Becoming a PAC Designated Community, Another Step in the Journey

Becoming a PAC Designated Community, Another Step in the Journey post page

Dorothy Colby

By Dorothy ColbyDecember 17th, 2019

Becoming a PAC Designated Community, Another Step in the Journey


by Dorothy Colby,

Hale Kūʻike Director of Community Engagement  and PAC Mentor



We at Hale Kūʻike are so very proud to be recognized as PAC's very first Designated Community. We are excited to be taking this new step in our PAC journey, and to share our history and experiences with the wider PAC community. The name Hale Kūʻike means House of Understanding. We are a family of three Adult Residential Care Homes specializing in dementia care on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. From our founding in 2005, we have strived to understand dementia and provide the right environment, approach, support, and care for those living with dementia and their care partners.

As so many have started, our first encounter with Positive Approach® to Care was through Teepa's videos. In 2010 we used the Accepting the Challenge DVD set for training all new employees and our family support group. In 2014, Hale Kūʻike sent me to Chicago to become Hawaii's first PAC Trainer, with the goal to come back and share the hands-on training with all our staff and families. In 2015 we expanded our family PAC workshops to be public workshops for professionals and home care partners. Hale Kūʻike has always had the goal of helping to bring the Hawaii community together to improve dementia care.

Over the years we have broadened our employee PAC skill set by enabling more staff to become part of the PAC Certified Community. We currently have six PAC Trainers, a PAC Engagement Leader, a PAC Coach, and six PAC Champions. In 2019 Hale Kūʻike's company and PAC growth continues. We opened our third location, hosted a PAC Engagement Skills Day with Teepa Snow, and became the inaugural PAC Designated Community.

As part of the Designated Community process, we were honored to host Teepa Snow and PAC Mentor Kathryn Quinlan to visit our homes, observe, and interact with staff, residents, and families. The process has allowed us to assess where we are and map out where we want to go in our journey to help improve the lives of our residents living with dementia, families, and staff. We look forward to 2020, our first full year as a PAC Designated Community and all the learning, growth, and skill building it will bring!


Teepa Visiting Residents


Kathryn Visiting Team

Dorothy Arriola Colby is a PAC Trainer, Coach, and Mentor. She is a dementia care specialist with more than 20 years of professional and personal experience in caring for people with dementia. Dorothy is the Director of Community Engagement at Hale Kūʻike, residential dementia care homes in Nuuanu, Kaneohe, and Pali.

Dorothy was born in Hawaii, raised in Hauula on the island of Oahu. Dorothy attended Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, completing her master's degree there. Dorothy has a very personal connection to dementia care: her grandmother, with whom she grew up, had Alzheimers disease; her father had stroke-related dementia; and her father-in-law had Parkinsons-related dementia. She has worked at Hale Kūʻike since 2005, helping residents with dementia and their families to navigate through the course of the disease.

Dorothy's mission is to help families understand what is happening to the brain of their loved ones who have dementia. Through her work at Hale Kūʻike and her public dementia education classes, Dorothy helps those who work with and care for people with dementia to understand the process of brain failure. By understanding that the brain is dying, we can empathize, adjust our approach and expectations, and be able to connect and communicate with those who have dementia.

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