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Hawaii's Top Employers 2013: Imua Family Services

The mom and child is: Mom Ellen with son Derek at Imua Family Services

Enjoying friends and fun at Camp Imua.

Herbert Hoover once said, “Children are our most valuable resource.” It is this idea that is at the heart of Imua Family Services, a nonprofit organization on Maui and Lanai dedicated to helping the families of children facing developmental, behavioral or disability-associated challenges.

“Children are the single most critical investment any of us can make for the future of the individual and our community,” says Dean Wong, company executive director. “Helping children is the best thing about working for Imua Family Services, and it is the fundamental basis of what we do.”

Founded in 1947, Imua Family Services began with a mission to provide services to children with polio. The organization has made it through 66 years by adapting their services to fill the ever-changing needs of local families.

“We are engaged in family-centered, community-based, therapeutic services for infants, toddlers and preschool children, from birth to age six, and their families,” Wong says. “We are centered around four major programs, which are Newborn Hearing Screening, Infant and Child Development Program, Early Childhood Development Program and Camp Imua.”

The group B&W caption: Camp Imua is in its 36th year, here is where we started.

Imua Family Services implements tried-and-true techniques, such as physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, with the help of its 45 dedicated employees. Being a nonprofit organization, the company cannot offer the same financial incentives to employees that a for-profit organization might. Instead, it offers something better.

“The best thing is to see a parent’s face light up the first time a child who has not been able to speak shares their first word, or when a child who cannot hear finds their way to communicate, or when a child who could not stand or hold themselves up is able to move independently,” Wong says. “When you see a parent’s face experience these monumental moments for the first time, it makes every single moment and difficulty feel worthwhile.”

These breakthrough moments have kept the organization going strong, and it is largely due to the staff.

“This is the dream team,” Wong says. “The staff at Imua Family Services are highly qualified professionals with the compassionate heart to work in a community-based, nonprofit organization.”

And the sense of community is present within the organization as well.

“We work hard constantly because of the critical nature of our work, so we take every advantage to socialize together,” Wong says. “We truly enjoy being together. We have a full-staff meeting once a month where we break bread and talk story. It’s my favorite day of the month.” 


(808) 244-7467
95 Mahalani Street, Suite 19A
Wailuku, HI 96793

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