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North Hawaii Community Hospital Adds New Pharmacy for Hospital Inpatients

After more than two years of planning, North Hawai’i Community Hospital pharmacy staff has moved into a new location within the hospital. Prior to the move in, employees joined together in a blessing by Kahu Billy Mitchell and NHCH Board of Trustees member. President Cindy Kamikawa and Pharmacy Director Anthony Fazio welcomed employees and Liana Honda, Native Hawaiian health manager presented a Hawaiian oli/chant.

Pharmacy Director Anthony Fazio (L) with NHCH President Cindy Kamikawa (R)

The new pharmacy is not open to the public but instead serves all of the pharmacy needs of patients staying overnight at the hospital. “The new pharmacy provides us with more space and upgraded technology, offering enhanced safety for both patients and staff,” said Pharmacy Director Anthony Fazio. “In addition, the new pharmacy will assure that we are ready for new regulations related to pharmaceuticals and medication in the future.”

“The completion of this project reflects the commitment of The Queen’s Health Systems to the provision of quality care to the people of North Hawai’i,” said Cindy Kamikawa, RN, and President of North Hawaii Community Hospital. The last significant renovation project at North Hawai’i Community Hospital was the MRI suite in 2001.

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.”

North Hawaii Community Hospital Celebrates 20 Years Delivering Babies and Receives Certificate of Approval

North Hawaii Community Hospital is celebrating 20 years of service to the community by inviting everyone born at the hospital since its opening in 1996 to a birthday celebration on Friday, August 26 at 3 pm.

North Hawaii Community Hospital FrontAttendees will be treated to birthday cake and party favors, and are asked to bring their baby photo to display.

The hospital will also be celebrating Baby Friendly Day.  North Hawaii Community Hospital was designated a Baby Friendly hospital by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund for offering an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies, and is one of only three in the state with this special designation.

And

North Hawaii Community Hospital Women’s Health CenteringPregnancy® program recently received their certificate of approval from the Centering Healthcare Institute.  After a thorough site visit and program review, Centering officials determined that North Hawaii Community Hospital’s program has demonstrated fidelity to the Centering model and is on track for sustainability.

Centering officials, who visited from Massachusetts, noted that Women’s Health is implementing the Centering model while integrating important cultural practices and traditions, making it unique and very special to the participants. “The staff and participants have created a sacred space that forges strong bonds and a sense of pride. This is a model site and should be encouraged to share their experiences,” said Centering officials.

Officials also noted the program’s excellent outcomes and patient satisfaction, good average group size, strong administrative support, and an effective and engaged steering committee.

CenteringPregnancy offers a group approach to prenatal care, combining three essential elements of care- health assessment, education, and support.  Approximately 10 to 12 expectant moms meet for 10 two-hour sessions starting in the first trimester of pregnancy.  Moms-to-be share stories and learn from one another and talk about health issues.  Each two-hour session is led by a Women’s Health certified nurse midwife and childbirth facilitator.  In the past year, CenteringPregnancy participants reported 100% satisfaction and exceeded goals for low birth weight and premature births.

For questions about the CenteringPregnancy program, contact Women’s Health at North Hawaii Community Hospital at 885-9606.

North Hawaii Community Hospital Scholarship Opportunities

North Hawaii Community Hospital has several scholarship opportunities available for students in the field of nursing.

North Hawaii Community HospitalThe Peggy Dineen-Orsini Scholarship offers a $2,000 award to a resident of Hawaii County who is enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a National League of Nursing accredited program in Hawai‘i or on the mainland. Private donors along with the Medical Staff at North Hawaii Community Hospital fund this scholarship in memory of Peggy Dineen-Orsini, who was a Registered Nurse at North Hawaii Community Hospital from 1996 to 2004, remembered for her compassion for her patients, colleagues and friends.

The second scholarship is funded by the North Hawaii Community Hospital Medical Staff and offers two $1,000 scholarships to residents of Hawaii County who are enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a National League of Nursing accredited program in Hawai‘i or on the mainland.

Applications are available online by visiting www.nhch.com (see Community/Education Scholarships). Completed applications and required documents must be received or postmarked by May 6, 2016. Please mail completed applications and required documents to North Hawaii Community Hospital, Attention: Development Department, 67-1125 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela, HI 96743.

For more information, contact the Development Department at North Hawaii Community Hospital at 881-4420.

No Confirmed Cases of Dengue Fever at NHCH

As of November 5, there have been a total of 15 confirmed cases of locally acquired dengue fever on the Big Island. There have been no confirmed cases at North Hawaii Community Hospital but hospital personnel are on alert for possible exposure.

Mosquito Bite

Dengue fever is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes. Dengue is not spread directly from one person to another. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 400 million people worldwide are infected every year. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt treatment can greatly lower the risk of medical complications.

