UnitedHealthcare Awards $250,000 Grant to Support Hilo Medical Center – Money to Enhance Primary Care Services for East Hawaii Residents

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP) to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families.

Hilo Medical Center Check

The grant will help provide funding to establish Hilo Medical Center’s HHSC PCTP where family medicine residents will train at the Hawaii Island Family Health Center and provide valuable primary care services to local children, adults and families.

In this August 19, 2013 photo provided by UnitedHealthcare Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, left, Mike Middlesworth, left center, East Hawaii Regional Board Member, Tony Welters, center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on as Dr. Kristine McCoy Director of the Hawaii Health Sustems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, gives tour of the Hawaii Island Family Health Center. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, left, Mike Middlesworth, left center, East Hawaii Regional Board Member, Tony Welters, center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on as Dr. Kristine McCoy Director of the Hawaii Health Sustems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, gives tour of the Hawaii Island Family Health Center. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

This unique, interdisciplinary program is in collaboration with University of Hawaii at Hilo’s School of Nursing, The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. The program was conceived as a way to increase access to quality primary care while training the next generation of physicians in Hawaii.

“Hawaii faces a dire shortage of physicians, so we are honored to have the opportunity to work with Hilo Medical Center’s HHSC PCTP to help fill that need,” said Ronald Fujimoto, M.D., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare of Hawaii.

The grant announcement and check presentation were made today at the Hawaii Island Family Health Center in Hilo during a reception that included Gov. Neil Abercrombie, UnitedHealth Group leaders including Executive Vice President Anthony Welters, and community leaders.

 Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie spoke about the importance of health care in rural areas as Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left, and Tony Welters, left center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie spoke about the importance of health care in rural areas as Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left, and Tony Welters, left center, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, look on.

“The collaboration among the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, Hilo Medical Center and its educational partners provides critical care for our local residents and families on the Big Island,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The UnitedHealthcare grant is part of a public and private partnership that will greatly improve our local health care system, especially in rural, underserved areas.”

According to the “Hawai’i Physician Workforce Assessment Project” report, the Big Island saw a 34 percent physician shortage in 2012 – the estimated number of physician care hours delivered compared to the hours of care in demand. Statewide, the shortage was 18 percent. The report concluded the physician shortages were especially acute in the area of primary care, making Hilo Medical Center’s HHSC PCTP an important asset for Hawaii’s health and well-being.

Tony Welters, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, left, Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left center, present a check for $250,000 to Howard Ainsley, left center, East Hawaii Region CEO of Hilo Medical Center, as Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, right, applauds. UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, has awarded a $250,000 grant to support Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program (HHSC PCTP). The program is to help enhance primary care services for East Hawaii residents, including members of the United States military and their families on the island of Hawaii. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

Tony Welters, Executive Vice President, UnitedHealth Group, left, Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Mateczun, left center, present a check for $250,000 to Howard Ainsley, left center, East Hawaii Region CEO of Hilo Medical Center, as Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie, right, applauds. Photo Courtesy UnitedHealthcare

“We truly appreciate UnitedHealthcare’s funding of this grant to support our primary care training program.  This is a tremendous shot in the arm in helping establish this vital program for our community.  In time we hope these physicians will remain on the Big Island and throughout Hawaii,” said Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO at Hilo Medical Center.

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) company, has more than 200 employees located on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island with central offices in Honolulu. With a care provider network of 21 hospitals and more than 2,700 physicians statewide, the health and well-being company serves more than 230,000 Hawaii residents including members of the United States military and their families, and people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare and Medicaid health plans.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

Rest In Peace – Susan Rowe Tucker (MOM)

Susan Rowe Tucker, 65, of Hilo, Hawaii, passed away on December 21, 2012 with her son at her side at the Hilo Medical Center.

Mom and I on my 40th Birthday.

Mom and I on my 40th Birthday.

A private family gathering is planned and her ashes will be spread at a later date.

Su was born in Lynden, Washington on MAY 1, 1947 and graduated from Punahou High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Su continued on in her education to receive a BA from Western Washington State College and a Masters Degree from Chapman University.

A Social Worker for many years, Su enjoyed spending time doing arts and crafts and swimming at the local YWCA. She was a strong advocate of supporting the Salvation Army and the Goodwill Industries.

Su is survived by her son Damon Tucker, grandson Hayden Makana Masafumi Konanui-Tucker, her older brother Michael Rowe of East Moriches, New York, younger brother Robert Rowe of Kauai, nieces Courtney, Allison and Whitney Rowe, nephew Logan Rowe as well as many folk she had “adopted” into her house over the years.

