Banner Health execs coming to HMC


Hilo Medical Center will welcome two Banner Health Systems Corp. executives next week, as the mainland nonprofit company continues its bid to acquire eight Hawaii public hospitals.

Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President Dr. John Hensing will join Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Ronald R. Bunnell in sharing Banner’s health care philosophy and answering questions from area clinicians, said HMC Chief Executive Officer Howard Ainsley.

“Both of these individuals are very impressive,” he said. “They will be coming to talk to our board and our medical staff. We’re still in an educational format, and they’ll be trying to have a dialogue with us. They’ll be meeting with union people, and I think also there will be opportunities to meet with various legislators.”

The executives will explain to Hilo Medical Center employees and administrators Banner’s plans for dealing with health care reform issues, and will share their ideas on how to increase efficiency and produce better outcomes for patients, he said.

“This will let doctors have a better feel for how they run their business,” Ainsley said. “How they’re being successful, what their plans are for health care reforms, and how we can best resolve issues.”

Hawaii Health Systems Corp., the company which currently operates 12 facilities across the state, including HMC and Kona Community Hospital, confirmed last month that it had been in talks with the Phoenix, Ariz.-based Banner Health since July.

HHSC officials maintain that they are still in the very early stages of talks with Banner, and much remains to be explored before any kind of deal can be struck.

HHSC Board Chairman Avery Chumbley said last month that Banner is looking to take over operations at HMC, Kona Community Hospital, Kohala Hospital, Hale Hoola Hamakua, and Ka‘u Hospital on the Big Island, as well as Lanai Community Hospital, Maui Memorial Medical Center, and Kula Hospital.