Dengue symptoms generally appear between five and seven days after a bite by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include high fever, joint and muscle pain, severe headache, eye pain, and rash. People with mild cases may have only a fever. Uncomplicated dengue cases usually resolve within two to seven days.

Individuals suspected or confirmed to have dengue are instructed to stay indoors and avoid mosquito bites during their first week of illness. Patients should be encouraged to aggressively control and eliminate mosquitoes around their homes and businesses by eliminating areas of standing water. Windows and door screens should be checked for holes and tears and repaired as needed. Individuals should use mosquito repellents containing 20–30% DEET (diethyltoluamide) and wear long sleeves and pants when possible.

If you think that you or family member may have contracted dengue, you are encouraged to call the Hawaii Department of Health Dengue Hotline (808) 586-8362 or contact your primary care physician immediately. Additional information is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/dengue/

North Hawaii Students Learn Bike Safety from PATH and NHCH

Over the past three months, staff from North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Trauma Program have partnered with Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH) to provide free bicycle training and safety education to more than 250 fourth grade students at Kohala Elementary School, Honokaa Elementary School, Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Century Public Charter School and Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School.

Path kids

“Partnering with PATH offered an ideal opportunity to provide injury prevention and safety education to North Hawaii students,” says Kimberly Bastien, RN and NHCH Trauma Program Manager. “While PATH taught students proper riding techniques and skills through their Bike Ed program, we provided bicycle safety education and emphasized the importance of wearing a helmet.” Each participating student was properly fitted with a free multi-sport safety helmet, provided by the hospital’s Trauma Team. “Students were thrilled once they learned the brand new helmet was theirs to keep. It made bike education more interesting and fun for them.”

Tina Clothier, Executive Director with PATH added, “We are delighted to partner with North Hawaii Community Hospital’s Trauma Program in our mutual quest to keep North Kohala youth safe while they explore the joys of bike riding. The participants are excited about receiving their own brand new helmets and wear them with pride. Having the NHCH Trauma Program as our partner had raised the bar for our ever popular Bike Ed classes.”

PATH is a non-profit bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization dedicated to safely connecting the people and places on Hawaii Island with pathways and bikeways. PATH’s Bike Ed program is a bicycle skills program offered to all Big Island schools and youth clubs. During this three-day bicycle program, students learn important bicycle and safety skills, including: the fundamentals of traffic and road safety, hand signals, proper bicycle clothing, as well as how to navigate an intersection, to yield and to ride in control with others.

“Today, children are riding bicycles, scooters, skate boards and other ride-on vehicles,” said Bastien. “Wearing a helmet is crucial to injury prevention and results in fewer injuries in our emergency room.   Not only do helmets reduce the risk of bicycle-related head injury by 80 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but Hawaii State law requires kids younger than 16 years of age wear a helmet. We understand many families may not have the means to purchase a helmet; that’s why we’re doing our part to help keep our keiki safe.”

NHCH’s Trauma Team will offer free helmets to children ages 3 to 12 at the 16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest on Saturday, April 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Center in Waimea. NHCH was designated as a Level III Trauma Center in 2013, which allows the hospital to treat injured patients that would otherwise be diverted to trauma centers located over an hour away. The mission of NHCH’s Trauma Program is to continually improve and optimize the care provided for injured patients through an evolving multidisciplinary performance improvement committee, data collection, injury prevention, community outreach and education. For additional information about the hospital’s Trauma Program, please contact Kimberly Bastien, RN and Trauma Program Manager, at 808-881-4820 or Kimberly.Bastien@NHCH.com.

Dr. Kenneth Graham Named President of NHCH

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

Dr. Kenneth Graham

Dr. Kenneth Graham

“Ken has demonstrated professional expertise and leadership while serving as Acting President of NHCH over the past year,” said Art Ushijima, President of The Queen’s Health Systems. “His significant healthcare management experience and commitment to advancing both Queen’s and NHCH missions are great assets to serving in this role.”

“It is truly an honor to join such an extraordinary team of medical professionals and to serve Queen’s, NHCH and the North Hawaii community,” said Graham. “Our hospital has incredibly talented staff and physicians; strong levels of support from dedicated volunteers and donors; and a commitment to meet the healthcare needs of our community. I look forward to building upon the legacy of the Founders of The Queen’s Medical Center and NHCH, who shared a common vision and passion to provide the best health care for the people of Hawaii.”

For the past year, Graham has served as the hospital’s acting president as the facility officially entered into an affiliation with Queen’s on January 15, 2014. In the agreement, NHCH became a corporate entity under Queen’s, similar to The Queen’s Medical Center and Molokai General Hospital.

Previously, Graham 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 is the former President and CEO of El Camino Hospital, a 542-bed, district-owned not-for-profit hospital in Silicon Valley, as well as former CEO at Overlake Hospital Medical Center (337 beds). He held 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 healthcare administration (FACHE). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Masters in Public Health, both from UCLA.

