The Hawaiʻi Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative strives to strengthen the dementia-capability of Hawaiʻi’s communities by expanding person-centered practices that enable people with dementia and their families greater access to a continuum of long-term services and supports (LTSS) into the future. The project will accomplish this goal by building the capacity of professionals and organizations, as well as improving coordination between LTSS service providers. The project is funded by the federal Administration for Community Living’s Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative – Specialized Supportive Services Program.

Major products for the proposed will include two new sustainable and statewide programs – Memory Care Navigators and Savvy Caregiver – embedded with “train-the-trainer” capabilities for future expansion, three new dementia-capable memory clinics, and a website for dementia information. Long-term care service providers will be trained to become memory care navigators and assist their clients in accessing needed home and community based support services and resources. Savvy Caregiver is an evidence-based intervention that provides family caregivers with the skills to “identify, reduce, and manage difficult behavioral symptoms” that often accompany dementia.

Target population

The project targets community dwelling persons with dementia and caregivers, including those with memory loss who live alone; primary care providers and allied health professionals; persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) who develop memory loss; and, those with moderate to advanced stage dementia.

Goals and Objectives of the Project

  1. Increase dementia-capability in Hawaiʻi’s communities by replicating and enhancing the patient- centered medical home (PCHM) model of memory clinics in FQHCs.
  2. Enhance long-term services and supports for dementia in Hawaiʻi by implementing a Memory Care Navigators Program, with special focus on persons with cognitive impairment living alone and those who have moderate to advanced stage dementia.
  3. Increase early detection of dementia in high risk populations, such as individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) by training health professionals working with this population.
  4. Cultivate dementia-capability within Hawaiʻi’s workforce and among allied health professionals to improve person- and family-centered care for persons with ADRD and their caregivers into the future.
  5. Increase enrollment in palliative care services for persons with advanced dementia.
  6. Deliver behavioral symptom management training and expert consultation to families and caregivers to prevent unnecessary institutionalization of community dwelling older adults with dementia.

Featured HADI Products

HADI Memory Clinic Toolkit

HADI Roadmap for Memory Care Navigators

HADI Clinical Practice Tool

HADI Care Coordination Practice Tool


Creating Dementia-friendly Communities

Project Team:

Christy Nishita, Ph.D.- Principal Investigator

Ritabelle Fernandes, M.D.- Co-Principal Investigator

Jody Mishan- Project Consultant



  • Department of Geriatric Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii
  • Alzheimer’s Association – Aloha Chapter
  • Hawaii Department of Health, Executive Office on Aging
  • County Offices on Aging
  • Hawaii Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Division
  • Hawaii Department of Human Services, Med-QUEST Division
  • Hawaii Department of Health, Public Health Nursing Branch
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Project Dana
  • Catholic Charities Hawaii

Questions about the project? Contact