Dear Hawaii Pharmacies – Re: Expedited Partner Therapy

Dear Hawaii Pharmacies:

On July 1, 2013, Governor Abercrombie signed SB 655, SD2, HD2, CD1 into law (Act 250, SLH 2013 – see PDF of the new law below).

Act 250

This new law allows health professionals, subject to certain requirements, to treat the partners of patients diagnosed as having certain sexually transmitted diseases by dispensing or prescribing medication to the partners without examining the partners. The language in this new law also allows pharmacists to fill a prescription and dispense the antibiotic where a specific patient’s name is not indicated but written as “Expedited Partner Therapy” or “EPT”.

If a customer wishes to amend the “Expedited Partner Therapy” or “EPT” prescription by naming a specific individual, the pharmacist must first obtain authorization from the prescriber before issuing a new prescription with the specific patient’s name.

Also covered under the new law are prescriptions that are electronically transmitted to the pharmacy and prescriptions written by an “out-of-state practitioner”.

This new law also included pharmacists under the definition of “Health professional” and requires that the “Health professional” that dispenses or prescribe expedited partner antibiotic therapy distribute an information sheet developed by the Hawaii State Department of Health (“DOH”), to the patient.

The DOH has developed the attached information sheets, which are also available on their web page at http://health.hawaii.gov/std-aids/for-providers/ept-expedited-partner-therapy/.

If you have any questions pertaining to the “Expedited Partner Therapy” or “EPT” prescriptions, you may call the DOH, Food and Drug Branch at 586-4725.

If you have any questions pertaining to the information sheets, you may call the DOH, STD/AIDS Prevention Branch at 733-9281.

Your anticipated cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Multiagency Search Locates Missing Fisherman Adrift and Out of Gas Off the Big Island

A fisherman is safe ashore after his vessel ran out of gas and he spent the night adrift off the coast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Wednesday.

Lost Fishermen
At 6:11 p.m. Wednesday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report from Hawaii Fire Department that a man was overdue from a fishing trip.

The fisherman was last seen Wednesday afternoon on his 17-foot fishing boat approximately 40 miles west of Kailua-Kona near a NOAA data buoy.

Watchstanders created a probable search area based on the limited available information and launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point at 10:20 p.m. The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake, an 87-foot patrol boat, was also dispatched from its home-port in Honolulu.

The Hercules crew dropped two self-locating datum marker buoys to better calculate the probable drift of the vessel and to refine the search area using the search and rescue optimal planning system, a computer program which factors in numerous variables to give responders a better chance of finding someone lost at sea.

At 1:20 a.m., the Hercules airplane crew spotted a boat within the area of interest nine miles west of Kailua-Kona with an individual waving his arms to get their attention. The Hercules circled the boat until Kittiwake arrived at 4 a.m. to take the vessel in tow.

Kittiwake safely transferred the passenger and vessel to a Hawaii County Fire Department rescue boat who continued the tow to Keauhou Marina.

“We are thankful that the C-130 and Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake were able to locate the fisherman,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Bendle, search and rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. “It was a team effort that spanned multiple units including our partners at the Hawaii County Fire Department who searched the shorelines last night ultimately completing the tow and safely delivering the man to his family this morning.”

The fisherman was wearing a lifejacket, but was not equipped with other essential safety equipment such as a working VHF radio, flares and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. Mariners should also file a float plan, which can provide critical information to first responders on where to search. Individuals should always stay with their vessel, even if capsized, as it improves their chance of being located.

The Coast Guard strongly encourages boaters to remain aware of their vessel’s fuel capacity and other limitations while operating offshore of the Hawaiian Islands, especially during times of severe weather and high surf.

For more information on boating safety, visit ww.uscgboating.org.

For more information, contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu public affairs officer at (808) 842-2657.

If additional imagery becomes available, it will be published in an updated release.

White Bengal Tiger Namaste Euthanized at Hilo Zoo

Namaste, a male white Bengal tiger that was the star attraction of the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens in Hilo for fifteen years, was euthanized this morning.

