HISTORY

1965

  • Monsignor Dever of the Catholic Diocese loans Sister Agnes Jerome Murphy $3,000 to start training center for children with special learning needs.

  • Sister Murphy is allowed to use two classrooms at the back of Star of the Sea School and the center is called the Waialae Catholic Center (WCC).  Classes serve between 10 and 15 children each.

1966

  • WCC incurs a $5,000 deficit and the parents and staff sell sweetbread and sausage to raise money.  Sister has a part-time accountant, assistant, and secretary.

  • Sister spends much of her time teaching in the classroom.  Sister learns to drive at age 52.

1967

  • WCC adds three classes at the Methodist Church on Hunakai Street.  Cost per pupil is $5,000.  The parents are expected to fundraise.  The Community Chest has a surplus and makes a generous contribution to Sister which alleviates the rising deficit.

  • Sister's guiding principle becomes "God will provide."

1968

  • WCC changes its name to the Special Education Center Association but is known in the community as the Special Education Center of Oahu (SECO).  SECO is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Hawaii.

  • Classes are added at the YMCA on Kilauea Street.

  • Randy Lee, Sister's former student becomes President of the SECO Board.

  • Teacher salaries are $4,000 per year.  Sister's salary is $960 per year.

1969

  • SECO serves approximately 107 children between its three locations at Star of the Sea, the YMCA, and the Methodist Church.

  • SECO moves to a Mormon Church in Aina Haina.

  • Physical and occupational therapists and nurses are now on staff.

  • Local trusts and foundations begin contributing to SECO but fundraising is difficult as the community does not see special education as very glamorous.

1970-1975

  • The Mormon Church sells their land and SECO moves to Fort Shafter where the Army gives them a building to use for two years.

  • The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) passed in 1975 requires states to provide a free and appropriate public education for every child between the ages of 3 and 21 regardless of ability.

  • The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) contracts with and pays SECOH $1,700 per student.  SECO serves children with mental retardation, severe learning disabilities and emotional disorders.

1976

  • Chaminade College of Honolulu awards Sister Agnes Jerome Murphy the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris cause, for her aims, ideals and selfless service to children with learning problems.

1977

  • The State gives SECO three Grants-in-Aid and leases 2.5 acres of land at Fort Ruger on the inland slopes of Diamond Head.  SECO breaks ground on October 28 to build its Diamond Head campus.

1978

  • Parents raise about $700,000 towards a new campus. The Diamond Head campus is completed and opened.

  • The cost per child increases to $9,000 per year and enrollment increases to 75 students.

  • SECO begins to learn about autism and becomes recognized in the community as specialists in autism. SECO employs a full time accountant.

1983

  • At the same time, school-aged children are transitioned to DOE for public school services.

  • The State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is ordered by federal mandate to close Waimano Training School and Hospital due to deplorable living conditions and maltreatment of patients.  SECO agrees to assist the state with the deinstitutionalization of Waimano by providing adult day program services at its Diamond Head campus.

  • SECO enters into an agreement with the DOH to become a pilot provider of Medicaid Waiver services to people leaving Waimano. The Medicaid program is federally and state funded.

1985-1988

  • The SECO Diamond Head campus doubles in size due to the deinstitutionalization of Waimano.

  • SECO leases two empty buildings at Waimano from DOH to accommodate the continued growth in adult day program services.  The buildings total 30,000 square feet at a cost of .04 per square foot.  This facility is called the SECOH Leeward Center.  Services are expanded to include personal care, habilitation, and respite.

  • In 1988, the SECOH budget is approximately $2,000,000 and the name is changed to the Special Education Center of Hawaii (SECOH).

1989-1991

  • SECOH makes a complete transition from a school to a disability service agency providing an array of Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver services.  Both the Diamond Head Campus and Leeward Center are full and due to limited space, client enrollment stabilizes.

  • Mary Jossem is hired as the Chief Administrative Officer and reports directly to Sister.

  • Waimano is almost fully vacated with only people with severe medical and behavioral issues remaining as residents.

1992-1994

  • SECOH employs over 115 staff, contracts with 150 independent contractors and focuses on strategic business planning and person-centered service delivery.  Case Management services are added for 22 clients.

  • The SECOH Windward Area Agency is established under a state purchase of service contract to provide community support for people with developmental disabilities on the Windward side of Oahu.

  • Mounting federal and state Medicaid regulations increase the complexity of delivering community based services to people with developmental disabilities.  Relations with the Department of Health begin to deteriorate due to SECOH's demands for fair contracting, reasonable regulation, and budget administration.  The state Department of Human Services and the federal Health Care Financing Administration determine the state's administration of the Medicaid Waiver program is so poor that a moratorium is declared until the deficiencies are corrected.  SECOH plays a major role in assisting the State to develop policies and procedures to correct the deficiencies.

  • The Hawaii economy slumps and corporate giving goes down.

  • Sister is selected as a Hawaii Super Senior and featured in the KGMB on­ going series focusing on senior citizens who have made a difference in the lives of people in Hawaii.

