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Thursday, March 5, 2009
AIHM salutes West Maui Hospital CON board approval
By Jan Shields RN @ 8:40 AM :: 12146 Views :: Kauai County, DHHL, Energy, Environment

by Jan Shields

Aloha all,
Today we had our third unanimous decision in favor of the West Maui Hospital by the CON Review panel.  AIHM's Hermine Harman, of Kihei, who also was a member of the Maui Healthcare Taskforce Initiative, testified that the taskforce supported this hospital.  May Fujiwara, of the Lahaina Senior Center also testified in favor of the hospital.  May was also a taskforce member. Many of the West Maui Senior Center's members, in matching pink shirts, came to hear the decision.

I testified on behalf of AIHM in favor of this hospital.  I brought with me the many resumes that I receive on the internet.  These were resumes' of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other healthcare professionals.  I testified on behalf of these many healthcare professionals who want to come to Maui to work.  I turned the resume's over to Bryan Hoyle.  I also testified on behalf of the construction money this hospital will bring into Maui County and the many jobs that will be available. 

Mayor Charmaine Tavares testified on behalf of the hospital as did Gladys Baisa, of the Maui County Council testified as a private citizen for the hospital.  Wes Lo, CEO of Maui Memorial Medical Center reluctantly testified for the West Maui Hospital.  He wanted to spend more time discussing the issue.

The lone dissenting testimony against the project came from Dr. Peter Galpin.  Dr. Galpin stated he is against the hospital as it wouldn't be able to provide complete care if someone went in to it to be treated for a stroke or cardiac event.  A Maui Memorial Nurse testified that they would be able to provide stabilization in order to ship the patient to higher level care.  This does allow a better outcome of the patient.  Kimo Apana, a former Maui County Mayor, testified that he brought a friend into MMMC with a stroke this week and although they needed to admit the friend, there was not a bed so the stroke patient insisted on leaving. Mr. Apana noted that all of the mayors, current and former, were in favor of this project. 

The well respected Dr. Lorrin Pang, Maui District health officer for the state Department of Health, sat on this Board.

West Maui Hospital will be a private, for profit hospital.  The hospital will be a 25 bed critical access hospital (CAH) which gets reimbursed costs at 101%.  This hospital designation is given to hospitals 25 beds or less located in rural areas.  There will also be a separate long term care facility built.  The hospital will offer dialysis and critical care for patients who are not able to be shipped.  There will be workforce housing offered too.  This project will be a wonderful economic boon to the county of Maui.

Mr. Ron Terry now has up to 90 days to respond and approve the CON application or disapprove of it.  I asked him about this and he said he expected to have an answer on the CON application very soon.



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