Namaste

Namaste

Over the past several weeks, Namaste developed multiple health problems that caused his quality of life to deteriorate.

Donated to the Pana‘ewa Zoo in 1999 by Las Vegas magician Dirk Arthur, Namaste was 8 months old when he arrived on Hawai‘i Island. For 15 years, Namaste’s daily afternoon feedings drew a crowd, and his birthday parties held every September attracted hundreds of attendees.

Namaste was buried today in his enclosure, and the spot will soon be marked with a monument. The zoo also has plans to welcome another tiger after making some renovations to the tiger habitat to accommodate a younger animal.

Hilo Harbor Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project Begins Work

A blessing ceremony was held this morning by the state Department for Transportation (DOT) for the Hilo Harbor Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project.

State and project officials took part in a blessing ceremony at Hilo Harbor to launch the $3.4 million Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project. From left to right, Kahu Brian Welsh, Haili Congregational Church; Glenn Okimoto, Director, State DOT; Nami Wong, State Project Manager, Harbors Division; Creighton Chang, Senior Project Manager, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co.; Neal Fukumoto, Senior Engineer, Wesley R. Segawa & Assoc.; Jeff Hood, Harbors District Manager, Harbors Division; and Bill Wilson, Kamaaina Nissan.

State and project officials took part in a blessing ceremony at Hilo Harbor to launch the $3.4 million Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project. From left to right, Kahu Brian Welsh, Haili Congregational Church; Glenn Okimoto, Director, State DOT; Nami Wong, State Project Manager, Harbors Division; Creighton Chang, Senior Project Manager, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co.; Neal Fukumoto, Senior Engineer, Wesley R. Segawa & Assoc.; Jeff Hood, Harbors District Manager, Harbors Division; and Bill Wilson, Kamaaina Nissan.

The $3.4 million project will widen Kumau Street from two lanes to four lanes and modify the intersection of Kumau Street and Kalanianaole Street to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion.  Road improvements include new asphaltic concrete pavement, concrete sidewalks, curbs, gutters, drainage systems, water mains and additional street lighting at the intersection of Kumau and Kalanianaole Streets.

“Hilo Harbor is a vital facility for the Big Island’s east side and these improvements will benefit the entire island,” said Glenn Okimoto, DOT Director.  “The on-going projects to improve and expand harbor operations will serve these communities for generations to come.”

The Kumau Street Entrance Improvements will provide an alternate entry and exit point for commercial cargo traffic when cruise ships are in port. Currently, during cruise ship dockings at Pier 1, cargo operations and cruise ship passenger traffic can overload roadway capacity at the Kuhio Street entrance, leading to traffic and pedestrian congestion.  The new improvements will help to separate the passenger traffic from cargo operations to improve safety and overall efficiency.

Completion of the Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project is anticipated in late January 2015.

Hawai‘i County Welcomes Senior Softball Players From Canada, California and Hawaii – Mayor’s Cup Senior Softball Tournament

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation is pleased to welcome kupuna athletes from Canada, California and throughout Hawai‘i who are coming to Hawai‘i Island to play in the 2nd annual Mayor’s Cup Senior Softball Tournament.

Softball Tournament

Games will be played at Maka‘eo Park, also known as Old Airport Park, in Kailua-Kona starting Monday, January 20, and wrapping up Thursday, January 23.  The public is invited to watch players competing in the tournament’s two age-group divisions: 60 years and older; and 70 years and older. Admission is free.

Tournament fees will go to the nonprofit Hawai‘i Island United Way for use in supporting dozens of local health and human service organizations. Last year’s inaugural tournament was a tremendous success, and this year’s event promises to deliver an even greater financial boost to Hawai‘i Island’s less fortunate.

The Department of Parks and Recreation humbly asks residents to serve as good hosts by showing aloha for the visiting senior softball players and their families.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park February 2014 Hawaiian Cultural & After Dark in the Park Programs

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in February. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and your $2 donation helps support park programs.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

What We Don’t Know About Hawaiian Volcanoes. For all that scientists have learned about Hawaiian volcanoes during the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s first 100 years, there are still questions to be answered.

