Wednesday | July 27, 2016
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Kohala Hospital ER renovations to start

The long-awaited renovation and expansion of the Kohala Hospital emergency room will get under way July 1.

The project will expand and enhance emergency room services to North Kohala communities, said Judy Donovan, hospital spokeswoman. The approximately $2 million to cover the project is derived from various sources, including three years of fundraising efforts by the Kohala Hospital Charitable Foundation and state capital improvement project funds.

The Kapaau-based hospital will be holding a “wall-breaking” ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday to commemorate the occasion, said Donovan. The ceremony will include a blessing, a presentation on building plans and work phases, and light pupu and refreshments. The public is invited.

The “wall-breaking” is the first step for the expansion of the emergency room beyond its current confines, Donovan said. She was, however, unable to say whether the renovation would increase the number of ER beds at the hospital.

Despite the work, the Kohala Hospital emergency room will remain open in its current location throughout the project, Donovan said.

West Hawaii Today was unable to reach Kohala Hospital Administrator Geno Amar, who was off-island, as of press time Friday.

Kohala Hospital has been receiving CIP funds from the state, which has enabled ongoing renovation of the hospital, according to Donovan. The building, which is more than 50 years old, has a checklist of projects that require attention, such as re-paving the hospital parking lot and updating and renovating the water heater system. CIP funding is restricted to maintenance and facility improvement projects, and cannot be used for day-to-day hospital operations.

Additional money has come from the fundraising efforts of the Kohala Hospital Charitable Foundation. Continuing the fundraising effort, the foundation will hold its annual barbecue fundraiser June 22 at Kahua Ranch.

Kohala Hospital is a critical access hospital with acute and long-term care services and a 24-hour emergency room. The hospital is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a special agency of the state of Hawaii established in 1996.

The hospital’s mission is to provide a healing environment to the community of North Kohala through the provision of quality health care services with emphasis on quality of life to all patients and residents, according to Donovan.

For more information on the ER “wall breaking” ceremony, call 889-6211.