North Hawaii Community Hospital to Participate in RIMPAC Exercise

North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) will participate in the world’s largest, multinational, maritime exercise, known as RIMPAC, this Friday, July 11th.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

More than 22 nations participate in RIMPAC, which takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands from June 26 to August 1, 2014. This is only the second time in RIMPAC history that US hospitals have participated in the maritime exercise.

“NHCH will participate in the state-wide exercise, working with other agencies and hospitals to test communication and coordination of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief efforts,” says Jennifer Rabalais, NHCH Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator. In addition, four NHCH employees were chosen, via lottery, to participate in a RIMPAC exercise meant to simulate the evacuation of patients to island hospitals after a hurricane hits the fictitious island nation of Griffon. “The four NHCH employees will fly to Honolulu, where they will be moulaged, the art of applying mock injuries for the purpose of training Emergency Response Teams and other medical and military personnel, to simulate “injured patients”. After passing through a simulated triage process, the “injured patients” will be transported to NHCH for care via military Blackhawk helicopter.

This year’s RIMPAC exercise is the 24th in the series that began in 1971. Forty-nine surface ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate. The 22 nations represented include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Participating in RIMPAC will provide us with an opportunity to test the hospital’s ability to handle the simultaneous arrival of multiple trauma casualties, says Rabalais.” “The relationships that are forged at RIMPAC span oceans and years,” says Vice Admiral Kenneth E. Floyd, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet; Commander RIMPAC Exercise via Navy Live, the official blog of the United States Navy. He continued, “ask any veteran of RIMPACs past, and they will tell you that what stands out most in their memory is the chance to work alongside sailors of different navies and ships of different nations, improving their skills and building trust so that when we are called upon to respond to a crisis or disaster, we are ready to respond as a team.”

March of Dimes Awards Grant to North Hawaii Community Hospital

The March of Dimes Hawaii Chapter has awarded a grant to the Waimea Women’s Center at North Hawaii Community Hospital. This grant will enhance the “CenteringPregnancy” group model of prenatal care. CenteringPregnancy® empowers women to make healthy life choices and has been found to increase babies birth weights and gestational age, which improves pregnancy outcomes.

NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center has been awarded a grant from March of Dime Hawaii to enhance their CenteringPregnancy® group model of prenatal care.

NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center has been awarded a grant from March of Dime Hawaii to enhance their CenteringPregnancy® group model of prenatal care.

This grant is one of many that the March of Dimes awards in pursuit of its mission to prevent birth defects and infant mortality.

“We will use the March of Dimes grant to meet our objective of providing mothers and babies with the “CenteringPregnancy” group prenatal care model,” said Annette Manant, Certified Nurse Midwife at Waimea Women’s Center. “We are grateful to those volunteers who support the March of Dimes by participation in events like March for Babies and who donate in other ways. That participation and those donations make this grant possible,” said Pat Hopkins, Certified Nurse Midwife at Waimea Women’s Center.

Queen’s Health Systems and North Hawaii Community Hospital Enter Into Formal Affiliation

The Queen‘s Health Systems (Queen‘s), corporate parent of The Queen‘s Medical Center (QMC), announced today that it has officially entered into an affiliation agreement with North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH).

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

In the agreement, NHCH will become a corporate entity under Queen‘s, similar to QMC and Molokai General Hospital.

QMC has had a clinical affiliation with NHCH since 2005.

“Founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, Queen‘s has served its mission of providing quality healthcare services for over 153 years,” said Art Ushijima, President & CEO of The Queen‘s Health Systems.  “We will now be able to dedicate ourselves to serving the people of North Hawaii with the same standard of excellence that has been the foundation of our founders‘ values and vision.”

Queen‘s, as part of its affiliation with NHCH, will work with NHCH to assess and address NHCH‘s immediate needs.

“Our priority is to create a relationship of cooperation and trust with NHCH and the people of North Hawaii,”  said Ushijima.  “Given NHCH‘s challenging financial situation, an immediate focus is to stabilize the hospital so that it may start to focus on programs and services for its growth and development—a process which was started under Ho‘okahua, NHCH‘s performance improvement program.”

The affiliation is expected to be effective January 1, 2014. Both Queen‘s and NHCH expect the transition to occur without any disruption of service to the community. The affiliation is subject to state approval.

“This affiliation represents a huge step forward in our ability to meet the healthcare needs of the community of North Hawaii and continue to deliver high quality healthcare at a reasonable cost. Having Queen‘s as our partner will improve every aspect of the hospital,”  said Bob Momsen, NHCH Board of Directors Chairman since 2008.

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.

Further substance and status of the agreement are confidential.