Su is preceded in death by her father Dr. Perry E. Rowe (Ted) and her mother Elizabeth Lane Rowe (Betty).

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Salvation Army or Goodwill Industries.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $3.7 Milllion for Hilo Medical Center

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $3.7 million for capital improvement projects (CIPs) at Hilo Medical Center, the largest facility in Hawaii’s public hospital system and one of the largest employers in Hilo.

Hilo Medical Center

“These CIPs funds represent an investment in Hilo Medical Center as an essential part of our public hospital system,” said Governor Abercrombie. “As elements of the Affordable Care Act come online, we must continue to invest in our healthcare infrastructure to ensure that facilities are ready to provide access to quality healthcare for all the people of Hawaii.”

Since the start of 2012, the Abercrombie administration has released more than $889.5 million for CIPs, including these newly released funds, as a part of an economic strategy to address priority work while stimulating the economy and generating jobs.

Allotment of funds for the following Hilo Medical Center projects, identified by the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:

·    $1,052,000 – Construction and required works of art to renovate the acute care hospital at Hilo Medical Center, including renovations to bathrooms with leaky fixtures and cracked shower tiles, replacement of inoperable and corroded facility doors, soundmasking to reduce noise, and other repairs as necessary
·    $728,000 – Design and construction for the replacement of the medical center’s atrium walls and roof, which need to be repaired to address the water leakage causing damage to the hospital interior
·    $650,000 – Planning, design and construction to repair leaking roofs of the West Wing, Hospital Cottage and acute hospital
·    $350,000 – Design and construction to replace chiller pipes that are more than 25 years old to prevent loss of air conditioning for the hospital
·    $235,000 – Parking lot improvements/renovations, such as re-designation of parking to accommodate patient and visitors’ needs, signage, fencing and lighting
·    $233,000 – Materials abatement, relocation of utilities, and demolition of an old two-story building on the campus that has partially collapsed, resulting in a potential fire hazard and an obstacle to the helipad adjacent to this structure
·    $200,000 – Construction to bring existing storage tanks into compliance with new EPA regulatory standards; project includes construction of a concrete footing, metal roof overhang, and installation of new chain link fences and gates
·    $160,000 – Equipment to replace an existing washer, which is more than 25 years old and is no longer operable
·    $134,000 – Design and construction to replace existing chain link fence with a higher masonry fence that will increase security for the behavioral health unit and additional privacy for patients

 

Rep. Clift Tsuji Hospitalized for Pneumonia

Expected to be released in a few days and to make full recovery

Rep. Clift Tsuji

State Representative Clift Tsuji (District 3 – South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown) announced today that he was admitted to Hilo Medical Center last week with pneumonia, but he is expected to be released in a few days and to make a full recovery.  He has been able to keep up with emails, correspondence and other work during his hospital stay.

Rep. Tsuji has served his East Hawaii district as a state representative since the 2005 legislative session.  Due to reapportionment, he is currently running in a new District 2 (Hilo, Waiakea, Keaukaha) unopposed.

“I am grateful for everyone’s kindness and well wishes during my illness,” said Rep. Tsuji.  “I am receiving excellent care at Hilo Medical Center and look forward to being back 100% very soon.”

Senator Kahele’s 2012 Legislative Accomplishments

Hawaiʻi Islands District Two State Senator Gilbert Kaheleʻs 2012 legislative accomplishments included $35 Million in new projects for Hawaiʻi Island. See the full list below which includes all Capital Improvement Projects, Legislation and Resolutions sponsored by Senator Gilbert Kahele this year and approved by the 2012 Legislature.

Senator Kahele will also be hosting a 2012 Legislative Update for East Hawaiʻi residents on June 19th 2012 at 5PM at the Hilo High School Cafeteria.

