Latest Episode of Maui Mana‘o is out

Maui senators J. Kalani English, Rosalyn Baker and Gilbert Keith-Agaran talk about the issues affecting Maui and how the State Senate is addressing those issues in the latest episode of Maui Mana‘o.

If you’ve been curious about airport and highway modernization on Maui, the status of naming the new high school in Kihei after the late U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink, funding for Maui Memorial Medical Center, and issues facing Hawaiian Homelands, then watch Maui Mana‘o.

Senate and House Lawmakers Schedule Briefing on Navy Fuel Leak

gabbard 2013Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, today announced that Hawaii lawmakers are taking action to protect and inform the public through an informational briefing on the Navy fuel leak situation and its impacts on our water resources.

Committees on subject matters relating to energy and environment, health, and public safety and military affairs from both the Senate and House will sit down with Navy officials and other relevant government agencies (to be announced at a later date) to learn more about the situation: how it happened, what are the impacts, and what’s being done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

The joint Senate-House informational briefing is scheduled for Friday, March 7, 2014 at 1 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol in Room 329. 

Senate Committees Hold a Hearing for a Bill Supporting Kupuna

The Hawaii Senate Committees on Human Services, Health, and Commerce and Consumer Protection held a hearing on January 30, 2014 on Senate Bill 2228, a bill that would support the elderly in our communities. The measure would address the need for new executive-level positions and provide funding for programs that maintain the health of our kupuna. Various state and county agencies, advocacy groups and individual citizens testified in support.

Proposed by the Kupuna Caucus, the bill complements the priorities of the Joint Majority Package as well as the goals in the Governor’s State of the State Address. As our aging population grows, we must continue to support the health and well-being of our elderly.

The committees recommended that the bill be passed with amendments addressing some of the concerns of those who testified. The bill awaits a committee report, after which another hearing will be held on the revised bill.


Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland, chairwoman of Senate Human Services Committee, reviewing written testimony for SB 2228 on January 30, 2014.

Senator Malama Solomon Issues Statement on Formal Affiliation between Queen’s Health Systems and North Hawaii Community Hospital

Honolulu- The Queen’s Health Systems (Queen’s) officially entered into an affiliation agreement on Monday with North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH). Queen’s is the corporate parent of The Queen’s Medical Center (QMC).

Under the agreement, NHCH will become a corporate entity under Queen’s, similar to QMC and Moloka‘i General Hospital.

Senator Malama Solomon, who represents District 4 (Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) on the island of Hawai‘i, issued this statement in response to the formal agreement:

I am very pleased to learn that The Queen’s Health Systems has entered into an affiliation with North Hawaii Community Hospital,” said Senator Malama Solomon. “This agreement represents an important step towards creating the solid foundation necessary to meeting the growing healthcare needs of the North Hawai‘i community. I look forward to the continued delivery of high quality healthcare services for all of our residents.”

The affiliation is expected to be effective January 1, 2014.

Senate Advances Measure to Provide for Emergency Funding to Kauai Hospitals

HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Senate today passed House Bill (HB) 3, to provide emergency funding to the Kauai Regional Health Care System of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC).

HB 3 appropriates $7.3 million for fiscal year 2013-2014 to sustain the HHSC Kauai Regional Health Care System.  The emergency funding will ensure that Kauai’s two critical access hospitals, West Kauai Medical Center and Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, Kauai’s only inpatient psychiatric unit, long-term care operations and three physician clinics, will remain operational through the spring of 2014.

This measure is necessary to safeguard Kauai’s residents and visitors access to essential health care services,” said Senate Vice President Ronald D. Kouchi, who represents the islands of Kauai and Niihau.  “I strongly appreciate the Ways and Means Committee chair, Senator David Ige, and the Health Committee chair, Senator Josh Green, M.D., for recognizing the critical need for this emergency appropriation and the three Kauai House of Representatives, James Kunane Tokioka, Dee Morikawa, and Derek Kawakami for their diligent work in aiding the passage of this measure.”

The measure will now be sent to Governor Neil Abercrombie for approval.

Senate Health Committee Chair to Hold Talk Story at the Maui Memorial Medical Center

Maui, Wailuku- Senate Health Committee Chair Josh Green will host a “Talk Story” community meeting on Friday, September 13, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Maui Memorial Medical Center,  in the Marion Hanlon Room of the Kahului Tower.