 

Waimea Women’s Center Receives OHA Grant to Offer Culturally-Relevant Prenatal Program for Native Hawaiian Women

North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Waimea Women’s Center (WWC) was recently awarded a two-year grant totaling $206,768 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). The purpose of this grant is to implement a culturally-relevant prenatal care program for Native Hawaiian women by using a group model of care known as CenteringPregnancy to address health and emotional wellbeing and improve pregnancy outcomes.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

“We are honored to partner with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in addressing these important issues,” said Dr. Patricia Gunter, North Hawaii Medical Group Director and OB/GYN Physician at Waimea Women’s Center. CenteringPregnancy offers a group approach to prenatal care, combining three essential elements of care every pregnant woman needs: health assessment, education and support to improve pregnancy outcomes. A certified nurse midwife from NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center facilitates 10 two-hour sessions with 8 to 10 mothers-to-be and their partner. All women are due around the same time, and sessions start in the first trimester of pregnancy. Each session includes a comfortable environment, including food and an individual health prenatal assessment, with the majority of time focused on group discussions, creating a community and an opportunity to share common experiences and concerns.

“Rather than having traditional short and frequent one-on-one visits with their healthcare provider, this group model of prenatal care known as CenteringPregnancy will better meet the needs of our unique, rural Native Hawaiian

population, which makes up nearly 30 percent of the community we serve and 50% of delivering moms at NHCH,” says Robin Ramsay, NHCH Waimea Women’s Center Certified Nurse Midwife and CenteringPregnancy facilitator. Maternal health indicators show a higher rate of infant mortality, teen birth rate and an increase in social risk factors in Native Hawaiians that is in disproportion to other ethnic groups in the state. “Our hope is to enroll eighty Native Hawaiian women into this new culturally-relevant prenatal program per year over the next two years.”

“Benefits of the CenteringPregnancy model of care are many,” says Ramsay. “It creates a community for moms-to-be, focusing on a woman’s own experiences and sharing these experiences with each other.” Additional benefits of this new group model of care include: higher patient satisfaction, mothers-to-be are more involved in their prenatal care, are more likely to deliver healthy, full-term babies and to breast feed longer.

Working in conjunction with the Waimea Women’s Center, the hospital’s Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program, will provide seamless primary care services within the same culturally-sensitive framework. “Kaheleulani provides primary care services by understanding and embracing a culturally-appropriate healthcare approach for Native Hawaiians and takes into account traditional Hawaiian healing principles that differ from those of Western medicine,” says Dr. Leina’ala Crawford, Kaheleaulani Medical Director and Primary Care Physician. “We are enthusiastic about this project and understand that it will benefit the community in ways that connect our people to preventive and interactive health care,” says Crawford.

NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center is currently the only healthcare provider on Hawaii Island offering CenteringPregnancy. In addition, Waimea Women’s Center offers a full spectrum of services for women through every stage of life, including: preconception care, prenatal care, delivery services (in the hospital’s Level I Family Birthing Unit), post partum care and gynecology services for women of all ages. WWC provides services for 2,000 to 3,000 women per year, including nearly 600 births, and accepts all insurances. WWC accepts island-wide maternal care patients on a space available basis. Waimea Women’s Center is located in the Lucy Henriques Medical Center at North Hawaii Community Hospital at 67-1123 Mamalahoa Hwy, Suites 110 and 120, Kamuela, HI 96743. For more information on CenteringPregnancy, the Waimea Women’s Center or to make an appointment, please call 808-885-9606.

NHCH Background: North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) is a rural 33-bed acute care hospital located in Kamuela, on Hawai‘i Island. Non-profit and locally governed, the hospital opened in May 1996 and cares for Hawai‘i Island residents and visitors. NHCH offers an extensive set of hospital services that are centered on patient needs, creating a healing experience for the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Please visit www.NHCH.com for more information.

Queen’s Health Systems and North Hawaii Community Hospital Enter Into Agreement

Both Organizations Explore Possibility of Formal Affiliation

The Queen‟s Health Systems (Queen‟s), corporate parent of The Queen‟s Medical Center, announced today that it has officially entered into an agreement with North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH). This agreement will allow Queen‟s to explore the possibility of a formal affiliation with NHCH, as well as conduct in-depth due diligence into physical and regulatory requirements on next steps before moving forward.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

The Queen‟s Medical Center has had a clinical affiliation with NHCH since 2005.

“Queen‟s remains mindful and dedicated to our mission to provide in perpetuity quality health services to improve the well-being of Native Hawaiians and all the people of Hawaii,” said Art Ushijima, President of The Queen‟s Medical Center. “North Hawaii Community Hospital shares a similar mission. Founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, Queen‟s has served its mission of providing quality healthcare services for over 153 years. If given the opportunity, we would dedicate ourselves to serving the people of North Hawaii with the same standard of excellence that has been the foundation of our founders‟ values and vision.”