Mike Poland, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist. (USGS HVO photo)

Mike Poland, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist. (USGS HVO photo)

James Dwight Dana, one of the first geologists to study Hawaiian volcanoes, called these unknowns “points requiring elucidation” in his book, Characteristics of Volcanoes, in 1890.  In the years since, many of Dana’s points have been addressed, but some have not.  A number of new questions have also arisen, thanks to years of continuous observation and study of Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, and other Hawaiian volcanoes.  USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Mike Poland will discuss the big issues faced by volcanologists studying Hawai‘i’s volcanoes today, from the source of magma deep within the Earth to predicting eruptions—or determining when an ongoing eruption will end! Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

When: Tues., Feb. 4, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Up in Arms! The Struggle to Preserve the Legacy of the National Park Service During Wartime.

U.S. Army Signal Corps, 1940s. Building 34 in background used to intern Japanese Americans during World War II (Kilauea Military Camp photo)

U.S. Army Signal Corps, 1940s. Building 34 in background used to intern Japanese Americans during World War II (Kilauea Military Camp photo)

Park archeologist Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura shares a revealing and fascinating presentation of the challenges faced by the National Park Service before, during, and after World War II at Kīlauea, in what was then called Hawai‘i National Park. The findings of Moniz-Nakamura’s extensive research were recently published in The Hawaiian Journal of History, vol. 47 (2013). Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

When: Tues., Feb. 11, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kalo Demonstration. Join Sam and Edna Buldado as they share the cultural uses of the kalo (taro) plant. Kalo is used for many things, including food, medicine, glue, and dyes – making it one of the most important plants in all of Hawai‘i. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

When: Wed., Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Russell Mauga in Concert. Enjoy an evening of contemporary Hawaiian music through the vibrant voice and slack-key guitar styling of Russell Mauga, one of Hawai‘i Island’s top entertainers.  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

When: Wed., Feb. 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Lei Hulu a me Ulana Pāpale Lauhala. Join master lei maker Kilohana Domingo as he demonstrates the intricate art of lei hulu, or feather lei making. His mother, Lehua Domingo, will share the detailed ‘anoni style of weaving pandanus leaves into an exquisite pāpale, or hat. Both lei hulu and pāpale will be on display. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

When: Wed., Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Agricultural Registration Process Established for All Commercial Crops in Hawai‘i County

The Hawai‘i County Department of Research & Development is inviting all commercial farmers who grow and sell agricultural products including organic, conventional and genetically modified crops to complete a new county agricultural registration form.

countylogo

“This new registration system will allow the county to identify and better support commercial agricultural activities across the island,” said Laverne Omori, director of the Research & Development department.

The department plans to use the new registration program to identify the crops being grown, the locations of those farming activities, and the owners of the lands that are being farmed. It will help the county to accurately inventory all commercial farming activities to help assess the strengths and needs of the agricultural community, and to identify areas where additional federal, state or county investment may be necessary to assist farmers.

The registration form meets the requirements of the newly adopted Chapter 14, Article 22, Section 14-133 of the Hawai‘i County Code, which requires registration of genetically modified crops by March 5, 2014.

There is no cost for registration. The new ordinance establishes a $100 registration fee for genetically modified crops, but the county is waiving all fees for all farmers who register.

The registration form with instructions is available online at hawaiicounty.gov/online-services, or at the Department of Research & Development’s offices in the Hawai‘i County Building in Hilo or the West Hawai‘i Civic Center in Kona.

For more information or assistance with the registration process, call the Department of Research & Development at (808) 961-8366.

The Queen’s Health Systems Names Kenneth D. Graham as Acting President of North Hawaii Community Hospital

The Queen’s Health Systems (Queen’s), corporate parent of The Queen’s Medical Center (QMC), named Kenneth D. Graham, MPH, RHIA, FACHE as Acting President of North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH).

Dr. Kenneth Graham

Kenneth Graham

Graham’s primary role will be to create a relationship of cooperation and trust between Queen’s and both NHCH and the people of North Hawaii.

