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Queen’s Medical Center and NHCH Create First Telemedicine ICU on the Big Island

The sickest patients at North Hawai’i Community Hospital (NHCH) are now being monitored 24/7 by highly specialized physicians thanks to state-of-the-art integrated technology provided by The Queen’s Health Systems.

The new system allows for real-time videoconferencing, putting the staff at The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu virtually at the bedside of each ICU patient at NHCH. NHCH ICU patient vital signs are continually displayed in the Queen’s ICU on Oahu. The complete patient chart is visible, exams can be done virtually with advanced videoconferencing located in each patient room, and heart and lung sounds can be heard by the Oahu team thanks to a virtually connected stethoscope.

“The goal is to deliver high quality, patient-centered care where intensive care experts are available at the bedside when the patient needs it. This ensures patients at NHCH have timely access to intensive care specialists in their home community without having to transfer inter-island to Queen’s on Oahu. The telemedicine ICU partnership will improve outcomes by reducing treatment delays and providing state-of-the art care,” said Matthew Koenig, MD, Medical Director of Telemedicine for The Queen’s Health Systems.

Physicians and staff in the ICU at North Hawai’i Community Hospital now conduct rounds alongside intensivists at the Punchbowl campus thanks to this new technology. Intensivists are physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill patients, most often in ICUs. Having intensivists available via telemedicine has shown to reduce mortality. This top-level expertise is now available 24/7 for the sickest patients who come to North Hawai’i Community Hospital.

Scott Gallacher, MD, Medical Director of the Medical ICU at The Queen’s Medical Center, notes that “our medical center’s founder, Queen Emma, said that ‘people are the key to healing.’ Our new tele-ICU capability with NHCH may involve quite a lot of high-technology behind the scenes, but it is essentially a tool to help connect people – patients, families, nursing staff, physicians – at a time when expert help might be the most needed, enhancing our collaborative approach to care. We have already seen that our face-to-face virtual bedside interactions have been a welcome source of comfort and reassurance that the very best in critical care is being delivered within the North Hawai’i community. While we always have the option to transport patients to our Punchbowl MICU from NHCH, this new model turns old ideas of bringing patients to doctors on its head by virtually transporting specialty physicians directly and immediately to the patient bedside where timely care is essential.”

“This new system of care, with North Hawai’i Community Hospital working together with The Queen’s Medical Center, means that we are able to provide the highest quality service to our patients at an extremely critical time,” said Gary Goldberg, MD, Chief Medical Officer, North Hawai’i Community Hospital. “It also means that we can keep more patients close to home – this is good for patients and good for families.”

Aloha Green Receives Department of Health’s Notice to Proceed for Growing on Oahu

Aloha Green Holdings Inc. (Aloha Green) received its Notice to Proceed to Acquire and Cultivate Marijuana from the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) for Aloha Green’s second production center on Oahu – a purpose-built cannabis greenhouse the company has been developing with engineers and architects since the application. This is the first structure of its kind in the State of Hawaii for cannabis cultivation, allowing for a 400% increase in current production capability.

Aloha Green is currently leading the industry as the only licensee on Oahu to receive notice from the DOH for both production centers, in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements. Aloha Green was the first Oahu licensee to receive a Notice to Proceed to begin cultivation in Production Center #1 on February 1, 2017. Production Center #1 is a computer controlled, environmentally sealed indoor cultivation nursery with advanced cannabis cultivation equipment. The Aloha Green also has opened the first and only dispensary in the state, though there are no cannabis products currently available for sale.

Aloha Green is now authorized to expand cultivation into Production Center #2, which was designed specifically to provide a stable environment for cannabis cultivation while taking advantage of the natural growing conditions in Hawaii and reducing carbon emissions. The greenhouse’s state-of-the-art opaque roof materials provide for superior natural sunlight diffusion for optimal plant health. It has computer controlled environmental systems, light deprivation, supplemental lighting, fan controls, heating, and cooling.

“By bringing our state-of-the-art greenhouse online, Aloha Green is able to meet current and future patient demand for safe lab-tested cannabis medicine,” states Tai Cheng, Chief Operating Officer of Aloha Green, “Aloha Green hopes to become a world leader in sustainably grown greenhouse cannabis.”

James H.Q. Lee, Chief Executive Officer, adds, “Aloha Green’s goal is to provide value-priced medicine to qualified patients. Greenhouse grown cannabis will use significantly less electricity than indoor grown cannabis. These savings are being passed on to the patients. The cost of living is already high in Hawaii, and the cost of medicine should not force patients to make the hard choice of whether to seek relief from their symptoms.”

United Airlines Increasing Routes to Hawaii – Adding Lie-Flat Seating From 5 Hubs

United Airlines (UAL) today announced an increase of service on 11 routes connecting the continental U.S. and Hawaii, offering customers more flights between the mainland and the Hawaiian Islands than any other carrier.

Beginning December 20, United will increase service from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Hawaii. The airline will continue operating its daily nonstop service to Honolulu from all seven domestic hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., plus Guam and Tokyo.

“As we celebrate our 70th anniversary in Hawaii this year, today’s announcement carries a very special significance for our customers,” said Jake Cefolia, United’s vice president of Sales. “Our customers have asked for more ways to get to Hawaii, and by adding these flights we are thrilled to make Hawaii more accessible than ever for our customers travelling from the Midwest, Rocky Mountain and West Coast regions.”

Lie-flat seating from 5 United hubs

Beginning this summer, premium cabin customers on all overnight flights between Hawaii and Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York/Newark and Washington, D.C., will enjoy 180-degree flat-bed seats for a more relaxing and sleep-enhancing flight with custom-designed duvets and pillows provided by leading luxury specialty store and New York-bred retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.

Celebrating 70 years of service in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are an important part of United’s history. With the maiden departure of a United DC-6 Mainliner from San Francisco to Honolulu in May 1947, United played a major role in helping to make Hawaii an easily accessible destination for tourism and business. In fact, United’s West Coast hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco will remain the country’s largest gateways for connecting customers to Hawaii, and in December, United’s Denver hub will be another primary interior gateway to Hawaii, offering customers the ability to get to Hawaii from more than 90 destinations in the U.S. and Canada.

“United Airlines has been a leader in air travel between the mainland and Hawaii for 70 years and the airline continues to deliver positive benefits in our communities,” said Ford Fuchigami, Director of Hawaii’s Department of Transportation. “We look forward to welcoming more flights and visitors to Hawaii and another 70 years of partnership.”

“This combination of increased and enhanced service by United Airlines is fantastic news for Hawaii’s tourism industry, especially with the number of direct flights being added to Maui, Kauai and island of Hawaii,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “United’s customers anywhere in the nation will have easy access to all of Hawaii’s major islands and be able to experience our aloha spirit and diversity of culture and natural beauty statewide.”

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Beginning December 20, service between Denver and Kona (KOA), Lihue (LIH) and Maui (OGG) will increase from seasonal to daily year-round service. The airline will continue its year-round daily service from Denver to Honolulu.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Offering the only nonstop service between Chicago and Hawaii, United will increase service to Maui (OGG) to five times per week beginning December 20.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

From Los Angeles, United offers nonstop service to more Hawaiian Island destinations than any other airline. In addition to United’s five times daily service to Honolulu, United will increase service between LAX and Hilo, Kona, Maui and Lihue beginning December 20. United is the only U.S. airline with nonstop service from LAX to Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

From San Francisco, United offers more nonstop service to more Hawaiian Island destinations than any other airline. In addition to its five times daily service between SFO and Honolulu, United will increase service to Kona, Lihue and Maui beginning December 20.