This years session was extremely productive for Hawaiʻi Island. The CIP projects and legislation I was able to lobby for and achieve would not have been possible without the help of our Big Island Legislative team in the House and Senate. It is always a team effort as all of us strive every day to improve the quality of life for our Hawaiʻi Island families. I am looking forward to working closely with the Executive Administration and our Governor to insure that these funds are released so work can begin on these critical projects.” said Senator Gilbert Kahele

CIP projects for Hawaiʻi Island secured by Senator Gil Kahele in the FY13 Budget
TOTAL APPROPRIATION: $35,000,000.00

  • Ka’u Irrigation System Upgrade ($1.5 Million) – Plans, design and construction for improvements to the transmission ditch and flume system of the former Kaʻu Agribusiness Plantationʻs irrigation system.
  • Pacific International Space Center for Explorations System ($1.8 Million) – Plans, design and construction for a Pisces Facility at Shipman Industrial Park
  • Transpacific Cable Project ($2.2 Million) – Plans to create privately managed shared open access submarine fiber optic cable land stations statewide.
  • Waiakeawaena Elementary School  ($450K) Construction for additional parking on Kinoole Street; ground and site improvements; equipment and appurtenances.
  • Waiakeawaena Elementary School ($350K) – Plans, design and construction and equipment to install a fall safety surface with ground covering and padding at the schools playground.
  • Waiakea High School ($500K) – Construction and equipment for the schools new all-weather track and field facility.
  • Friends of the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences ($618K) -Plans and design to relocate Volcano School of Arts and Sciences to Keakealani School in Volcano Village on the Island of Hawaiʻi.
  • Hawaiʻi Island Community Development Corporation ($385K) – Plans, land acquisition and design for an adult care center facility in Hilo.
  • Hilo International Airport, ARFF Facility improvements ($1.75 Million) – Construction for the renovation of the aircraft rescue and fire fighting station and other related improvements for the airport modernization program.
  • Volcano Road Widening, Keaau to Paahana ($4 Million) – Construction for the widening of Volcano Road from Keaau to Paahana includinginstallation of signs, pavement markings, drainage, guardrails and other improvements.
  • Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion ($2 Million) -Construction for reconstruction and widening of the existing shoulder and constructing new shoulders from Keaau Bypass Road to the vicinity of Shower Drive, Hawaiʻi.
  • UHH, College of AG, Forest and Natural Resource Management ($25K) – Plans, design and construction for the University of Hawaii at Hiloʻs College of Agriculture, Forest and Natural Resource Management Bee Hive research facility in Panaewa, Hawaiʻi.
  • West Hawaiʻi Community College at Palamanui, Hawaiʻi ($750K) – Construction and equipment for Phase 1 & 2 at the Hawaiʻi Community College at Palamanui.
  • Lanakila Homes Renovation, Hilo, Hawaiʻi (HPHA06) ($7.5 Million) – Design and construction for Lanakila Homes and renovation of the existing vacant buildings.
  • Miloliʻi Wharf and Small Harbor Pier Renovation ($500K) – Plans, design and construction for improvements at various boating facilities statewide to include piers, loading docks, utilities, boat ramps, restrooms, etc.  Total appropriation statewide: $4 Million

HAWAIʻI ISLAND DOE UPGRADES AND IMPROVEMENTS

  • Pahoa Elementary Electrical Upgrade – $1.2 Million
  • Waiakeawaena Elementary Electrical Upgrade – $1.5 Million
  • Kaʻu High School – Softball Field Improvements – $400K
  • Waiakea High School – Softball Field Improvements – $800K
  • Kaʻu High & Pahala Elementary – Science Facility Upgrades *
  • Pahoa High and Intermediate – Science and Facility Upgrades *
  • Keaau High School – Science and Facility Upgrades *
  • Renovation of existing science labs, cost per school will vary based on number of labs and extent of upgrades. Also split between Molokai High, Kapaa High, Radford High and Lahainaluna High.

Total appropriation: $5 Million

HILO MEDICAL CENTER UPGRADES

This years budget provided that the general obligation fund appropriation for Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation (HTH 212), the sum of $20,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012-2013 shall be expended by the Hawaiʻi Health Systems Corporation for repair and maintenance projects, including those to correct health and safety deficiencies; provided further that of the total sum:

  1. $160,000 shall be used to replace the walk-in refrigerator/freezer at the Hilo Medical Center
  2. $146,000 shall be used for a new nurse call system at the Hilo Medical Center
  3. $200,000 shall be used for spill prevention control & countermeasure corrections at the Hilo Medical Center
  4. $134,000 shall be used for a new security wall at Hale Hoola, Hilo Medical Center
  5. $650,000 shall be used to reroof the West Wing, River Cottages and Hospital Cottage at the Hilo Medical Center
  6. $728,000 shall be used to replace the atrium roof wall at the Hilo Medical Center
  7. $1,052,000 shall be used for acute hospital repairs at the Hilo Medical Center
  8. $400,000 shall be used to upgrade the air conditioning and perform additional duct work at the Hilo Medical Center
  9. $350,000 shall be used to replace the chiller piping at the Hilo Medical Center
  10. $233,000 shall be used for the demolition of Old Building (Pink Palace) at the Hilo Medical Center
  11. $160,000 shall be used to replace the laundry dryers/washers at the Hilo Medical Center
  12. $235,000 shall be used to renovate the parking lot at the Hilo Medical Center
  13. $262,000 shall be used for a walking bridge at the Hilo Medical Center
  14. $150,000 shall be used for retro-commissioning and an energy audit at the Hilo Medical Center.