“Ken has significant experience in a wide array of senior healthcare executive management and leadership roles,” said Art Ushijima, President of The Queen’s Health Systems.  “He is clearly aware of the Queen’s mission and values and will bring that sensitivity in his leadership to the staff and patients at North Hawaii Community Hospital.”

“It is truly an honor to serve Queen’s, NHCH and the North Hawaii community in this important capacity,” said Graham.  “We are currently working with NHCH to assess and address NHCH’s immediate needs.  One immediate focus will be on stabilizing the hospital’s challenging financial situation.  Ultimately, our goal is to have a hospital that will advance both the missions of Queen’s and NHCH.”

Graham previously served as System Integration Advisor in the Office of Queen’s President and CEO Art Ushijima, supporting hospital planning, clinical integration, corporate alignment, and neighbor-island health.  He also provided team support for activation of The Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu and the affiliation with NHCH.

He is the former President and CEO of El Camino Hospital, a 542 bed district owned not-for-profit hospital, located on two campuses in the heart of SiliconValley. Under his leadership, El Camino was named “The most technologically advanced hospital in the world” by Popular Science Magazine in December 2009.

Previously he served as CEO at Overlake Hospital Medical Center (337 beds), and in various executive positions with the Daughters of Charity Health System West (2,400 beds), Grossmont District Hospital (426 beds), and Long Beach Community Hospital (350 beds).

He is professionally certified in medical record administration (RHIA), and also certified in healthcare administration (FACHE).  Through his career as a hospital executive, he has served as CEO at sophisticated hospitals and as a board member or advisor to dozens of healthcare organizations.

He earned a B.S in Public Health, and a Masters of Public Health, both from UCLA.

Queen’s also named Marilynn Hata as Acting Vice President of Finance and Operations.  Hata has extensive practice management consulting experience with a number of physicians.  She previously served as a business development consultant for Queen’s. Hata was born and raised in Hilo and has an MBA from the University of Hawaii.  Her father, the late Richard T. Hata, M.D., was a general surgeon in Hilo.

“I am pleased that Ken and Marilynn will be leading our transition team,” said Ushijima.  “They will both be instrumental in determining what kinds of support North Hawaii Community Hospital will be needing from Queen’s.  Over the coming months, we will be conducting a search for a permanent president to lead North Hawaii Community Hospital’s future growth and development.”

On December 16, 2013, Queen’s announced that it had officially entered into an affiliation agreement with NHCH.  In the agreement, NHCH became a corporate entity under Queen’s, similar to The Queen’s Medical Center and Molokai General Hospital.  QMC has had a clinical affiliation with NHCH since 2005.

The affiliation takes effect January 15, 2014.  Both Queen’s and NHCH expect the transition to occur without any disruption of service to the community.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is a private, non-profit community hospital that serves more than 30,000 residents in North Hawaii.  Located in Waimea (Kamuela), Hawaii Island, NHCH opened in May 1996. Its mission is to improve the health of the people of North Hawaii by improving access to care and providing high-quality services at a reasonable cost.  NHCH is an acute-care hospital with 33 licensed beds, 24 hour emergency services, 376 employees, and 68 active physicians.

Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language Fall 2013 Dean’s List

Hawaiian Language College

The following students in Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo received Dean’s List honors for the Fall 2013 semester:

Alexandria U`ilani Agdeppa, Ka`alalani Wilson Ahu, Corey Thomas Bell, Samuel Frances Clubb, Dillon Keane Dominguez, Brandy Dugo, Martin Keone Ennis, Alexander Kawika Guerrero, Kana Hayase, Stacy Caruth Joel, Kamalani M Johnson, Aleysia-Rae K Kaha, Kamaleikuuipo Kalehuawehe-Valentine, Micah Leialoha Kealaiki, Emma Nohea Laurel Aika Koa, Dylon Garreth Koehn, Monique Lee Komoda, Ciera Mae Lamb, Yixiao Li, Daniel William McDonald, Hokulani Bennett Mckeague, Maranda Dawn Mumm, Amanda Rose O’Farrell, Angela Ann F Pastores, Natalie Laua`e Poy, Christopher Bryan Ramos, Ronald Kaipo Santos, Noriko Sato, Nelli Vyacheslavovna Semenko, Jennifer Ku`uipo Thomson, Teren Nahelenani Travaso, Kellie Chiemi Yagi, Cheyne Isao Yong Yonemori, and Abcde Kawehi Zoller.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 32-Year-Old Hilo Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 32-year-old Hilo woman who was reported missing.