The specific nature of any affiliation between Queen‟s and North Hawaii will be determined and announced after due diligence is completed. That process is expected to take between 90 to 120 days. Both organizations have signed confidentiality agreements.

“We are very encouraged about the possibility of a formal affiliation with The Queen‟s Health Systems,” said Bob Momsen, NHCH Board of Directors Chairman since 2008. “Queen‟s was instrumental in the founding of NHCH, in the early fund raising, and has consistently been very supportive of the needs of NHCH and our North Hawaii community over the years. Affiliating with Queen’s will dramatically improve our ability to fulfill our mission: Improving the health status of the people of North Hawaii.”

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 status 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.

 

North Hawai‘i Community Hospital Calling Candidates for Best Friends Pet Therapy Program

Have you wondered if your dog would make a good Pet Therapy dog? North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Best Friends Pet Therapy program is looking for handler/dog teams to volunteer for a few hours once a week.

Pet Therapy

Dogs in the hospital’s Best Friends program make rounds in the hospital, visiting with patients, people in waiting rooms, and staff. They bring smiles and brighten the day for patients. Many patients miss their own dogs while staying in the hospital and begin talking and interacting when the dog enters their room, even if they have been withdrawn before. Pet therapy has been found to have a therapeutic effect on people as it can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure and raise spirits and. The hospital staff also looks forward to visiting with the therapy dogs, as they provide a few moments of unconditional love and a break during their busy day.

The dog/handler team will be initially evaluated by the hospital’s Best Friends Pet Therapy program directors according to the standards of Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) and Therapy Dogs International. A temperament assessment will be conducted as well. If a team is accepted as a possible candidate for the Best Friends program, the handler will begin the volunteer application process. This will include a background check.

All breeds welcome. Dogs must be two years of age to qualify for the program and must be examined by the hospital’s veterinarian prior to being accepted. Characteristics of a therapy dog include:

  • A strong bond with its owner
  • Must be housetrained
  • Well-socialized and outgoing, must like people
  • A calm, stable personality that can handle the unexpected
  • Under handler control at all times, even when distractions occur
  • CANNOT jump up, bite, snap, paw or bark while at work

If you are interested in seeing if you and your dog qualify as a pet therapy team, please contact Jennifer Rabalais at 881-4825.

 

25th Annual North Hawaii Senior Health Fair

North Hawai‘i Community Hospital (NHCH) celebrates its 25th Annual North Hawai‘i Senior Health Fair on Sunday, May 19th, 2013 and invites North Hawaii seniors 55 years and older to attend.

Health Fair

“This health fair is often the only time seniors in our community have the opportunity to receive health screenings by physicians, registered nurses and other medical professionals,” says Lowell Johnson, NHCH Interim CEO. “This event provides complimentary health screenings and wellness education to nearly 300 seniors 55+ in North Hawai‘i,” says Johnson.

This event is one of two annual events hosted by North Hawaii Community Hospital to help fulfill its mission “to improve the health status of the people of North Hawaii by improving access to care and providing high quality services at a reasonable cost. The other event is Girls Night Out, held in October, to promote breast cancer awareness.

Complimentary health screenings offered at this event include: oral screenings, hearing tests, stroke risk assessments, skin checks, eye screenings, holistic care services, blood pressure, blood tests for cholesterol and glucose by Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i and more. Health education will also be available to North Hawai‘i seniors by the following vendors: Tutu’s House, County of Hawai‘i Fire Department, North Hawai‘i Hospice, NHCH’s Kohala Home Health Care, NHCH’s Rehabilitation Services, NHCH’s Waimea Women’s Center, Clinical Laboratories of Hawai‘i, Ho’onani Place and more.

NHCH’s 25th Annual Senior Health Fair, formerly held in November, has moved to Sunday, May 19th, 2013 to support National Senior Health and Fitness Day. This event is held at North Hawaii Community Hospital, and registration is open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch, bingo and prizes. For more information, please contact Laurie Edmondson by calling 808-881-4425.

 

North Hawaii Community Hospital Encouraging Residents to Apply for Scholarship Opportunities

North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) would like to encourage residents to apply for three scholarship opportunities. The three scholarships include the Peggy Dineen-Orsini Scholarship, the NHCH Medical Staff Scholarship and the Hawai‘i Emergency Physicians Associated, Inc. (HEPA) Scholarship.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

The Peggy Dineen-Orsini Scholarship offers one $2,000 award to a resident of Hawaii County who is enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a National League of Nursing (NLN) accredited program in Hawai‘i or on the mainland. Private donors along with the Medical Staff at NHCH fund this scholarship in memory of Peggy Dineen-Orsini, who was a Registered Nurse at North Hawaii Community Hospital for eight years (1996 to 2004). Peggy had a caring and appreciative essence for all life offered. Her compassion for her patients, colleagues and friends made her a joy to know and be around. The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage residents to become productive members of our community through higher education.

