Kahuku Medical Center looks to expand services

DASH: TEN YEARS AGO THE ONLY HOSPITAL ON OAHU’S NORTH SHORE WAS ON THE BRINK OF CLOSING ITS DOORS. NIKKI SCHENFELD HAS MORE ON HOW THE HOSPITAL HAS STAYED OPEN, PLUS ITS FUTURE PLANS, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF ITS LOCATION. kahuku hospital opened it’s doors 89 years ago. the original wing still sits there today serving as office space. in 2008 the state passed legislation to let hawaii health systems corporation assist and keep the hospital open. alan macPhee/CEO Kahuku Medical Center: “the hospital was struggling, lack of volume, services, cutting back on services dramatically trying to save the money.” one service cut was obgyn back in 2005. macphee tells me women who live nearby pack their cars in case they have to deliver in the car. alan macPhee/CEO Kahuku Medical Center: “if you look at a map there’s no hospital between castle in the kaneohe area and us here in kahuku and there’s another one in wahiawa.” macphee hopes to bring back many services, including obgyn care. yvonne hurlbut/kahuku medical center employee for 17 years: “traffic going either way to castle or wahiawa – wahiawa is a little bit harder you have the surf, tourists, laniakea beach anything can happen in 30 minutes especially in labor anything can happen to mom or baby.” macphee tells me the hospital sees 500 to 550 emergency visits a month and their location is come winter when they see an influx in emergencies. yvonne hurlbut/kahuku medical center employee for 17 years: “surf injuries with the board especially competition time we have a lot of those come in.” quinlan saying the increase in visitors to the north shore is another reason he’s glad the hospital has remained open. rep. sean Quinlan/ district 47 – waialua, haleiwa kahuku, kaaawa: “i would argue today kahuku medical center is even more critical than it was 10 years ago due to the constant bottle neck at laniakea. so now it’s not just for residents of koolauloa but for many residents of the north shore if they were to suffer a medical emergency.” the ceo tells me they’ve aquired a mammography unit which will be in place by the end of this year. they’ve also secured 1.6 million dollars to expand on future services. nikki schenfeld khon2 news. DASH:

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