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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 27, 2006

Hospital to get more upgrades

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

Moloka'i residents who visit Moloka'i General Hospital are finding a medical center vastly improved from the shabby facility they've known, said hospital administrator Janice Kalanihuia.

"The people are just thrilled that they have a clean, modern facility that doesn't leak when it rains and has enough electric plugs for the equipment," she said.

The hospital, which sits on a hillside overlooking Kaunakakai, is undergoing a $15 million expansion and renovation. The 15-bed hospital has been part of The Queen's Health System since 1987. It serves the island's 7,500 residents with a wide range of in-patient and out-patient services.

A first phase of the upgrade added 12,000 square feet to the hospital, a 50 percent expansion in its space. That portion, which was started in 2004 and completed last summer, houses the new acute care, urgent care, imaging, emergency and labor and delivery rooms.

The second phase, to begin shortly, will renovate most of the 22,000-square-foot original portion of the hospital. When that work is complete, the hospital will have its first on-site chapel, will bring the Women's Health Center in from a termite-eaten house on the property, will add a special procedures suite and will improve a range of administrative and other medical facilities.

The funding for the work has come from numerous sources over a five-year period. Kalanihuia said the process has been "really cool. It's a public-private partnership."

The most recent contributor has been the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, with a $2.5 million grant. That adds to $500,000 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, $2.9 million from the state of Hawai'i, $4.4 million from Queen's Health Systems, $3 million from the federal government, $750,000 from Maui County and $500,000 from Maui Community Development.

Kalanihuia said the hospital seeks about $1 million from the state Legislature to wrap up the improvement project.

Reach Jan TenBruggencate at jant@honoluluadvertiser.com.