The second scholarship is funded solely by the NHCH Medical Staff and offers two $1,000 scholarships to individuals who are enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a National League of Nursing accredited program in Hawai‘i or on the mainland.

The third and final scholarship is funded by Hawai’i Emergency Physicians Associated, Inc. (HEPA), the independent, physician-owned group of board-certified physicians who provide staffing in NHCH’s Emergency Department. HEPA is offering two $1,000 college scholarships to graduating North Hawai‘i high school students. For this scholarship, students are asked to write a personal letter describing their future plans and goals and to explain why their financial need is compelling.

All applications will be reviewed by the scholarship committee of each sponsoring organization based on the criteria and requirements outlined in the scholarship application, which can be found online at www.NHCH.com. An important consideration in the selection process is financial need. Completed applications and all required documents must be received on or postmarked by the final filing date of Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Please mail completed applications and required documents to North Hawaii Community Hospital, Attention: Human Resources, 67-1125 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela, HI 96743. For more information, contact Human Resources at North Hawaii Community Hospital at (808) 881-4410.

 

North Hawaii Community Hospital Encourages Community Input on Health Needs Assessment

North Hawai‘i Community Hospital (NHCH) is collaborating with Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH) and numerous hospitals and healthcare entities throughout the state to conduct a community health needs assessment. Community members are asked to participate in this assessment by sharing their health-related issues and concerns to help the Hawaii health care industry and NHCH better meet community needs.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

“We encourage North Hawaii residents to participate in this assessment, so NHCH can gain a greater understanding of the health concerns within our community,” says William Brown, NHCH CEO. “Your feedback will enable us to better coordinate limited resources to address top level health concerns and ensure we continue to meet the needs of our community,” says Brown. “Your input is vitally needed.”

The confidential assessment poses ten questions related to health care concerns in your community and can be accessed online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HawaiiCommunitySurvey2012 or www.HAH.org. The assessment takes less than 5 minutes to complete and must be done by Friday, December 21st, 2012.

In addition to satisfying governmental regulations, the information collected will also be used for strategic planning purposes related to the delivery of health care throughout the state of Hawaii.

HAH is a non-profit organization representing health care providers in Hawaii and is committed to advocating on behalf of the Hawaii health-care industries to ensure the delivery of quality and affordable health care to the people of Hawaii.

HAH, in coordination with Healthy Communities Institute (HCI), is conducting this community health needs assessment to gain input from community health workers, public health professionals and community members as part of a larger statewide community health needs assessment.

To complete the confidential, ten question Hawaii community health needs assessment, please visit www.HAH.org or http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HawaiiCommunitySurvey2012 by Friday, December 21st, 2012. Survey results will be available in March 2013.

Hawai’i Island Beacon Community Expands Alere Wellogic Health Information Exchange in Partnership with North Hawai’i Community Hospital

The Hawai’i Island Beacon Community (HIBC) has begun to expand the region’s first health information exchange (HIE), following a successful pilot phase which began last December at North Hawai’i Community Hospital. The HIE facilitates safer, more efficient, and cost-effective care within the connected health care community across Hawai’i Island. It enables doctors to easily view and share patient records from participating hospitals, doctors’ offices, imaging centers, pharmacies, laboratories and other practices. It also facilitates secure doctor-to-doctor messaging for referrals and consultations, and establishes the foundation for care coordination across the region. This HIE can also connect to other regional HIEs and eventually the Nationwide Health Information Network.

“The Hawai’i Island Beacon project is all about building a better system of health care delivery by providing better care and managing cost. Alere Wellogic’s HIE is helping us reach this ambitious goal by improving the communication and coordination of clinical care and support services,” said Susan Hunt, HIBC Project Director and CEO. “It has been a tremendous demonstration of what collaboration, technology, and community partnerships can achieve. We have accomplished a great deal in a relatively short period of time and are looking forward to next steps.”

The HIE was designed in collaboration with the physicians and technology leadership at North Hawai’i Community Hospital, HIBC, Alere Wellogic, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Key Facts

  • First live HIE on Hawai’i Island now connects doctors in North Hawai’i.
  • Charter participants are NHCH, affiliated physicians, and their reference laboratories and imaging centers.
  • Authorized doctors and their staff have easy and immediate access to patient information across all connected venues of care, from emergency rooms to specialist offices.
  • The shared information is harmonized for easy review and to enable decision support.
  • Doctors and staff already observe positive impact on information availability, operational efficiency, and patient care.
  • This project lays the foundation for Alere’s electronic health record, wireless diagnostic devices, decision support, analytics, care coordination and population health reporting functions.

Participating organizations include: Cleveland Clinic radiologists at North Hawai’i Community Hospital, Clinical Laboratories of Hawai’i, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Hawai’i Emergency Physicians Associated, Hamakua Health Center, North Hawai’i Community Hospital, North Hawai’i Hospitalist Physicians and North Hawai’i Medical Group.

