could pass away peacefully in her own home. The patient’s family members, who were living on the mainland, were grateful for the efforts of the team to grant their loved one her final wish.
“Death and dying can be a difficult, emotional and challenging experience, so the fact that I can help patients and families by guiding them through the process to help ensure their quality of life, well-being and peace is deeply rewarding. I feel honored to do this work,” said Holly.