1994-1998

  • SECOH establishes soccer and baseball leagues for children with disabilities.

  • Person centered planning is incorporated into all SECOH services five years before the state mandate (Act 133).

  • SECOH is the first non-profit to utilize Vanpool services to provide transportation services to its clientele.

  • SECOH receives a Weinberg Aim for Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Non-Profit Management.

  • SECOH partners with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities to launch the first ever statewide Direct Support Workers Conference.

  • Sister officially retires on December 31, 1996.  Mary Jossem becomes the Executive Director.

  • In 1997, the SECOH Diamond Head Campus is renamed to the Sister Agnes Jerome Murphy Founder's Campus.

1998-2000

  • SECOH is licensed to provide Adult Day Care services to 24 people at the Diamond Head site specializing in Alzheimer and dementia care.

  • SECOH Board and staff members participate in the design and selection of a new SECOH logo.  The award winning logo is designed by Eric Woo, graphic designer.  SECOH receives another Weinberg Aim for Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Non-Profit Management.

  • Mary Jossem, Executive Director, & Sandee Yoro, Associate Director, introduce and develop the concept of adult day service Community Centers to replace the large segregated day service operations located at the Founder's and Leeward centers.  The guiding principal is to cultivate communities and integrate people with disabilities by affording them the opportunity to live, work, and play in the same community.  The plan is to decentralize the Leeward operation first by acquiring and developing spaces in the neighborhoods where current SECOH customers and staff reside. The concept is supported in full by SECOH stakeholders and takes years of pre-planning before the first Community Center is opened in Waipahu in 2001.

2001

  • The SECOH Waipahu Community Center opens in September at the Waipahu Shopping Village where SECOH leases two units totaling 2,600 square feet.  The spaces are completely renovated to accommodate 30 customers and 10 support staff all of whom are transitioned form the Leeward Center located on the Waimano grounds.

  • SECOH becomes a charter member and plays a key role in the establishment of the Hawaii Waiver Providers Association (HWPA) in the interest of providing resources to develop, strengthen and attain the highest standards of excellence in and for the developmental disability community.

2002

  • Sister passed away on October 7, 2002 at the age of 89.

  • SECOH enters into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Pualani Manor Housing Corporation to manage the recreation center built for the residents of the Pualani Manor apartment complex.  In exchange for its recreation center management services, SECOH is able to provide day services to 15 of its customers supported by 4 staff who reside in the Kalihi neighborhood.  This collaboration represents a truly inclusive community center environment.

  • SECOH receives another Weinberg Aim for Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Non-Profit Management.

2004

  • The SECOH Ewa Beach Community Center opens in May at the Ewa Pointe Marketplace where SECOH leases two units totaling 2,800 square feet. The spaces are completely renovated to accommodate 32 people with developmental disabilities and 12 support staff all of whom are transitioned from the Leeward Center located on the Waimano grounds.

2005

  • Mary Jossem retires as the Executive Director.  Sandra Yoro, Associate Director, succeeds her as Executive Director.

 

2006

  • The SECOH Central Oahu Community Center opens in November at the Hawaiian Eye Complex where SECOH leases two units totaling 2,000 square feet.  The spaces are completely renovated to accommodate 20 customers and 5 support staff all of whom are transitioned from the Leeward Center located on the Waimano grounds.

  • Despite having approximately 25 customers and 8 staff remaining at the Leeward Center, the DOH informs SECOH in the early Fall that it must vacate the property by the end of the year.  The remaining Leeward Center customers and staff are relocated to existing SECOH centers while they await the renovation of their new Pearl City Community Center.  SECOH ceases its Leeward Center operations and vacates the Waimano property on December 31, 2006.

2007

  • The SECOH Pearl City Community Center opens in July at a retail complex in the Waimalu area where SECOH leases a 2,000 square foot unit for day services and a 1,000 square foot office for administrative functions.  The spaces are completely renovated to accommodate 30 people with developmental disabilities and 10 support staff all of whom are transitioned from the Leeward Center located on the Waimano grounds.

  • SECOH launches a new Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) program that will ultimately involve every member of the agency as they help to identify, plan and implement improvements in service delivery.

  • Mary Jossem comes out of retirement to accept a part time position as SECOH's Director of Fund Development.  The intent of this new position is to lay a foundation for SECOH to grow its fundraising, public relations and marketing efforts.

2008

  • SECOH publishes its first newsletter, The SECOH Connection, and begins to see positive financial results from its renewed grant writing efforts.  SECOH receives $225,000 from the Hawaii Community Foundation to provide tuition assistance to persons in need of Adult Day Care over a three-year period.

  • The Central Oahu Community Center is licensed to provide Adult Day Care in addition to providing Adult Day Health.

2009

  • SECOH receives grant funds from the Hawaii Community Foundation to begin the purchase and implementation of web based, electronic service documentation software from Therap Services, LLC over a three-year period.