“I have always been impressed by the usability of the HIE from Alere Wellogic,” said Dr. William Park, senior general surgeon at North Hawai’i Community Hospital. “We ultimately chose Alere Wellogic because they are unique in understanding what we doctors need — tools that help us be more efficient, but in a way that doesn’t require fundamental change in how we run our day.”

Care providers can more easily and securely communicate, collaborate, and coordinate patient care. For example, emergency room doctors can now view patient histories kept by primary care physicians, preventing adverse events in situations when seconds can make a difference. In turn, primary care doctors can receive and view information regarding their patients’ admissions and discharges. Alere Wellogic’s unique HIE visual presentation also compiles that information into a single sophisticated screen that enables care providers to see the information and trends on their computer or iPad quickly and easily.

“We can now, with the simple click of the mouse or touch on an iPad, see a patient’s entire medical history from all participants without having to laboriously chase it down or piece it together,” continued Dr. Park. “This demonstrates what I believed was possible: that technology can and must be elegant in how it presents patient information. This solution represents a fundamental step forward in how we deliver and coordinate care.”

“It is no secret that adoption of technology has been a longstanding challenge for our industry,” said Sumit Nagpal, President and CEO of Alere Wellogic. “Limited expectations and brute-force solutions have too often been imposed on doctors and their staff. It is not surprising that these solutions have failed to meet doctors’ needs and seen limited use. We knew right from the beginning that we had to inspire daily, routine adoption by doctors and their staff for this investment to be meaningful and sustainable, and we obtained it by launching with a rich set of patient information, compiled and presented in the way doctors work. Our providers can’t imagine going backward, and are excited about what we have in the works to build on this foundation.”

North Hawaii Community Hospital Announces William Park, MD, Stepping Down as Group’s Chief Medical Officer

After serving eighteen months as Chief Medical Officer, William I. Park, MD, announced today he will step down from his leadership position in North Hawaii Medical Group (NHMG), effective July 1, 2012. Dr. Park will continue to serve as senior general surgeon and will remain on the hospital’s Board of Directors.

William Park, MD,

“Bill’s importance to NHCH cannot be overstated,” says Robert Momsen, NHCH Chairman of the Board. “In 2008, Bill chose to remain at NHCH because he believed in our future. Had he not had such confidence in NHCH, much of our current successes would not have been possible.”

“Without his leadership, NHCH’s new medical group would not be a reality,” says Ken Wood, President and CEO of NHCH. “I would like to thank Bill for the tireless hours he has spent bringing the concept of a medical group into fruition at NHCH.” North Hawaii Medical Group, was formed and established in January 2011 as an affiliate organization of NHCH consisting of multi-specialty health care providers. NHMG’s goal is to work closely with community physicians to form an integrated system of care focused on serving the 35,000 people who live in the hospital’s service area. NHMG is comprised of more than 15 health care providers who offer a wide range of specialty care services including: Adult and Family Medicine, Hospitalist Care, Minimally Invasive and General Surgery, Native Hawaiian Health, Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, Pulmonology and Women’s Health.

“It has been my privilege to serve as the Chief Medical Officer of the North Hawaii Medical Group,” says William Park. “I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to assist with the establishment of NHCH’s North Hawaii Medical Group and have learned more than I have given in this process. I look forward to resuming my career as a general surgeon and continuing to serve on the hospital’s Board of Directors.”

NHCH is actively recruiting a full time Executive Director to lead their North Hawaii Medical Group. Ken Wood, President and CEO of NHCH, will serve as interim director until an appropriate candidate is found.

North Hawaii Community Hospital Announces New Board of Director

North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) announces the addition of Robert K. Lindsey to the hospital’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Lindsey, a retired Kamehameha Schools Administrator, brings years of political, cultural, business and community experience and knowledge to NHCH’s board.

Robert “Bob” Lindsey

Born in Hilo and raised in Kamuela, Hawai‘i, Robert “Bob” Lindsey has lived in Waimea all his life, only leaving to attend high school and college on O‘ahu. Lindsey earned his BA from the University of Hawai‘i – Manoa. He worked with Kamehameha Schools from 1987 until retiring in 2004, serving the last 13 years as Director – Land Assets Division – Hawai‘i. Prior to joining Kamehameha Schools, Lindsey was a social worker, park ranger and served a two-year term as State House Representative – District 6 from 1984 to 1986.

Lindsey also currently resides as board member of 10 non-profit organizations, including The Kohala Center (co-founder and director), Waimea Outdoor Circle, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, Kanu O Ka ‘Aina Learning ‘Ohana, Kohala Ditch Foundation, Habitat for Humanity – West Hawai‘i, and President of Laiopua 2020. In addition, Lindsey is Vice Chair on the Board of Trustee for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and sitting member of the Hawai‘i Island Legislative Caucus.