TOTAL UPGRADES TO HILO MEDICAL CENTER: $4,860,000.00

LEGISLATION WHICH SENATOR KAHELE WAS THE PRIMARY INTRODUCER AND PASSED THE 2012 HAWAIʻI STATE LEGISLATURE

  • SB 2648 – Relating to Campaign Finance – Authorizes the use of campaign funds to be used to award scholarships to full time students attending an institute of higher education or vocational school.
  • SB 2337 – Relating to Transportation – Authorizes the Department of Transportation to extend the term of any airport concession in exchange for revenue enhancing improvements.
  • SB 2386 – Relating to the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission – Requires the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission to be responsible for the verification documents provided by individuals seeking to be on the roll.
  • SB 3003 – Relating to Geothermal Resources – Differentiates between “geothermal resources exploitation” and “geothermal resources development”. Makes permissible in all state land use districts and conservation district zones.
  • SB 2001 – Relating to the Public Land Trust – Amends the Hawaiʻi State Planning Act to include promoting the development of indigenous geothermal energy resources that are located on public trust land as a firm source of power. Requires consultation from the Native Hawaiian community and the general public.
  • SB 3001 – Relating to Wildlife – Prohibits the inter island possession, transfer, transport, or release after transport of wild or feral deer; establishes mandatory fines.
  • SB 3002 – Relating to Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons – Amends provisions relating to the licensing and penalties of real estate brokers and salespersons by requiring the real estate commission to consider whether a licensee relied in good faith on the information they provided.

RESOLUTIONS WHICH SENATOR KAHELE WAS THE PRIMARY INTRODUCER AND PASSED THE 2012 HAWAIʻI STATE LEGISLATURE

 

  • SCR 156 – Urges the creation of an exploratory committee to consider the establishment of an International Aviation Training Center at the Hilo International Airport and an Advanced Degree Training Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. – Requests that the Governor convene a 10 member exploratory committee to examine the feasibility and necessary resources required to establish the center and academic program. Requires the committee to report itʻs findings, recommendations and any budget requests to the 2013 Legislature.
  • SCR49 – Requesting the Department of Transportation to form a working group to expeditiously resolve the issue of “Roads in Limbo” statewide.
  • SCR67 – Recognizing the Hawaiʻi Agriculture Research Center for its benefits to the agriculture industry and urging the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center to establish the proposed Kunia Agriculture Processing and Sales Center.
  • SR17 – Requesting the Department of Transportation to form a working group to expeditiously resolve the issue of “Roads in Limbo” in Maui County.
  • SR33 – Urging the Counties to preserve property tax exemptions for Kuleana Lands.
  • SR42 – Establishes a working group to discuss the creation of a strategic plan for the development and marketing of the Hawaiʻi Tea Industry and make recommendations for labeling requirements of Hawaiʻi grown tea.

 

56-Year-Old Man Dies in Vehicle/Pedestrian Crash

A 56-year-old Hilo man died Saturday (February 25) from injuries he received in a motor vehicle/pedestrian crash which occurred on February 24, 2012 on the Wailoa Bridge in Hilo.

The pedestrian was identified as Marcelino Jaquias, Jr., of a Hilo address.

Responding to a 6:58 p.m. call, South Hilo patrol and Traffic Enforcement Unit officers determined that the pedestrian was crossing the Wailoa Bridge in a northerly direction when he was struck by a 2008 Kia van traveling west and being operated by a 47-year-old Hilo man.

The pedestrian, who was not in a crosswalk was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire/Rescue personnel and was later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center in critical condition.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead at 6:42 p.m. at the Queen’s Medical Center.

The driver of the van and his passengers, a 43-year-old woman and 5-year-old girl were not injured.

Police do not believe that speed, alcohol or drugs were factors on part of the driver but it appears that the pedestrian had been drinking.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 4th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 5 at the same time last year.56