2010-2011

  • Through grants from the Hawaii Community Foundation, SECOH engages stakeholders from every level of the organization in an exploration of SECOH's vision, mission and values that culminates in a rebranding of the organization.  Mission, vision and values are updated; the logo is retained; a new tag line is established (Nurturing Lives & Cultivating Communities); and a new website is launched.  The Executive Director and Board of Directors engage in a 360 assessment process to further strengthen and build the organization's capacity.

2012
  • Sandee Yoro announces her resignation from SECOH after 23years of service due to her relocation to the state of Oregon.

  • The organization explores options that will ensure the long term viability of SECOH's mission, vision and values.

2013
  • Glenn H. Tsugawa is hired as President  & CEO following his return to Honolulu after serving for 5-years as Senior Vice President & CFO for the YMCA of Greater Seattle.

  • Bridget Panee, Director of Operations, is promoted to Vice President Operations and Adriana Grigsby, Accountant, is named Controller.

  • The Central Oahu Community Center is closed at the end of its lease term, May 2013.  All customers and employees are transferred to the Waipahu, Ewa Beach or Pearl City Community Centers.

  • Pearl City Community Center moves to the Consuelo Cottage at Child & Family Services Ewa campus from September 1, 2013.

  • The City & County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services, Public Transit Division awarded a $718,000 three-year contract for SECOH to operate its own transportation service in lieu of the City's complementary public paratransit service, TheHandi-Van.

  • SECOH outsources HR to ProService Hawaii.

2014
  • Mary Jossem elected as Board Chair.

  • Lorilyn Park is named Director of Accounting replacing Adriana Grigsby.

  • Advisory Committee formed to guide SECOH’s efforts to attract young adults graduating from DOE to its day health program.  The Advisory Committee establishes the visions for Pathways Skills Center as a new program offering. 

  • Bridget Panee, VP Operations, is selected to lead development of SECOH’s Pathways Skill Center.

  • Board authorizes $200,000 renovation of Buildings B and C at Founder’s Campus to house the new program.

  • Pathways Skills Center @ Kailua is opened on the grounds of the newly built Kailua Hongwanji Mission.  The center has the capacity to serve up to 15 clients.

  • Medicaid billing for ADH services is integrated with Therap service documentation system.

  • A second Administration Office is established in the James Campbell Building in Kapolei.

2015
  • Lynne Toyofuku is elected as Board Chair.

  • Bridget Panee, with 22 years of service is named President & CEO.

  • SECOH create two new Director positions:  Director of Mission Services and Director of Community Relations and Ancillary Services.

  • Cynthia Alvarez, with 16 years of SECOH service is named Director of Mission Services.

  • Chad Palmer, with 16 years of SECOH service is named Director of Community Relations and Ancillary Services.

  • Medicaid billing for PAB and Respite services are integrated with Therap service documentation system.

  • SECOH’s Pathways Skills Center @ Diamond Head starts delivering service March 2015.  The center has the capacity to serve up to 60 clients.

  • SECOH’s Consuelo Cottage Community Center is re-organized and Pathways Skills Center @ Ewa is formed.  The center has the capacity to serve up to 30 clients.

  • SECOH outsources Accounting to Meleana Consulting Services.

  • SECOH’s kicks off its 50th Anniversary celebration on September 24, 2015.

  • SECOH’s is honored for its 50 years of community service by the City Council

2016
  • Jon McKenna is elected Board Chair.

  • SECOH receives a $ 25,000 grant from McInerny for air condition installation and further expansion of Pathways Skills Center @ Diamond Head.

  • SECOH ends its yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration with three staff and client events.

  • SECOH converts to solar at the Diamond Head Founder’s Center.

  • SECOH purchases three new vehicles from Honolulu Ford.

2017

  • Mary Jossem is elected Board Chair.

  • SECOH receives a new modified minivan via a 5310 grant.

  • The City & County of Honolulu, Department of Transportation Services, Public Transit Division awarded a $168,000 three-year contract for SECOH to operate its own transportation service in lieu of the City's public paratransit service.

  • SECOH contracts with its first grant writer.

  • Bridget Panee, President & CEO becomes a Weinberg Fellow.

  • Shannon Tsubaki is named the Director of Quality Assurance, Compliance & Training.

2018
  • Darren Ota is elected Board Chair.

  • Mary Jossem officially retires from the SECOH board and relocates to Seattle, Washington.

  • SECOH Building at the Founder's Diamond Head Center is named the Mary F. Jossem Building.

  • SECOH opens its first transportation office on the grounds of the Child & Family Services in Ewa.

  • SECOH is awarded a $125,000 City GIA for the renovation of the Diamond Head Center.

  • SECOH is awarded $20,000 from the Clarence T.C. Ching foundation for the renovation of the Diamond Head Center.

  • St. Francis Healthcare System sub leases space at the the SECOH Diamond Head Center and takes over the oversight, management and service delivery of Adult Day Care Services.

  • SECOH seeks accreditation through the Council of Accreditation.

Call us:

808-734-0233

Find us: 

1001 Kamokila Blvd Suite 259

 Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

© 2013 by SECOH

EMAIL US

info@secoh.org