“Our roots as a community hospital reach throughout North Hawai‘i, and Bob brings a rich understanding of the community’s healthcare needs, which will help us to better fulfill the hospital’s mission,” says Ken Wood, President and CEO of NHCH. Robert Momsen, Chairman of NHCH’s Board of Directors adds, “Bob is the kind of leader that our community is blessed to have. His passion for improving education, healthcare, and housing is reflected in everything he does. NHCH is very fortunate to have Bob join our board.”

“I am honored to have been asked to serve on the NHCH Board of Directors and will be an active advocate for the hospital’s mission and vision,” says Lindsey. “I would like to share an ‘Olelo Noeau from Tutu Pukui: ‘O ke kahua mamua, mahope ke kukulu,’ which means ‘the foundation first, the building afterwards.’ This ‘olelo aligns well with NHCH’s Value Statement, which is, “As ‘Ohana, we Value an environment of Aloha, which nurtures trust, respect, self-expression without fear, open minds and hearts, and continuous improvement.”

Other recent changes to NHCH’s Board of Directors include the resignation of Vice Chair Sharon Vitousek, MD, and Carolyn Quick, RN. Quick joined NHCH’s board in 2008 with more than 30 years of nursing and hospital administration experience, including serving as NHCH’s Vice President of Patient Care Services. Quick resigned from NHCH’s Board of Directors as she will be relocating to the mainland this summer.

Sharon Vitousek, MD, is a founding member of NHCH’s Board of Directors and helped to write the hospital’s mission more than 16 years ago. Vitousek most recently re-joined NHCH’s board in 2009 and is the director of North Hawai‘i Outcomes Project, a collaborative community effort to both measure and improve the health and quality of life in North Hawai‘i. Vitousek resigned from NHCH’s board after accepting the board president position of the Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community Board of Directors.

With these recent changes, the Board of Directors for NHCH includes:

  • Bob Momsen, Chairman (Retired Health Care Venture Capitalist)
  • Ginny Pressler, MD, Vice Chair and Treasurer (Chief Strategic Officer, Hawaii Pacific Health)
  • Robert Hastings, II, JD, Secretary (Trusts and Estate Planning Attorney)
  • William “Doug” Hiller, MD (Chief of Staff – NHCH)
  • Dutch Kuyper (President and CEO – Parker Ranch)
  • Dick Levy (Chairman – Varian Medical Systems; Member – Peninsula Coastal Region of Sutter Health Board; Chair – Finance and Planning Committee of Sutter Health Board)
  • Robert K. Lindsey (Retired Kamehameha Schools Administrator)
  • Kahu Billy Mitchell (Kahu and Community Leader)
  • Bill Park, MD (Chief Medical Officer – NHCH)
  • Ken Wood (President and CEO – NHCH)

NHCH Background: North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) is a rural 33-bed acute care hospital located in Kamuela, on Hawai‘i Island. Non-profit, and locally governed, the hospital opened in May 1996 and cares for Hawai‘i Island residents and visitors. NHCH offers an extensive set of hospital services that are centered on patient needs, creating a healing experience for the whole person – mind, body and spirit.

North Hawaii Community Hospital Announces Kaloa Robinson as New Director of Community Outreach

North Hawai‘i Community Hospital (NHCH) is pleased to announce that Kaloa Robinson has joined the NHCH ‘ohana as the hospital’s Director of Community Outreach. He will lead the organization’s outreach and community partnership efforts, as well as oversee communications programs.

Kaloa Robinson

“We are thrilled to have Kaloa on our team to help NHCH become a more active partner in the community,” said Kerry Howell, Vice President of Development, Marketing and Communications. “Kaloa’s deep experience in community relations and his personal commitment to community service is a tremendous contribution to NHCH, our stakeholders and the greater community.”

Kaloa has extensive experience in community relations with multiple outlets that include U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka as Legislative and Special Assistant in Washington, D.C.; John A. Burns School of Medicine’s faculty member; Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence as Recruitment Specialist; Hui Mālama Ola Na ‘Oiwi as Executive Director; and HMSA as Community Liaison. Kaloa is Vice Chairman of the Hawai‘i County Fire Commission, a member of the Akaka Falls Lions Club and a recent board member with Hawai‘i Island United Way. Kaloa graduated from Damien Memorial High School in Honolulu, HI, received his B.A. from Whittier College in Whittier, CA, and his M.A. in Issues Management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

“I remember visiting NHCH just after it opened 16 years ago and felt a great sense of healing and peace,” says Robinson. “I wholeheartedly feel privileged to be a part of the NHCH ‘ohana and look forward to strengthening and building  relations in our community . . . being here is maika’i loa,” says Robinson.