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.
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.
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.
(International Flight Training Center & Hawai‘i 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.”
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.
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:
On January 23, 2012, the Hawaii State Legislature held a conference meeting on House Bill 608 titled, “Kidney; Liver; Transplants; Appropriation,” relating to Health. The Committee Conferees recommended that the bill be passed with amendments. The Conference draft of the bill will now go to the Senate and House Chambers for voting.
The purpose of the measure is to assist in ensuring that organ transplant patients are able to remain in the State to receive efficient and timely care. House Bill 608 appropriates $1.8 million to sustain a qualified provider with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services certification to provide kidney and liver transplant operations in Hawaii.
The Committee found that there is a critical need to support ongoing services provided by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-certified kidney and liver transplant provider in Hawaii to enable residents to receive proper care within the State, eliminating the need for them to travel great distances to receive treatment on the Mainland.
In late 2011, the Hawaii Medical Center-East’s (HMC) Liver Center shut down. It was the only organ transplant hospital in the Pacific. HMC’s Liver Center offered intensive care for patients with advanced liver failure and liver disease. Following the closure of HMC’s Liver Center, Queen’s Medical Center announced that it would step in to take over the organ transplant program, pending federal approval.
If the measure is signed into law, $1.5 million dollars will be distributed to the Queen’s Medical Center of the kidney transplant program and $300,000 will to go to the National Kidney Foundation for supportive services .
On January 5, 2012, The Senate Committee on Health held an informational briefing to assess the impact of Hawaii Medical Center’s (HMC) Liver Center closure on patient care and the management of liver disease. During the briefing, the committee also discussed the steps being taken to patients’ access to other liver specialists on Oahu, as well as other concerns that may have arisen.
The briefing was held in response to HMC’s closure of HMC-East, the only organ transplant hospital in the Pacific. HMC’s Liver Center offered intensive care for patients with advanced liver failure and liver disease. Following the closure of HMC’s Liver Center, Queen’s Medical Center announced that it would step in to take over the organ transplant program, pending federal approval.
Key points discussed:
Proposed emergency appropriation from the legislature
HONOLULU — The Senate Committee on Health, chaired by Senator Josh Green, M.D., will hold an informational briefing to address vital medical shortages in Hawaii and nationally on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol’s Conference Room 225.
“The medication shortages are making it tough for patients and their families who rely on certain prescription drugs. Medications being in short supply are also a widespread issue for hospitals in Hawaii and across the nation,” said Sen. Josh Green, M.D., who represents North and South Kohala and North and South Kona.
The following parties have been invited to provide comments on the matter:
Department of Health
State Board of Pharmacy
Queen’s Medical Center- Head of Oncology
Hawaii State Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund
Hawaii Medical Service Association
Johnson and Johnson
American Cancer Society
Public testimony will be accepted.
Anyone wishing to testify should submit testimony in one of the following ways by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 7:
By Email: Testimony may be emailed if less than 5 pages in length, to the Committee at HTHTestimony@Capitol.hawaii.gov. Please indicate the measure, date and time of the hearing. Email sent to individual offices or any other Senate office will not be accepted.
By Web: Testimony may be submitted online if less than 4MB in size, at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/emailtestimony.
In person: 1 copy of their testimony to the committee clerk, Room 222, State Capitol.
By fax: Testimony may be faxed if less than 5 pages in length, to the Senate Sergeant-At-Arms Office at 586-6659 or 1-800-586-6659 (toll free for neighbor islands), at least 24 hours prior to the hearing. When faxing, please indicate to which committee the testimony is being submitted and the date and time of the hearing.
Please note: If you submit your written testimony after 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 7, please sign-in at the staff table to testify verbally. A copy of your testimony may not be available during the hearing but will be posted online for the public after the hearing.
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. On May 13, 2011, at the State Capitol Rotunda, Senator Baker and Senator Kidani joined the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, The Skin Cancer Awareness Coalition, State Department of Health, and Xcel along with other supporters to promote skin cancer awareness during the summer months.
During the event, Senator Baker presented a presentation of Legislature Certificate to the Skin Cancer Coalition and all of its partners for being part of the “fight against skin cancer” to provide a youth oriented sun protection campaign. During the presentation Senator Baker offered the following remarks, “The Hawaii State Legislature takes great pride in acknowledging community initiatives to raise awareness about the important public health issues, like the risk of skin cancer in Hawaii. Skin cancer as we know is one of the most preventable types of skin cancer and Hawaii’s children are among those at greatest risk in the United States of developing the disease, which has its root in childhood sun exposure.”
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