The Maui Memorial Medical Center plays a critical role in the provision of healthcare services to the Maui County community,” said Senator Josh Green. “This meeting is an excellent opportunity for us to engage with the local community, allowing them to voice their concerns and perspectives.”

During the meeting, the general public will have the chance to ask questions and weigh in on issues concerning the hospital.

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Health Committees to Receive Update from the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation

Honolulu- The Senate and House Committees on Health will be holding a joint informational briefing to receive an update from the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) on their electronic medical records system, search for a new CEO, plans and timeline for bring on new board members, and plans for partnerships.

The briefing will be held on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the State Capitol conference room 229.

The following people have been invited to participate:

  • HHSC Board of Directors
  • Avery Chumbley, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer HHSC
  • Dr. Ramsey Hasan, Chief Medical Officer HHSC

 

This informational briefing is an opportunity for us to sit down with HHSC and discuss the status of their electronic medical record system and their strategic plan, both of which must be acceptable to Hawaii’s taxpayers,” said Senator Josh Green, chair of the Senate Committee on Health. “With a better understanding of where the organization is today, we can work with them to help enhance the overall quality of our patients’ care going forward.”

During the briefing the corporation will also discuss their budget and contingency plans for 2014.

Hawai‘i Island’s International Flight Training Center Prepares for Take-Off

(International Flight Training Center & Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Bills Become Law)

(Senator Gilbert Kahele joins his House colleagues and Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui for the enactment of Senate Bill 1221 and House Bill 417.)

Honolulu- Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui signed into law today a measure foundational to the future implementation of an international flight training center on the Island of Hawai‘i.

Senate Bill 1221 appropriates $100,000 to hire a program coordinator and a technical support staff member for an international flight training center and associated aeronautical training programs at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College.

Hawai’i Island and in particular Hilo has everything you need to support a world class aviation university program,” said Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents District 1 (Hilo) and was one of the bill’s primary introducers.  “Today’s investment by the State creates the initial foundation for a program that will create additional opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for our local youth and students in the Asia-Pacific region. I commend the Abercrombie administration for their support and commitment to this important investment in Hawai’i's future.”

The Lieutenant Governor also enacted a measure to address the State’s primary care physician shortage.

House Bill 417, relating to the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation, appropriates $1,800,000 for the interdisciplinary Hawai‘i Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program at Hilo Medical Center.

The measure provides an innovative approach to resolving the severe shortage of healthcare providers that the State continues to face,” said Kahele. “The success of this statewide training program, administered by Hilo Medical Center, will help the State to meet the needs of our rural area residents by generating interdisciplinary teams capable of caring for four times as many patients as independent practicing physicians and eliminate our need to train or attract unattainably high numbers of physicians.”

 

Senator J. Kalani English Responds to Governor’s $900,000 for Grants-in-Aid Release to the Hana Health Medical Center

Honolulu- Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of $900,000 for grants-in-aid to the Hana Health Medical Center.  The Hana Health Medical Center was identified earlier this year by members of the Legislature as a priority project and grant. The $900,000 is to be used for planning and construction for medical center expansion, schematic design, and construction documents.

Senator J. Kalani English, who represents Hana, issued the following statement in response to Governor Neil Abercrombie’s grants-in-aid approval:

The Hana Health Medical Center has been needing attention and improvements for a long time and I am happy to hear that the modernization of the center will finally be moving along,” said Senator J. Kalani English.As the only medical center in the District of Hana, Hana Health Medical Center provides an integral part of the health, wellness and safety our residents and our visitors. The construction of a modern health facility will help to ensure that the current and future health care needs of Hana continue to be met.”

Senator J. Kalani English currently represents Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lana‘i, and Kahoolawe.

Impact of Hawaii Medical Center’s Closing on Health Services Discussed

HONOLULU –  Several  representatives from the health community will be briefing the Senate Committee on Health on the status of services that have been diverted since the closing of Hawaii Medical Center.  The briefing will take place on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol Auditorium. 

Our goal is to better understand the timetable for the issuance of a new provider number, when the hospital could reopen, who might potentially acquire the facilities, and what the current impact on healthcare access has been,” said Senator Josh Green, M.D., chair of the Senate Committee on Health.  “We will be able to better assess the direction we’re heading as a result of the hearing.”

The potential acquisition of Hawaii Medical Center’s facilities will also be discussed.

A representative from the following organizations has been invited to provide commentary:

Hawaii Health Systems Corporation

Department of Health

Queens Hospital

Hawaii Pacific Health

Kaiser

HMSA

Honolulu EMS

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