Malia Pelekane

Malia Pelekane

Malia Pelekane was last seen Saturday (January 11) in Hilo.

She is described as 5-foot-2, 170 pounds with brown eyes and shoulder-length black hair.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

“Aloha Ohshima” Relief Drive Extended Through End Of January

Typhoon Wipha ravaged coastal towns along Japan’s east coast on October 16, 2013, and the hardest hit place was Ohshima Island, a sister city of Hawai‘i County. Wipha brought torrential rains – a record-breaking 33 inches in 24 hours – that caused flooding and mudslides that destroyed nearly 300 homes. 32 deaths have been reported and nine people were missing in the most recent report.

Carol Van Camp of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai'i presents a $1,000 donation from the chamber to the Aloha Ohshima relief drive. Van Camp is joined by Honorary Consul General of Japan Art Taniguchi, Hawai'i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Hiroshi Suga and Tommy Goya of the Japanese Community Association of Hawai'i. Also pictured is Ohshima's 50th anniversary gift to Hawai'i County, a copper piece crafted by a 19th-generation craftsman assisted by the people of Ohshima.

Carol Van Camp of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai’i presents a $1,000 donation from the chamber to the Aloha Ohshima relief drive. Van Camp is joined by Honorary Consul General of Japan Art Taniguchi, Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Hiroshi Suga and Tommy Goya of the Japanese Community Association of Hawai’i. Also pictured is Ohshima’s 50th anniversary gift to Hawai’i County, a copper piece crafted by a 19th-generation craftsman assisted by the people of Ohshima.

As Ohshima’s only sister city, the County of Hawai‘i joined the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai‘i, Japanese Community Association, and Kona Japanese Civic Association in the Aloha Ohshima relief drive. The drive has been extended through the end of January 2014, bolstered by a recent donation of $1,000 from the JCCIH. Donations to “Aloha Ohshima” will continue to be accepted at Bank of Hawai‘i branches statewide.

In Japanese, Ohshima means “big island” – so it’s fitting that Ohshima Island’s only international sister city relationship is with Hawai‘i’s Big Island. Though Ohshima is much smaller than Hawai‘i Island – about 35 square miles with a population of 8,200 – it is home to waterfalls, valleys, and Mt. Mihara, an active volcano 2,507 feet tall. Located 75 miles south of Tokyo, Ohshima is the largest island in the Izu group, over a dozen islands extending south from the Izu Peninsula.

The County of Hawai‘i’s sister city relationship with Ohshima Island was initiated in 1962 by the Board of Supervisors, the predecessor to today’s County Council. The Chairman and Executive Officer of the Board of Supervisors, the predecessor to the office of the Mayor, was Thomas K. ‘Lofty’ Cook. Members of the Board of Supervisors at the time were Wing Kong ‘Winkie’ Chong, Elroy Osorio, Helene Hale, Sherwood Greenwell, Ikuo Hisaoka, and Elias Yadao.

A monument commemorating the sister city relationship was erected in 1992, the 30th anniversary of the relationship, in Lili‘uokalani Gardens, by Ohshima Mayor Nagaharu Shimizu.

The most recent visit to Hawai‘i Island by friends from Ohshima Island was in October 2012. Mayumi Jinguh and Zen Tanaka of Ohshima visited on behalf of Mayor Masafumi Kawashima, delivering a letter and a 50th anniversary gift – a copper relief depicting a rainbow bridge between Hawai‘i Island and Ohshima Island. Tanaka, the 19th master of a 414-year-old copper craftsmanship school, started his work with copper when he was 15 years old. The people of Ohshima Island, including Mayor Masafumi Kawashima, participated in crafting the piece.